Have you ever thought to yourself . . .
“Do I really have to do this now?”
“I can just do this tomorrow.”
Or like me “Let me clean the entire kitchen first, before I record this podcast.”
Procrastination is extremely common, and it’s likely impossible to find someone who never procrastinates. Even when it involves things we truly enjoy doing we still find ourselves procrastinating. (I love writing, but it still took me way too long to sit down and record this podcast.)
In fact, research done on college students tells us that 50% procrastinate on academic tasks at least half the time.
And in the overall population, 20% are chronic procrastinators.
This isn’t a new phenomenon.
Even prior to Instagram’s pulling us into unconscious scrolling, procrastination existed.
In 800 B.C., the Greek poet Hesiod, cautioned against the dangers that come with “putting your work off till tomorrow and the day after.”
Not only does procrastination present issues for getting work done in a timely manner, but research done in the field of economics and psychology describes how procrastination negatively influences performance and well-being.
In this podcast, we dive a bit deeper into why, as humans, we so frequently procrastinate and where procrastination comes from.
Further, we will leverage the research to outline some strategies you can use to beat procrastination and be more productive, less anxiety-ridden, and happier with your workflow.
Let’s get started.
6:08 – What is procrastination?
14:02 – Why do we procrastinate?
18:55 – What are the three factors that account for procrastination?
21:19 – Manage your time to meet the deadlines for your goals
41:30 – Take bigger goals and break them down into smaller goals
42:47 – Minimize distractions
47:29 – Envision yourself enjoying the process
Mentioned on The Show:
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Hey, hi. Hello and welcome. Welcome to another episode of Muscle For Life. I’m Mike Matthews. Thank you for tuning in today to talk about procrastination. When you have something that you need to do. Or you should do or you want to do. But instead, you start to think things like do I really have to do this right now?
Can’t I just do this tomorrow? I’ll start Monday. I’ll start that diet Monday. Or I think I should go clean up the kitchen before I record the podcast. Stuff like that. Extremely common. Of course it is. Im. To find someone who never procrastinate. Anybody who says they are completely immune to procrastination, they can’t remember the last time they procrastinated.
In fact, they don’t even know what the word means. Such people are, as a politician would say after getting caught red handed, being economical with the truth. In other words, fake. Some of us may be better than others with procrastination. Some of us may procrastinate less, or even a lot less than even the average person, but even the best of us succumb to some dithering now and then, and that’s okay.
Because like most things in life is certainly true of fitness. We do not have to be perfect to achieve our goals. We just have to be good enough most of the time because chances are we are not trying to do things like free solo rock climbing. Okay. There you actually do have to be more or less perfect, or you.
Fortunately, our ambitions are much more mundane. We want to get a bit stronger, get a bit more muscular, get a bit healthier, get a bit happier, achieve a bit more success in our careers, develop a bit more meaningful relationships and so on, and a little bit of procrastination now and then is not going to prevent us.
Doing all of those things, we can afford the luxury of some procrastination. What we can’t do though, is procrastinate chronically. We cannot be a chronic procrastinator because you can only put off the really important stuff so much or so often. Before you just lose more or less all momentum together before the rate of progress crawls to such a slow pace that you never will actually arrive at the finish line that you are striving toward.
So there is certainly a sweet spot that we can find between the impossible perfection of 100% execution, 0% procrastination, and vice versa. 100% procrastination and 0% execution. Maybe we could apply parades principle to this, the old 80 20, so maybe we could strive for 80% execution and 20% procrastination for whatever reason.
That feels reasonable to me. It feels achievable and it feels workable. So let’s make that our objective, shall we? And this podcast is going to help you get there. It may not get you there all the way, but it is going to help you get closer to that Goldilocks zone because in it, I’m gonna share with you for powerful and evidence based ways to.
Procrastinating and get down to business. And before we get into the nitty gritty, I just want to give a quick shout out to Casey or Viez who researched and wrote an in-depth article that this podcast is based on [email protected]. If you want to check out her article. Just go to the website and search for procrastination and it’ll pop up first thing in the search results.
Also, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my v i p one-on-one coaching service because my team and I have helped people of all ages and all circumstances lose fat, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their life faster than they ever thought possible, and we can do the same for.
We make getting fitter, leaner, and stronger, paint by numbers simple by carefully managing every aspect of your training and your diet for you. Basically, we take out all of the guesswork, so all you have to do is follow the plan and watch your body change day after day, week after week, and month after.
What’s more, we’ve found that people are often missing just one or two crucial pieces of the puzzle, and I bet a shiny shackle, it’s the same with you. You’re probably doing a lot of things right, but dollars to donuts, there’s something you’re not doing correctly or at all that’s giving you the most grief.
