The ONLY Way To Stop Procrastinating | Mel Robbins

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you're not a procrastinator you have a habit of procrastinating big difference because if it's a habit I can teach you to use science to break it so let's talk a little bit about procrastination who in here struggles with procrastination yeah and the rest of you that are trading your hand or just procrastinating on doing it aren't you I know you see I always thought procrastination had to do with the thing I was procrastinating around right like that procrastination has something to do with work believe it or not procrastination has nothing to do with your work procrastination is a form of stress relief let me explain this so

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let's say that you've got some stuff going on in your life and heck who doesn't have stuff going on in your life maybe you're fighting with your significant other maybe moms or dads health is failing and it's really really upsetting you maybe you've got some financial stuff you put too much of your savings into Bitcoin and now that that's crashed you're stressed out about it right and so you go into work and when you get into work you got stuff to do you kind of walk in and you got this big stress ball that subconsciously is hanging over your head and so you walk in and you sit down and you know you've got 13 phone calls you need to make and

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you also know that you've been chickening out you've been making easy calls and there's a bunch of CIOs or other people that are higher level that you haven't been calling and so as you sit down to do it you've got the stress on your shoulders your brain that it starts to go wait a minute what you want me to make a call to somebody that I'm scared to make absolutely not I'm so stressed out about can we just watch some cat videos for a minute and next thing you know an hours gone by and then of course what do you do you beat yourself up so the only way that you can break this habit and that's an important word for you to hear you're not a

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procrastinator you have a habit of procrastinating big difference because if it's a habit I can teach you to use science to break it you see all habits have three parts there's a trigger and in the case of procrastination the triggers always stress then there's a pattern you repeat and in the case of procrastination it is to avoid doing something and then there's a reward you get a little stress relief the only way to break a habit you guys is not to deal with the triggers you're never gonna get rid of the stress in your life but you can 100% change your pattern of avoiding work so next time that you're in a situation where you feel yourself

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hesitate you spent way too much time checking out the highlights from last night's scores what you're gonna do is you're gonna go up I must be stressed out about something acknowledge the stress then go 5 4 3 2 1 I want you to count to yourself because I want you to interrupt the habit that's stored here and I want you to awaken your prefrontal cortex then I want you to just work just for five minutes the reason why I want you to only work for five minutes is because your problem isn't working it's the habit of avoiding I just need you to start and here's the other cool thing we know based on research that if we can get you to start

Key Themes, Chapters & Summary

Key Themes

  • Redefining Procrastination

  • Procrastination as a Stress Relief Mechanism

  • Habitual Nature of Procrastination

  • The 5 Second Rule Technique

  • Emphasis on Starting Tasks

  • Acknowledging and Reacting to Stress

Chapters

  • Understanding Procrastination

  • Linking Stress and Procrastination

  • Breaking the Procrastination Habit

  • Implementing the 5 Second Rule

  • Focusing on Task Initiation

  • Recognizing and Countering Stress Triggers


Summary

The podcast transcript titled "The ONLY Way To Stop Procrastinating" features Mel Robbins, who delves into the psychology of procrastination and offers practical advice for overcoming this common barrier to productivity. The discussion is insightful, focusing on understanding procrastination not as a character flaw but as a habit that can be broken using scientific methods.


Understanding Procrastination:

Robbins begins by redefining procrastination. She emphasizes that procrastination is not an inherent trait but a habit of delaying tasks. Crucially, she points out that procrastination is a form of stress relief. This revelation is significant as it shifts the focus from the task being avoided to the underlying stress that triggers procrastination.


Procrastination as Stress Relief:

Robbins explains how stress in our personal lives, such as relationship issues, health concerns, or financial troubles, can manifest as procrastination in our work life. This stress leads our brain to seek relief, often by avoiding tasks that are challenging or uncomfortable, like making important phone calls or tackling complex projects.


Breaking the Habit:

To break the habit of procrastination, Robbins introduces a structured approach. She outlines the three parts of a habit: the trigger (in this case, stress), the pattern (avoiding the task), and the reward (temporary stress relief). Understanding this cycle is crucial to breaking the habit.


The 5 Second Rule:

Robbins suggests using the "5 Second Rule" to combat procrastination. When feeling the urge to procrastinate, she advises counting down from 5 to 1. This method serves to interrupt the habitual pattern stored in the brain and activate the prefrontal cortex, the area responsible for decision-making and planning.


Starting is the Key:

An important aspect of Robbins' strategy is to focus on starting the task rather than completing it. She recommends committing to work for just five minutes. This approach aims to overcome the avoidance pattern. According to research cited by Robbins, once an individual starts a task, there is an 80% chance they will continue beyond the initial five minutes.


Acknowledge Stress and React:

Robbins also highlights the importance of acknowledging the stress that triggers procrastination. Recognizing this stress and consciously deciding to counter it with the "5 Second Rule" is key to changing the habitual response of avoidance.


In summary, Mel Robbins' podcast "The ONLY Way To Stop Procrastinating" offers a fresh perspective on procrastination, framing it as a stress-related habit rather than a personal failing. Her advice is grounded in practical, scientifically backed strategies that focus on recognizing stress triggers, interrupting the habitual cycle of avoidance, and taking small but decisive steps towards action.