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//Ep #47: How To Eliminate Procrastination

Ep #47: How To Eliminate Procrastination

Let’s face it, procrastination is a big problem for a lot of us! If we could just get things done without delay and stress our lives would probably be vastly improved. On top of this, the end product of our efforts, whatever we are working on will also benefit from healthier practices around creation and concentration.

I have the answer to these problems and this episode is all about breaking through those bad habits that are keeping us from reaching our potential. The main issue lies in our fear and perfectionism, two related conditions. When we aim for perfection, we often are avoiding things that make us scared.

It is easier to delay putting in work and getting things done in the pursuit of perfection than to face up to potential shortcomings and critiques of that work. This is how the pursuit of A-plus work can lead to procrastination. I want to urge you to get that B-minus work done now! You and the world will benefit from that realistic and accomplishable goal.

So let’s strive for that alpha, make a change, get down to what you know you can do and stop lying to yourself about what is stopping you!

Want to know more about what I do and how I can help you? Sign up for a free 45-minute session with me, and I’ll show you how this works!

What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Without action, nothing in this world would ever be created.
  • Why it is so vital to do your part and realize your dreams.
  • The motivational triad of the brain and how it influences our actions.
  • The deep connection between procrastination and perfectionism.
  • Serving the world through B-minus work.
  • Getting away from the authority driven deadlines and pressures around our work.
  • B-minus work can solve your procrastination problems; completion is better than nothing!
  • A perspective-shifting approach to getting work done early on.
  • When you work faster you have less time for stress and worry.
  • Shortening the time frame and creating an urgency to get things done from the start.

Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

Full Episode Transcript:

 

[INTRODUCTION]

[0:00:09.6] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to The Alpha Male Coach podcast. The only podcast that teaches men the cognitive mastery and alpha mindset that it takes to become an influential and irresistible man of confidence. Here is your host, certified life coach and international man of mystery, Kevin Aillaud.

[EPISODE]

[0:00:33.2] What’s up my brothers. Welcome back to the Alpha Male Coach Podcast. I am your host, Kevin Aillaud, and this is going to be a huge topic for so many people because it is, without fail, that every single student or client I coach has dealt with this issue in some form or another. Either in getting started or while on a path, right? While in a mission. This issue is prevalent and limiting and might seem unchangeable. The truth is that it is simply the manifestation of a mismanaged mind and well within your ability to control.

The topic is procrastination which is the action of delaying or postponing something. Procrastination is inaction, given this definition. Although it can look like an action because we sometimes end up doing something else. Now, I think procrastination is one of the most important habits that we need to change, all of us. All humans. So many people that I work with have procrastinated their dreams for so many decades. You can procrastinate your dreams to the grave.

I want to suggest to you that you have your dreams for a reason, brother. That reason is not just because of your own selfishness or egotistic desires. That reason is because you are supposed to evolve yourself to the place where you can create your dreams, to develop cognitive mastery and use it to co-create your life. Now, a lot of students say to me, I don’t have a dream that’s about serving the world, right?

[0:02:31.6] Or, a derivative of that is, “My dream isn’t important enough, it doesn’t serve the world enough.” And what I say back to my students or anybody that really says that is, “Look, if you’re evolving yourself to accomplish an impossible dream that you have for yourself, then brother, you are serving the world.”

See, the world needs us to evolve. Humanity needs us to evolve, to go to the next version, to go to the next level of who we are, of ourselves. Not in any way that causes us to burn out, not in a way that causes us to punish ourselves, not in a way that causes us to beat ourselves up or over-work or stress out or any of those things. I’m talking about in a way that we really do manifest, we create, we become the best version of who we want to be.

Not the best version of what anybody else wants us to be. But the best version of who we want ourselves to be. Because that internal drive, that internal knowledge is our humanity pushing us forward. It’s not just like hey, it would be nice to write a book or it would be nice to make more money or it would be nice to start a family, right?

Those things, those thoughts, they’re not just about – it would be nice for you. I’ve said this before and it bears repeating several times. If you have that compelling desire inside of you and you really like your reason for why you want something in your life then it is, in my opinion, your responsibility to go and get it.