Maybe it’s your calories or your macros. Maybe it’s your. Selection. Maybe it’s your food choices. Maybe you’re not progressively overloading your muscles, or maybe it’s something else, and whatever it is, here’s what’s important. Once you identify those one or two things you’re missing, once you figure it out, that’s when everything finally clicks.
That’s when you start making serious progress, and that’s exactly what we do for our clients. To learn more, head over to www.buy legion.com. That’s by legion.com. V I p and schedule your free consultation call, which by the way is not a high pressure sales call. It’s really just a discovery call where we get to know you better and see if you’re a good fit for the service.
And if you’re not for any reason, we will be able to share resources that’ll point you in the right direction. So again, if you appreciate my work and if you want to see more, If you also want to finally stop spinning your wheels and make more progress in the next few months than you did in the last few years, check out my VIP coaching [email protected] legion.com/vip.
Okay, so as I am want to do, let’s start this discussion with a definition of the term procrastination. What does it mean exactly? Procrastination is the tendency to delay the beginning or the completing of important tasks to the point where it is uncomfortable, where you are unhappy, stressed, or even maybe embarrassed.
And this is very common. Again, everyone experiences it to some degree now and then, and that is nothing to be ashamed of or even particularly concerned about. However, if you are procrastinating too often, that is when it can become an issue worth. Addressing. So for example, research that has been done on college, students has shown that about 50% procrastinate on academic tasks at least half of the time.
That’s no good. And studies have shown that here in the United States, as much as 20% of the population could be characterized as chronic procrastinators, meaning that it is a regular problem, they often have trouble forcing themselves to do things that they should do. Or need to do or even want to do, and that they regularly feel bad about it.
They are regularly ashamed and stressed and even depressed. And those are some of the reasons to take measures to limit procrastination as much as possible. Procrastinating. Is bad for us, period. There are not very many exceptions to that rule. Every good rule has exceptions, of course, and in this case, you can certainly devise some scenarios where it actually probably would be better to procrastinate.
What immediately comes to mind for me would be some sort of creative activity, something like writing, for example. I tend to enjoy researching and writing most in the mornings and the early evenings, and I also tend to be most productive in those activities during those times and not the afternoons, especially not the middle of the afternoon where we all experience a little bit of that energy dip, three or 4:00 PM or so.
And so I try to organize. Days accordingly, I try to spend the first block of most days my mornings researching and or writing, and then I move on to other tasks. And if I have the time, these days, it can be tough with kids who need to be fed and bathed and read to and so forth. But if I do have another little block, To work after dinner, usually seven to maybe eight, seven to eight 30 or so.
Then I will also try to spend that time researching or writing because I experience a bit of a second win normally. And then come nine o’clock my body is starting to wind down. That’s when I actually start to feel. Sleepy and no real work is gonna get done one way or another after that. And so what I’ll do sometimes is if I haven’t gotten some writing or researching done in the morning because maybe I got sucked into other things that are urgent and needed to be done, I will not work on it in the afternoon, even if I intended on getting it done that day.
Now if it’s very important that it gets done that day, or even just fairly important that it gets done that day, sure I can get it done and that’s fine, but I would rather just push it until the next morning or the next early evening because again, I know I’m going to do better work and going to enjoy it more.
So while that might look. Procrastination. At least we can say it is deliberate. It is calculated, it is tactical, procrastination, and so situations like those are not what I am wanting to address in this podcast. Instead, I wanna address the situations where we are putting off work or important stuff for stuff that is just enjoyable.
It’s just pleasurable it. The instant gratification versus the delayed gratification or the high time preference being putting a lot of weight on what we can gain immediately versus the low time preference where we sacrifice some sort of advantage or benefit now for a greater or more meaningful advantage or benefit later.
And many people don’t realize how harmful. That type of procrastination is if you engage in it too frequently because while you can in the short term relieve stress by just not doing the thing that feels so burdensome or is going to be very unpleasant and just doing something else that is fun or just makes you feel good, yeah, you feel better in the immediate, Stress levels are low, but what research shows, this is one of those things that we don’t need science.
To tell us this, we have all experienced it, but it’s just worth mentioning that this has been researched as well. And what studies show is that while procrastination does work as a pressure valve of sorts to relieve stress acutely, if you fiddle with this thing too much, it jams, and then stress levels can.
Rise exponentially. So while a little bit of procrastination can feel good and really be harmless, if you do it too much, you can become very stressed, much more stressed than you would be if you would’ve just eaten the frog in the first place and done whatever it is that you didn’t want to do that would’ve resulted in less stress.
