The Painless Solution To Procrastination

I have a confession to make. Once upon a time, I had a bad case of procrastination. I could find all sorts of excuses for putting off any activity which I just didn't feel like doing!

Big ideas - I had them. But the follow-through was not there. So I wasted years not working on my ideas. I'd see other people come up with the same ideas and even make a career of them or write a book, and I'd think - hey, I had the same idea several years ago...but never did anything about it.

But this is the worst part: procrastination can drive you crazy. When you have a big assignment that must be done, a presentation, a project, a goal - yes, you want to get it done, but you might be dreading the hard work involved!

It's not that you're lazy - in fact, once you get going, you might charge along like a house afire - but you just might not be able to GET STARTED! And if you don't get started - if you aren't working on your project or goal - then you aren't getting anywhere.

I spent more time dreading something than I would finally spend actually getting it done. That was the ironic part! If I had just worked for the same amount of time I spent dreading the task in my mind - I'd have been done a long time ago! I started to realize just how ridiculous this was.

But then I discovered a secret that is unlocking many, many doors for me. And it's so simple you will be amazed. Oddly, I have not read this elsewhere - but it works for me. Doing this, I am learning another language, attacking my projects, and am teaching a teenage girl to play the piano - a girl who did not think she wanted to learn the piano but who is willing to do this under these circumstances, and is showing remarkable talent and progress - painlessly.

Now I'm going to share this secret with you. I promise that this will stick with you and you won't be able to forget it because it's so incredibly simple. Not only that, but you won't be able to resist trying it out! You will definitely get something done this week and make progress on something - even if it's cleaning out that closet. Yes, doing that will make you feel much, much better every time you look at it.

What's the secret? Here it is:

I call it the Five Minute Solution. Here is how it works: Do you have one of those little wind-up timers? Get one. They're at the grocery store and don't need batteries. I've been using the same one for years. That little thing is saving my life.

Decide what you want to accomplish - whether it's improving a room, cleaning, exercising, writing a letter, working on a project, or whatever your own goal is. Set the timer or just look at the clock.

You are going to work on this for FIVE MINUTES. Yes, that's all. Just five minutes. Set the timer and GO.

Five minutes later, you are done. You have just improved one room in your house significantly. You have just written that thank-you letter that you needed to write - or maybe you just located the stationery and stamps! The point is - you made progress toward your goal.

Tomorrow - guess what? You are going to work for five minutes again. It wasn't hard, was it? You might have even wanted to continue working longer - but you don't have to.

If you do this every day - a miracle will happen. You will finish that project. You will get your taxes done painlessly. You will see and feel results if you exercise or stretch for five minutes. You will learn that other language. Your home will start to look better than ever. You will read that book you didn't think you could get through.

I do this every single day now! There are about four things I use this for - so this takes a whole twenty minutes of my day. One thing I do is pick the room in my home that needs the most improvement. (I'm talking about the junk repository that most of us have somewhere - in a closet, room, garage, drawer, or storage place.)

That's something that tends to overwhelm me and get very frustrating. When a task gets unpleasant, I use the Five Minute Solution. After only five minutes, I see an improvement and I'm done!

You can adapt the Five-Minute Solution in a number of ways that will work for you - for many projects, or for just one at a time.

Have you ever purchased something online, then never really used it? If so, you're not alone. In fact, online "gurus" often feel frustrated that so many people do exactly that - buy their products, then never put them to use to make more money. The Five-Minute Solution is useful here.

I broke down and bought one legendary program that costs four figures - I kid you not. I spent several hours a day at first listening to this program and watching the videos. But after a few days, the newness wore off, and I could see where this was headed - other projects were calling me, and this expensive program which promised so much was at risk of sitting on my shelf - postponed indefinitely!

What did I do? I made this a special Twenty-Minute Solution. No matter what happens, I spend at least twenty minutes a day studying this program and putting it into action. I also purchased a notebook to write down the new things I am learning. This is working for me.

I hope you find success with this technique. It can produce amazing results, and the encouragement you will get produces even more motivation and builds on itself.

Yes, you can make it ten or twenty minutes if you wish - it's entirely up to you.

But start with five! It will show you a lot about self-discipline in the process. You will see what I mean.

Sarah Tanner writes about relationships and charm. Visit her websites,, and Sign up for her unique emails and receive free ebooks!

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