[0:04:13.3] I want you to understand something and this is really important brother, this is really important. Nothing in the world that is man-made existed before someone had an idea to create it and believed so strongly in their idea that they made something out of nothing. This is true of everything that is man-made

The very first skyscraper, the first airplane, the first ship made of steel. Ships used to be made of wood because wood floats and then somebody said hey, let’s make this out of steel and everybody was like that’s erroneous, that’s crazy, it’s going to sink and they believed it and they did it. How about the first bar of soap, how about the first telephone, the first combustion engine, the first toilet, the first iPhone, which many of us, remember what it was like without the first iPhone.

Because everything that was a first began as an idea and a dream, to bring that idea into reality. Check this out, I can be hard on my students. I know I am hard on my students and my clients when it comes to their dreams because I’m a causal coach. I rarely work with actions but I don’t tell my students what to do.

That being said, once they have decided on the subjectivity that will serve them the best, once they have decided on what they want, it’s go-time, right? For me, it’s like okay, let’s go get it. Let’s stop thinking about it, let’s stop berating ourselves about the pastor and whatever, let’s stop second guessing about whether this is the right choice or not, just go get it, just go do it.

Not because I want you to be successful for success’ sake. II just think humanity depends on it. I think we have to keep looking forward, we can’t depend on other people to do it for us, right? Think about this, we can’t depend on the thought, “Hey, someone else can come up with a great idea, someone better than me will think about it and they’ll invent it.” That’s the beta condition, right? That’s the lie.

[0:06:12.6] I think we all have to do our part. We only know what our part is when we start paying attention and being conscious to our own desires. That’s really important and procrastination is the opposite of that, all right? Procrastination is putting off because we’re either afraid or we’re lazy or we’re feeling overwhelmed or we’re indulging in some emotion that’s preventing us from creating something, like indecision.

Whenever you hear yourself say I don’t feel like it. I want you to remember that that is normal. That’s your beta conditioning, right? It’s totally normal but it’s not a legitimate reason for not doing something. Most of the time, when you’re evolving into the next version of yourself, when you are living from the alpha state, you will not feel like it. Because the beta condition is like that little child resisting the adult alpha state from teaching it how to grow up, right?

Evolving is uncomfortable, discomfort is the currency that you pay to access your dreams, to have your dreams, to create the life that you want. You will feel the opposite of feeling like doing it and that’s when you know you’ve got to do it, that’s why using a calendar and having time scheduled to do it and knowing that it’s not negotiable is the best way to follow through on those things.

If you are constantly only doing what you feel like doing, then brother, I guarantee you, you are going to be moving backwards. I guarantee it. Now, I’ve mentioned and described the motivational triad of the brain before. Our brain has evolved to this point in the history of mankind by seeking pleasure, number one, seeking pleasure, number two, avoiding pain and number three, exerting the least amount of energy possible. That’s the motivational triad, that’s what keeps the brain moving.

[0:08:08.3] That is how we have survived. But we have survived to the point where that motivational triad is no longer serving us. In fact, it’s actually what is preventing us from evolving. If we keep honoring what it is that got us here. It’s such a metaphor for our lives, right? In terms of business, in terms of personal development, in terms of everything in life.

What got us here can’t get us to the next level. We can’t solve new problems with old solutions and I know you’ve heard that before. You actually have to reverse the motivational triad to evolve beyond survival and move into ‘thrival’. If that’s not a word then I just invented it, all right? Which means that you have to keep pursuing discomfort. Which means your brain will be terrified, it’s going to be scared. The beta condition is going to say, we should just be seeking pleasure, right? We should just be living in this cave, we want to stay here, it’s safe.

That’s not serving us anymore. It’s not serving us with Safeways and Starbucks on every corner. We need to be willing to experience emotional pain. It’s not being forced on us so much anymore. Now, we have to be willing to open ourselves up to it and we have to be willing to exert more energy to do so. Not the kind where we are stressed out or phreaking out or shoving ourselves around but the kind where we’re allowing energy to flow through us and produce the work we’re meant to produce in the world.

[0:09:40.2] Have you ever noticed, or do you notice that when you’re doing your best work, it doesn’t always feel like unicorns and butterflies, right? It doesn’t always feel like camping and hunting. I think sometimes we think our inspired work should feel like a flow state of a time. It does sometimes.