In terms of, let’s say a intensity, a scale of one to 10, and likely less in terms of duration as well, It’s just a matter of when you have to experience it. So do you want to experience a bit of discomfort now and then feel good, feel satisfied, maybe even feel proud of yourself? Or do you want to avoid some stress right now?
Not even necessarily feel satisfied. Probably not proud, but just not stressed now for a bit, and then really stressed later as well as maybe depressed. And some research shows that procrastination can even increase the risk of illness. Now, chances are none of this is exactly news to you. Maybe you didn’t know some of these details, but you are aware of how procrastinating makes you feel, at least when you engage in too much.
And that probably hasn’t been enough, at least sometimes to overcome the inertia and to just do whatever it is that you don’t want to do. Just get down to the work and get over the negative feelings. Now, procrastination is interesting in this regard because many behaviors that make. Feel bad are naturally unpalatable.
We actually naturally steer away from things that make us feel bad physically. Like for example, if you eat something that gives you an upset stomach, how inclined are you to eat it? Again, even if it’s tasty, maybe you’re willing to risk it. Let’s say it’s a delicious dessert of some kind that you like to eat.
You eat it, and your stomach feels really bad. Maybe you’ll do it again just cuz you really like it and you’re hoping that it’s not going to upset your stomach again. You eat it again. Your stomach goes haywire again. How likely are you to eat it again? What? Maybe you’ll give it one more try. Okay, you do it again, same result, and that’s it.
You’re done. You’ll find another dessert. And that’s how we are generally wired, and that is useful programming. But in the case of procrastination, for whatever reason, no matter how bad it makes us feel, when we really wallow in it, we just go back to that again and again, and. Why is that? This has to do with our basic human tendency to prefer instant gratification over long term reward to mortgage our future for the sake of our present.
And this also is a hard wired. Tendency. That certainly has some connection to how we have evolved because our modern society is brand new in the context of evolution. And there was a time when, for example, let’s just talk about food, when we might go several days without eating. And so if we did find an animal and we managed to kill the.
It actually made sense. It was rational to feast and to eat as much as we could and gain as much fat as we could from that meal because again, it might be days before we get to consume another calorie. And as for general lifestyle and daily behaviors, there were so many different ways for our ancient ancestors to die, and life expectancy was so low.
It actually wouldn’t have made sense to make grand plans for your future. Would not really have made sense to have a 10 year plan or a five year plan, or probably even a three year plan, maybe a one year plan. And mostly it was stay alive. That’s the one year plan. How do I not die? Over the course of the next year, not how do I build big, beautiful biceps and a body that will last a hundred plus years, outstanding vitality, and how do I maximize my 401k so I can really devote myself to mastering fly fishing while in retirement?
No, there was no pre historical equivalent to any of that. The concept that you wouldn’t do whatever you want to do whenever you want to do it, and. Pursue as much immediate pleasure and gratification as you possibly can before you are brutally dismembered. Would’ve been pure madness. It would’ve been actually inconceivable to our species for a very long time, and Our hardware, our brain has evolved in environments that are so foreign to modernity that it hasn’t caught up yet.
Our brain is probably a bit confused as to what is going on Exactly, because normally, for example, the script that says Devour every calorie you can get your hands on immediately without delay, without discrimination. Just eat anything that you can possibly eat when you can eat it. That is no longer a useful script.
That script is now killing us by the millions every year, and there are many other such prescriptions. Our brain is quick to hand us to deal with situations we are faced with that don’t really work anymore. And the theme of these prescriptions is take care of our current selves at the expense of our future selves.
Again, because our current self today is all we knew we could count on. We could not say with any certainty that our future self, five years, three years, maybe even one year out, was going to exist. We knew this intuitively. We knew that death was lurking around us at all times. And so why would we want to sacrifice what little time and energy and consciousness we have, what little opportunity we have to maybe have a little bit of fun and enjoy ourselves a little bit to work toward payoffs that we will never actually experience?
Now, if your answer is because we are working towards something bigger than ourselves, working toward payoffs that our children or maybe even their children, Or people in our tribe or in the greater species can experience. I agree, and this is one of the very unique characteristics of humans and especially the humans who have built functional civilizations, But that’s another discussion.
For our purposes here, I just want you to have. A little bit of background as to why we all tend toward procrastination and instant gratification and high time preference. And again, that it’s nothing to be ashamed about. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you or me, it’s just part of the. Operating system that our body is running on.
And that doesn’t mean we have to give into it. It doesn’t mean we can’t override it. It just means that it is something we will probably always have to contend with to one degree or another. Now, fortunately, we can learn to control this beast. We can learn how to wrestle it into submission and to understand how to do that.
Let’s start with the three factors that. Account for most procrastination is caused by one or more of the three following triggers. So one is how we perceive a task. So if we perceive it as boring or frustrating or even impossible to accomplish, we are of course more likely to procrastinate.
Likewise, though, if we perceive it could be the same task, but if we can convince ourselves that it is me, And if we can convince ourselves that we can do it, then we are much less likely to procrastinate. We are more likely to tackle it. Another factor is how a task is structured and how it is presented.
Because the less urgent something is, the further out the deadline is, whether it is externally or. Internally imposed, the less likely we already even think about the task, let alone procrastinate on it. So this is like pre procrastination because we just throw it in the memory hole. If the urgency is perceived to be low enough, and then later the procrastination can begin.
When it has been disappeared for a while and the urgency has now risen to a level where it’s pinging on our radar and we have to face it because that deadline is looming, then the procrastination cycle begins. And the third primary factor that affects procrastination is our personality. Because some of us are easily distracted, some of us are not so easily distracted.
Some of us have very little self-belief. Some of us have a lot of self-belief, maybe even too much self-belief. Some of us tend to be sensation seekers and. People always on the lookout for that next hit of dopamine, whereas others maintain a pretty low dopamine diet. Now, the good news is your personality is not your destiny.
Even if you do tend to procrastinate, you can take simple actions to procrastinate less, and if you take these actions regularly enough for long. You might become completely different in this regard. You might go from 20% execution and 80% procrastination to an extreme executor, 80% execution and 20% procrastination.
And so let’s get into a few evidence based methods of helping you get there. So the first is related. Two deadlines and how you manage your time. Now, if you don’t set deadlines for your goals at all, then you can certainly benefit from giving some thought as to when you would like to have this goal achieved by and.
Why and that why component is very important. Let’s talk about weight loss for example. Many people get real serious about their diets when they have a certain event that they want to look their best for. Maybe it’s a wedding, maybe it is the summer and it’s gonna be a beach vacation, or maybe it is a family reunion or a high school reunion or some.
Similar type of thing, and those deadlines can be very effective and very motivating. Unfortunately, they can also lead people to doing some pretty extreme things, some extreme starvation dieting, because often they don’t give themselves much time. They have 30 days and they feel that 30 pounds is what really is gonna make a difference.
And so they go for it and they basically don’t eat much food and they do a lot of cardio for a month, and they may lose a lot of weight. They may even lose 30 pounds, but of course, they’re often not very thrilled with what they see in the mirror. They’re happy with the scale, but then they look in the mirror and yes, they look smaller, but they don’t feel they look all that much better.
It is mostly a quantity thing and not a quality thing. Now, most people who are working to improve their body composition don’t have these important occasions to drive them. Forward. They just have a desire to look better and to feel better and to fit in their clothes better. And while those are perfect reasons to get into good shape, they are also tenuous.
They are not very stable. They don’t make for a very good foundation to hold your ground on. When you are assaulted by the temptations of life and by the instant gratification scripts of your brain, and one of my favorite ways to combat this is to push people to really dig deep and find. Fitness wise that energize them, that are meaningful to them and that steal their resolve.
I talk about this in my books For Men, Bigly are stronger and thinly stronger. There’s a whole section of the Inner Game chapter where I am walking you through finding your real fitness wise, the reasons that are going to help you stay strong. When you need some self control and when you need to exercise willpower to continue exercising, and only then only once you have really worked out your personal fitness wise, which are going to be different than mine.
There probably will be some overlap, but this is a very individual. Process only then though, can you create functional deadlines? Can you create deadlines that matter that actually provide enough urgency to give you enough necessity to stay strong and to keep doing the things that you should be doing, even when you don’t want to do them?
Because. For example, all of us experience days where we would rather not go to the gym. I experienced this not too often, but certainly a couple of times per month where I really am not looking forward to my workout. Now, that said, I never regret a workout, so always keep that in mind that while you may not enjoy every workout, you may not enjoy the thought of having to work.
You are always going. To enjoy having worked out. I have never done a workout and then thought, Oh, I wish I didn’t do that. I wish I would’ve just sat home on the couch and scrolled through Instagram for an hour and a half. Stupid, Stupid has not happened once. So if you want to hear some more of my thoughts and if you want me to help you find your fitness wise, definitely checkout bigger, leaner, stronger.