I think that that’s the worst part because I think we want it to feel that way all the time. Now, the more you manage your mind and the more emotional responsibility you have, the less you’re going to procrastinate. The more you recognize that you are the one creating your emotions and the less you will use them as an excuse to not create something.

The clients and the students I work with who procrastinate are self-called perfectionists. I’ve done a whole podcast on the perfectionist illusion. What I tell them is that what they’re doing is delaying their work, delaying putting it out there, delaying doing it because it’s not perfect yet. The reason is because perfectionists are really scared people.

Perfectionists live in a constant state of fear, they’re scared of making a mistake, they’re scared of failing, they’re scared of rejection, they’re scared of someone finding a typo, right? I mean, it’s a vicious cycle. Perfectionists are scared of being judged. If you don’t complete anything, you won’t ever be judged on it, right? Delaying it temporarily prevents the judgment.

[0:11:07.4] Delaying it prevents — pretends to give us some time to make it perfect. If you are self-called perfectionist, then you know that doesn’t work. You know that that work just doesn’t get done. If it does, then you’re so exhausted by it that you can’t even create anything else. I’d encourage my students and I do this myself, okay?

Encourage my students and I do this too, to do a rough draft and then just put it out there and you guys that know me know this. Even with my podcast, I just talk, these are usually most of the time, just rough drafts. Id o a lot of Instagram content, I do a lot of IGTV and I do a lot of Facebook Lives where it’s just live. I just get on and talk.

I do that because B minus work serves the world, right? Here’s what I mean by this guys, I encourage you to do this. Do B minus work and serve the world. We are trained as children that A plus work is the only work that matters. Either we do A plus work or we drop out of school. We just get out of class and what I want you to do is to just keep going. Even if you’re getting a C minus, right? On your grade, just keep going.

Keep putting your work out there. Keep putting your value out there in the world. Don’t drop out of class, right? Don’t hide, don’t quit. Here’s the thing about A plus work versus B minus work and I’ve said this on other podcast episode. I’ll just make this quick. A plus work is not about the people you’re creating it for.

[0:12:43.4] A plus work is about you and the way you want other people to think about you. A plus work says, “I need to make sure this is perfect so that everyone will see how great I am, how flawless I am, how perfect I am. I am A plus.” B minus work is about the people that you’re creating the value for. B minus work is not about you because you’re not aiming for validation from your work, you’re aiming for how your work can help make someone else more effective in their life now.

Not when you make it perfect or when it’s A plus but right now. B minus work says, “This can be improved in a few ways and it isn’t perfect but it is understandable the way it is and it will bring value to the world the way it is.” A plus work prevents value from being shared because it’s procrastinated or ends up incomplete and B minus work changes the world.

Now, when it’s something with a deadline, we get to the point where the pressure of completion and incompletion becomes more critical than they need to make it perfect, right? This is why perfectionists are sometimes are able to get things done when they have a deadline.

[0:14:00.0] Because incompletion is imperfection. When there is an expectation of completion from a boss, a teacher, a coach et cetera. So this is why so many of my students get into so much trouble when they try to start their own businesses. We’re so used to having an authority figure driving our work. So for example, those of us who would wait to the last minute to get to get work done in school, we would do it because we knew that there was a teacher expecting it.

Or as adults, we have a boss expecting it or an authority figure and then it became more important to get it done than it was for it to be perfect. So many of us don’t have that anymore. As entrepreneurs we don’t have that, we have to be that for ourselves. This is why people will say that they do better when they complete things at the last minute because they have an explanation for themselves as to why the product isn’t perfect because I had the deadline, right?

I mean it is just one of the worst parts of being a perfectionist. Most of the harsh judgment about our work comes from the self. So what is the solution? What is the solution to procrastination? The solution is B minus work, brother. That’s the truth. Completion is better than nothing. Showing up is better than nothing, completing the class is better than dropping out and I promise you that is true. I guarantee that is true even when I say turn in B minus work.

Even when I tell that is the solution and I am not just talking about your business. Whether it is your blog post or your website or your podcast or whatever it is, it is not something that it is graded, right? But when I tell you to turn in B minus work, some of you can’t even fathom that. You can’t even think about B minus work. If it is not A plus, you’re just unwilling to do it. The issue is when there is no reason for finishing something, procrastination is going to lead to incompletion.