If you are a guy, thinni, leaner, stronger if you are. Gal, because again, there is a section on this in the inner game section of the book, and those books also are gonna give you everything you need both in terms of the inner game and the outer game. So the internal stuff, the internal obstacles that can get in the way, like nervousness and self doubt and self condemnation, and any other habits of mind that inhibit.
Excellence and inhibit performance as well as the outer game stuff. So that’s the mechanical parts of fitness, calories, macros, exercise selection, progressive overload and so forth. And so anyway, those books really are. All encompassing blueprints that give you everything you need to go from normal or maybe even very unfit to very fit.
You really don’t need to know anything other than what is in those books. Now, if you want to go to Ultrafit, then I would recommend. You also read Beyond Bigger Leaners Stronger, which is the sequel to Bigger Leaners, Stronger, and which is meant for experienced weightlifters who have gained most of the muscle and strength that is available to them genetically, but who want to squeeze every last drop of juice out of this lemon.
And as the title would imply, it is written. Toward men, bigger, leaner, stronger. Most women do not want to get bigger, and I will do a sequel to the women’s. It will be called Beyond Thinner, Leaner, Stronger. But unfortunately, I will not be able to do it for at least a year because the next book that I will be releasing is a book for the 40 plus Crowd for both men and women that Simon and Schuster is publishing next summer.
And part of the agreement is I can’t publish any. Books. I can’t self-publish any books from now until six months, I believe, after the release of that book. So again, that book is gonna be coming out next summer. It is called Muscle for Life. And then if I remember correctly, in the contract, I have to wait six months before I can self-publish another book.
And one of the next books I will self-publish though will be beyond Thinly or Stronger. Now, if you are a woman and you. Pretty experienced weightlifter. Maybe you have been doing thinner, leaner, stronger for some time, and you want to know what you can do to take your fitness to the next level. Read beyond bigger, leaner, stronger, because the principles are gonna apply just as much to you as to me.
But the application would be a bit. Different. The programming, for example, in the workouts in beyond thin, leaner, stronger will be different. However, I am putting together a feminized beyond bigger, leaner, stronger workout program. So essentially I am going to create the beyond thin, leaner, stronger workouts, and I’m just gonna.
Put them in the bonus material that comes with Beyond Big, Leaner, Stronger. And if you have any other questions about how you, my dear female reader might use What Is In Beyond Big, Leaner, Stronger, you can always just email me [email protected] and I’ll be happy to help. But I think if you read the book, you’ll see that it is.
Pretty straightforward. The diet nutrition advice doesn’t need to be changed much at all. In the women’s book, I will talk about some female only things like I will talk about diets and exercise in the context of menstruation and a couple of other, I think, useful topics that are particularly relevant to experienced female weightlifters.
But the fundamental strategies that I’m. For quote unquote advanced nutrition, and I put that in scare quotes because it’s really not that advanced. It’s just there are some diet tactics that newbies shouldn’t even worry about, like mini cuts, which I talk about in beyond bigly or stronger. That’s not really useful to a novice.
That is useful though to someone who has been lifting for several years and who cannot gain. Much muscle and strength, and who does need to minimize fat gain as much as possible. So anyways, bigger, leaner, stronger. If you are a guy who has yet to gain your first 20 to 25 pounds of muscle, or a woman who has yet to gain her first 10 to 15 pounds of muscle than thinner, leaner, stronger for you and.
If you are a guy who has already gained, let’s say, 25 plus pounds of muscle, if you’re a woman who has already gained 12 to 15 pounds of muscle, then you may still wanna read BLS or TLS if you haven’t already, because you probably will learn some things. However, as far as practical programming goes for both your training and your nutrition beyond big, lean or stronger, probably going to be more suitable to.
If you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, definitely check out my v i p one-on-one coaching service because my team and I have helped people of all ages and circumstances lose fat, build muscle, and get into the best shape of their life faster than they ever thought possible. And we can do the same for you.
Okay, so let’s get back on track here and talk about beating procrastination. So finding your why is very important. I obviously was talking about fitness in particular, but this would apply to anything that you tend to procrastinate on. Have you really clarified why? What is the bigger picture here? And why do you care about it?
And how does this individual task fit into the bigger picture? How does it help you get closer to whatever it is that you are trying to achieve? And if you have given some thought to that and are not quite inspired by it, do you really believe you can get there? Have you worked out a plan that you have faith in?
Are you putting enough effort into that plan regularly that you can actually. Coming into fruition. So those are some of the things I think about when I am deciding what to do with my time. And if I am faced with work or something that I have the desire to procrastinate on, I stop and I think about the overall context.