[0:15:49.5] When there’s no accountability, when there is no one demanding it especially in the beginning, think about it when you’re just starting your business and you are putting yourself out there whether it’s in social media or around some sort of internet presence, you know in the beginning when you are recording podcasts or you’re writing blog posts and no one is paying attention or when you are procrastinating, going to the store to take care of yourself, right?

To go shopping, to get you on your food protocol, procrastinating doing your budget, doing your money management or you are procrastinating doing your 30 day goal or procrastinating working on your calendar. Whatever it is that you are not doing, whatever it is that you are procrastinating completing, not offering the world, many times it doesn’t even get done in the last minute because there is no pressure to get it done.

And if there is no pressure to get it done and that’s the only way you get things done is with the last minute pressure, then you end up with just a lot of incompletes in your life. Just a lot of starting and stopping. One of my teachers early on taught me that if you can focus on getting the first 80% of a project done as fast as possible then you’re going to end your procrastination and that has totally changed my perspective.

You know instead of the thought, “I have a paper due in two months or I have a project due in two months so I have plenty of time to do it.” Which is the procrastination, which is that perfectionist, the thought it is, “I have a project due in two months and I am going to get the first 80% of it done in two weeks.” It is like procrastinating backwards. Think about it like that bro, it is like procrastinating backwards.

[0:17:29.0] Instead of waiting until two weeks before the deadline to feel the pressure, you give yourself two weeks now and you get it done as fast as possible now. So you put the pressure on yourself now. That way, you are not worried about it being perfect because you’ll know you have many, many weeks to perfect it but you give yourself two weeks or as fast as possible, maybe one week to get done the first 80%. You get the B minus work done right away.

And then you can keep working on perfecting and creating and tweaking and improving to get it up there to that A plus work with the rest of the time you have. Now what is counter intuitive is that the faster you work the less effort it actually takes to complete the project. Asking yourself to work as fast as possible removes all the options for distractions, for delay, for questioning, for time-wasting. It also eliminates the option of perfectionism.

You can’t work as fast as possible and have the luxury of making something perfect. It doesn’t work that way. Many people think working as fast is stressful, right? “Ah so speed, I’ve got to work so fast it’s going to be stressful.” But when you try it, when you do it, you realize that working fast doesn’t have the room for stress. Stress is caused of cognition and you are not thinking about your stress. It requires a steady and relaxed focus in your brain that keeps you moving.

This is why people think they do better when they wait till the last minute because they don’t have time to be distracted. They don’t give themselves that option, so that they are able to work a lot more productively. And what I am suggesting is that you learn that skill of doing that ahead of time. You know do that as fast as possible ahead of time so you can schedule chunks of time and you say, “I have to get this done within this time.”

[0:19:22.2] Now, it doesn’t have to be done perfectly in that amount of time but it has to be done in that amount of time and that’s a game changer you guys, I promise you. Because when you’re thinking about the quality of the work versus that time that you have to get the work done, you will never ever get it done. When you think about the time that you give yourself to get done and you don’t worry about the quality until later, you will always complete your projects much more quickly with much less effort.

What I’m sitting down to create content and I give myself one hour to get it all documented, I do not ever let myself get more than one hour in. It has to be done in an hour. You know I am constantly checking the clock. I keep paying attention. I write, I keep writing, I keep paying attention. I write, I write, I look at the clock and I keep going and I will tell you, you do not make room for daydreaming when you do that. It is really, really powerful.

And what is interesting is that people who say they perform better when they procrastinate is because they are forced to do work fast and they only have the option of B minus work. So here is what I am suggesting, guys, what I am offering you is that you do this ahead of time. That you create this short timeframe and insist that you work within it to get your work done to a B minus level ahead of schedule, then if you want to obsess about it for the next five weeks or whatever then you can correct it. You can fix it, you could do whatever and you have the luxury of doing that.

See, what most of us do if we’re perfectionist, right? Most of us do as perfectionists ahead of time so we anticipate making it perfect instead of actually trying to make it perfect. We just think about it, the perfection is in our brain. We are thinking that it is not going to be good enough, so we wait until the last minute where we don’t have the option to make it good enough.