And sometimes I find it actually makes. Sense that I would feel disinclined to do whatever it is that I don’t want to do because maybe I haven’t worked out exactly why I should be doing this thing, or maybe I haven’t given much thought to alternatives. And this is especially important in the context of work, at least it is for me because there is an opportunity cost to anything we do.
We can. Do one thing at a time effectively, right? None of us can multitask the way that we wish we could. And so when we’re doing one thing, that means that we are saying no to literally everything else that we could possibly do. And I don’t let that drive me to paralysis by analysis. You have to be aware of.
As well where the burden of the possibilities is so great that you just do nothing. However, it does make sense to me, and I do this regularly to assess what it is that you plan on doing, why you should be doing those things. What goals, what purposes do those tasks or those activities contribute to and are.
The best options that you can reasonably think of? Have you at least given some consideration, maybe even done a little bit of research into, let’s say, best practices? Again, if we’re talking about work, it is a mistake to try to reinvent wheels. You should always, when faced with a problem that needs a solution or faced with an opportunity, you should always go look for.
Practices first. Are there design patterns out there that other people have already figured out that you can just follow almost robotically and get great results with? And then based on those results, you can reassess the opportunity cost of going further. So if, for example, you have dug up some best practices, some simple fundamentals, the things that basically always work, you have done them.
They worked, and so now the low. Fruit is picked, and if you are gonna make more progress along this line, it is going to require some brain power. It is going to require some outside the box thinking, some innovation. Does it make sense for you to do that or is there something else you can do at that time that is gonna be easier and is going to provide more in the way of newbie gains, so to speak?
And. Make more progress toward the stated objective. By way of example, take my sports nutrition company Legion. My goal is to double the revenue next year, and I really do think that can be done. I really do think that there is a lot of meat still on the bone as the private equity people like to say, and that.
If we execute well on the strategy, not even extraordinarily well, if we just execute well on the strategic planning that we have outlined, we can do it and to create that strategic plan. What we looked for are the. High leverage kind of one thing type of things, and I’m referring to the book, The one thing which you should read.
If you have not read the things that if you do them well make more or less everything else irrelevant. And in the case of Legion, there are only a few of these things that if we really nail ’em, then we can double the size of the company without having to accomplish 100 different things. Each individually grow sales 1%, for example.
Instead, we can just do these few things that if we do them well, will each dramatically increase sales and they relate to Amazon and our systems for Amazon and how we manage Amazon. Which has worked well enough, the results do speak for themselves, but which at this point is inappropriately unsophisticated.
We really should have more robust systems for growing Amazon, and so we are gonna be putting that into place and what we are doing there. Could very well double our Amazon sales next year. And then on the website side of things there is conversion rate optimization. We’ve done very little in the way of that, and the numbers show that there’s a lot of potential improvement just to get up.
To industry standards as well as simple things that can increase the average order value as well as true customer acquisition advertising. We have never done much in the way of. Paid customer acquisition, and there are reasons for that ultimately are just excuses. I really should have pushed it through a long time ago and made sure it happened, but I was working on other things and I relied on people to do it who couldn’t do it, and so now here I am.
But that also means there is a great opportunity for expansion because normally a business that is doing 20 plus million dollars a year in sales like Legion is spend. A lot of money on customer acquisition and has funnels and spends large amounts of money on Facebook in particular, for example, on Instagram.
Yeah. Not legion. We have no funnels. We spend very little on Facebook campaigns, especially customer acquisition campaigns, and even less on Instagram. And that’s a mistake. And that alone just nailing. Could double the size of the entire company. I know of companies that are not direct competitors, but that sell health supplements, for example, that are slightly larger than Legion, but that rely almost exclusively on advertising to acquire new customers and continue to grow revenue.
If they don’t spend a million dollars a month on Facebook, their revenue. Plummets. And fortunately I’m not in that situation, but I would love to be able to spend a million dollars a month acquiring customers because that would be great for the company. And another major lever that we are going to pull next year is retail.
We have done no retail up until now, which is almost certainly a mistake. For a while, we couldn’t do retail because our margins were too slim, because we were spending a lot on our production, on our cost of goods, and we still do spend a lot on our. Production, our cost of goods, but thanks to economies of scale and shopping manufacturers and just getting sharper with sourcing ingredients and managing our supply chain, really managing our logistics.
We’ve gotten certain products to a point where they can work for retail so long as the retailers agree to slightly lower margins than usual, and I agree to slightly lower margins than usual, which I’m fine with. And so long as. Aren’t wholesalers in the middle, because the wholesalers generally want a pretty big cut, and I don’t have the margins for that, but there is a lot of potential in retail as well.
And so my point with saying all that is when I am looking at how I want to allocate company resources, how I want to allocate money and manpower as well. Own bandwidth. I can only do so much. I’m always looking back to the strategic initiatives and how is this little task going to contribute to the bigger goal.
And then of course there are even bigger goals, three to five year goals that I’ve worked out for myself and for the company. And I make sure that the one year. Plans or an alignment with those bigger goals too. So when I sit down to do something that I really don’t wanna do, record a podcast, sometimes I just don’t want to.
I like researching. I like writing. I sometimes like podcasting, sometimes don’t like podcasting. Especially if I am recording a podcast and something that I’ve already researched extensively and written about extensively. I would rather research something else and write about something. Then rehash stuff I’ve already gone over.
But I know that many people are not going to read articles. They would much rather just listen to me, explain things. And I also know that the podcast is very valuable in the grand scheme of things, and it is contributing. To the short term goals, the mid-term goals, and the long-term goals in very significant ways.
So that is always enough to motivate me to get the work done. Sometimes I will procrastinate a little bit on it, like for example, I had mentioned earlier the A, the midafternoon energy dip that I tend to experience between three and. 4:00 PM Again, it’s nothing too significant, but it’s enough to make a difference.
If I am recording a podcast, for example, I will find that I just make more mistakes and I have to put more time into the episode to get it the way I want. If I start recording at, let’s say, 4:00 PM versus maybe 10 or 11:00 AM So there are definitely times where I will. Intend, maybe on recording a podcast in the morning, get caught up in other things, and know that it’s not crucial I get it done that morning or even that day, and then choose not to do it later in the day because it’s just gonna be more frustrating.
I would rather put it off until the next day and actually enjoy it as opposed to slogging through it just for the sake of checking it off my daily tasks. Okay. Let’s move on to another useful tip to help beat procrastination, and that is to take bigger. Goals especially bigger goals that have meaningful deadlines into smaller goals that have smaller deadlines.
So for example, let’s say you want to lose 10 or 15 pounds before your vacation that’s coming up in five months. You could turn that into losing just a couple of pounds per month. And then once you have started and you have made a little. Progress. Focus on the progress that you have made and that you continue to make Focus on how far you have come, not on how far you have go, and really just stick what you have in front of you into the memory hole.
Keep it in the memory hole and just focus on how far you’ve come and how that shows, how dedicated you are to your goal. And then once you have. Say, reached maybe the 60 or 70% mark. Once you are approaching the end stretch of this weight loss journey, start focusing on how little you have left. You can then take your focus off of how much progress you have made and put it on how little you have left to reach your goal, and you’ll find that will almost inevitably provide another surge of motivation.
Another very important strategy for minimizing procrastination is minimizing distractions. And this is especially true for work. So if you have some important work to do or you have some important studying to do, or anything that has you sitting at home, then do not have the TV on, even if you have to unplug the TV or remove the batteries from the remote and put them far away from the remote and.
Put your phone away, put it on, do not disturb. Get off of all social media websites and use software to block them if you have to. And that might seem a bit silly. It’s not. It is smart if you tend to waiver when you are trying to get work done or trying to focus on something and you tend to jump over to your email or jump over to Twitter or Instagram or Facebook every 10 or 15 minutes.
You will do yourself a big favor if you just remove the option. So you can use software to just block those things all together. And if you don’t need the internet for what you’re doing, you could do that too. You could actually just turn your internet off and you can use software that turns it off and will not turn it on for a set period of time.
So maybe 30 minutes, for example, something like the Pomodoro technique, which you may have heard of where you. To 25 minutes or so of uni uninterrupted time, followed by a break, maybe a five minute break, and then you get back to it. Of course, you can stretch those 25 minute periods to longer as you get better.
For me personally, a sweet spot is probably 45 to 60 minutes of focused work before I. Get up and take a break, go get some water, just move around, maybe check email, or check my phone five or 10 minutes and then get back to it. That’s what works well to me or for me. Other useful tools for blocking distractions are a dedicated workspace.
So set up a space where you just do work not on your couch, in front of the tv, for example, because even if you have unplugged it and you have moved the batteries, if you’re sitting on the couch and the tv. There and it looks so shiny and it looks so tempting. Why subject yourself to that? Why bother?
It’s much smarter to, again, set up a little space outside of where you normally relax outside of where you normally do social things. Where you can get in the zone where you can just focus on work or whatever other important activities you want to focus on. And I like to go a little bit further and add a little bit of a ritual to it.
So I like to listen to certain types of music when I’m doing certain types of things. I like to drink certain types of beverages. I really only drink water and coffee, but specifically, As far as the music goes, if I am writing or researching, I will tend to use brain.fm. I like their electronic focus track in particular.