[0:21:26.6] It makes so much more sense if you are a perfectionist to give yourself some time to try and make it so that there are no typos and that the grammar is correct and that everything is up to that A plus range if you want, by doing the B minus work right away. And it is so ironic that most of us don’t do that because we’re scared. If you’re a perfectionist then think about it, think about what you’re feeling. We are freaking out the whole time so we go this last minute.

And then we slam it all together to get it done. It is so stressful to want something to be perfect and to not have the time to re-read, process or anything, we are shifting all of that ahead of time. This will increase your momentum. This will increase your capability. This will increase your confidence. It is the exact same amount of work and time but the result is very different, feeling it is very different. Notice the difference in thoughts, brother.

Check this out, let’s say you have a month to do something. When you procrastinate you spend the first two weeks thinking about doing something and thinking about how you’re not doing it, right? So you’re thinking about doing it but you are also thinking that you’re not doing it and you should be doing it. You want to get on it but you’re not and this causes a lot of stress. It hangs over you and it burns up a lot of priceless energy.

So instead of having all that anticipation and all of that stress and then doing it at the last two minutes or last two weeks, switch it. When you work under pressure first in the first two weeks then you skip the whole stress part, you get the work done ahead of time and then if you want to spend the rest of the time refining, you can do that. But you have to be your own accountability partner, right? You have to have authority over yourself, your own motivational triad and your own brand because you are the one.

[0:23:19.0] You are the alpha and once you get a hold of it, once you start working like this, it is so much more fun. It is so much enjoyable. Think about when you get something done ahead of time. Think about when you complete something, how great that feels and you still have time and you’re like, “Hey, this is a couple of weeks early versus waiting around to the last minute until you are rushing. It is almost like on a smaller scale, it’s like traffic.

It’s like where you have somewhere to be and you procrastinate leaving the house, okay? So then you are rushing to get there. You are running out of the house, running to your car, you are speeding through traffic, driving dangerously and then when you get there, you’re just apologizing for being late, right? You feel bad because you’re not on time. It is so much better to just arrive 10 minutes early and then you can just chill or you leave 10 minutes early.

And then if you do hit a little bit of traffic it is not a big deal. You are still going to arrive on time and you are still going to be totally calm. We burn up so much of our time, we burn up so much of our precious energy, right? Our brain energy, our emotional energy worrying and stressing and mismanaging our time by procrastinating. So I really want to encourage you to learn how to do it backwards. Get the first 80% done, get the B minus work done ahead of time.

Then if you want to, spend the rest of the time enjoying that it’s done and refining it and making sure it is completely done early, so you can enjoy the integrity. You can enjoy the capability. You can enjoy the confidence that comes from that. And then you get to decide if you want to put it out there, B minus, get your value in there, out there, serving the world or if you want to take a little bit of time to tweak and do this, fix the typos, run the grammar, send it to an editor, let a friend observe and run it, edit it for you, give you some feedback but either way, you are in control of your mind.

You have completed — you’ve taken action and gotten done what you said you would get done and that my friend is the first pillar of indomitable self-confidence. Trust in yourself, in doing what you say you will do.

[0:25:50.1] And that’s what I got for you today brothers. Check this out, it isn’t too late to get involved in the Elevated Alpha Society Spartans for September. There are two weeks left in the month and all the information and recorded coaching calls is on the website for you to follow and learn how to accomplish any goal in 30 days. And coming in October, the theme for October is money, wealth building and wealth management.

So if you want to develop cognitive mastery around money and wealth, these neutral things that we take our subjectivity, our beliefs and create our results around, if you want to change how money and wealth shows up in your life, then join the Elevated Alpha Society Spartans today going into October. That will be our theme for October.

And until next week, my brother elevate your alpha.

[END OF INTERVIEW]

[0:26:53.4] ANNOUNCER: Thank you for listening to this episode of the Alpha Male Coach Podcast. If you enjoyed what you’ve heard and want even more, sign up for Unleash Your Alpha. Your guide to shifting to the alpha mindset, at the alphamalecoach.com/unleash.

[END]

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