I really do feel, and I’ve tried to listen to a lot of different types of music, non lyrical of course, because lyrical is too distracting to help me get into
low state and get into the zone because brain.fm. Not very stimulating creatively, but I guess that’s the point. And I had to finally admit to myself that as boring as that electronic focused track is, it does work well for me.
I quickly get into a hyper-focused state with that track in particular, and I’ve tried, I think all of theirs really now. Do find that Beethoven in particular has a similar effect. And as far as classic music goes, I’ve listened to most of the very famous composers and a lot of less famous ones as well.
And for whatever reason, Beethoven just puts me in the zone. Bini does as well. And so most of the time though, if I’m gonna researcher write, I’m gonna use Brain do fm sometimes if I’m editing, for example, which is less intellectually. Intensive as writing and researching, then I’ll put on some Beethoven or some bini.
And as far as beverages go, I have some espresso first thing in the morning, and that is when I’m doing researching and writing, almost always. And so my point is I have this little routine that I like and I look forward to sitting down at my. Desk and putting on my little music and drinking my coffee and working on some researching and writing.
And the more you do these types of things, the stronger the associations become and the stronger the habit becomes and the easier it is to get to a point where, when you sit down to work or to read or to do whatever you need to do, you are going to do it. It is going to get done. You may find that you are a bit more distractable on some days than others, and so you may not always do it as efficiently as you possibly could, but again, that’s okay because we don’t have to be perfect, just good enough.
Most of the. Now there is one more technique I wanna share with you on beating procrastination that I don’t think exists in the literature. I haven’t seen any research on it, but it’s something that I stumbled into one way or another I don’t even remember. And it works really well for me. And it’s very simple.
It is. If I am faced with a task or an activity that I don’t want to do and I’m feeling the resistance rise and the desire to procrastinate, rise, I envision myself doing it in my mind. I like see it almost as a movie. In my mind, just picture, it could be sped up more like a montage, envision myself doing it until I no longer have a negative emotional response to the idea or the mental imagery of doing it.
And I really see this as a little movie in my mind, or a montage of sorts. And what I find is when I first. Do it. I do have the feeling of at least distaste where it’s gonna be unpleasant and it does not bring my mood up. It brings my mood down a little bit. The thought of doing it. Okay, so I envision going through the task and then go back to the beginning, look at doing it again and doing it again.
And after several rounds of this, almost always my distaste for. Whatever it is that I’m considering is gone, and then I find it very easy to get started and rolling. Now, if I don’t do this little mental rehearsal first, if I just force myself to the cold face and get to it, I can get the work done. Of course, I can muscle my way through it, but I’ve found that if I do it that way, I don’t enjoy myself as much.
I tend to make more mistakes. My quality of work isn’t as high, and it feels like it takes more effort to get the work done. So now whenever I feel a little bit of reluctance, when I feel a little bit of the desire to procrastinate, I use my little mental imagery routine to. Take out the emotion and then to get the work done more efficiently, more effectively, and more enjoyably.
And that, my friends, is everything I wanted to share with you today on how to procrastinate less. I hope you found this episode helpful and definitely keep an eye on the podcast feed because I have an episode coming up where I’m gonna give you. Great exercises for reducing low back pain. And then I have an interview coming up that I did with Mark RTO on accessory exercises, which accessory exercises you should and shouldn’t be doing according to the Godfather of Gains, as well as a monologue that I recorded on cluster sets.
And whether you should do them or should not do them, and if you are gonna do them, how can you get the most out of them? And. All right. That’s it for this episode. I hope you enjoyed it and found it interesting and helpful. And if you did and you don’t mind doing me a favor, please do leave a quick review on iTunes or wherever you’re listening to me from in whichever app you’re listening to me in, because.
That not only convinces people that they should check out the show, it also increases search visibility. And thus, it helps more people find their way to me and learn how to get fitter, leaner, stronger, healthier, and happier as well. And of course, if you want to be notified when the next episode goes live, then simply subscribe to the podcast and you won’t miss out on any new stuff.
And if you didn’t like something about the show, please do shoot me an email at mike muscle for life.com, just muscle or life.com, and share your thoughts on how I can do this better. I read everything myself, and I’m always looking or constructive feedback, even if it is criticism, I’m open. And of course you can email me if you have positive feedback as well, or if you have questions really relating to anything that you think I could help you with, definitely send me an email.
That is the best way to get ahold of me, Mike, at multiple life.com. And that’s it. Thanks again for listening to this episode, and I hope to hear from you soon.
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