Be Productive on CommandIf you’re anything like me, you probably also suffer from procrastination once in a while. Deliberate procrastination on certain (low-value) tasks may be a good thing.

However, in my experience procrastination usually rears its ugly head when you are faced with important, complex tasks, especially when you haven’t yet given much thought to the successful outcome of it.

Sometimes I need to trick myself into a productive state of mind. Read on to find out what works for me and what will probably also work for you!

Be Productive on Command

I have used a combination of techniques to defeat procrastination. So far, the following combination of two techniques has proved to be the most effective for me:

A. Determine the successful outcome of your project

You are more likely to procrastinate on tasks and projects if you haven’t given any thought to the succesful outcome of that task or project. As David Allen points out frequently, you need to determine for each project what the succesful outcome is, and preferably write it down in your project support material for future reference. You need to know WHY a project is on your project list and you need to know WHAT (next action) you can do to move that project along.

It’s necessary to have thought about these things in advance (and put the results in your trusted GTD system), before you can even begin to expect to work productively on your project. Don’t make this a subconscious reason to procrastinate on your projects!

Given this initial preparation of a project, I then use the following powerful technique to feel calm, confident and productive on command:

B. Create a powerful, productive state of mind

This is a 7 step technique I learned from Brian Tracy – specifically, from his Accelerated Learning program. He suggests using this technique to create a resourceful state of mind prior to any important experience where you desire excellent performance. I found this particularly helpful to fight procrastination and create a productive feeling on command.

Here are the 7 steps of this technique, adapted to productivity:


1. Recall a particularly productive experience
We have all had at least one particular moment in the past where you felt really productive, where time didn’t seem to exist and you had a positive sense of relaxed control. Close your eyes and bring the memory of that productive experience firmly and clearly to the front of your mind.

2. Use all of your senses to recreate a vivid memory
Make this memory as vivid as possible, using all of your senses and look at the experience from within yourself. See again what you saw at that moment. Hear again what you heard at that moment. Feel again what you felt at that moment.

3. Make up an anchor word
Make up your own word or phrase that sums up the original event. This will be your anchor word for this particular experience. For instance, “power!”, or “just do it!”.

4. Sit up straight and breathe deeply
This is all about assuming a powerful position of your body. Sit up straight and straighten your body. Lift up your chin and eyes. Take a deep breath.

5. Clench your fists
Increase that feeling of power by clenching your fists.

6. Intensify your memory
Intensify the mental image of that previous succesful and productive experience even more. Recreate and magnify that powerful feeling you had.

7. Unclench your fists
Finally, unclench your fists and open your eyes.

This technique works by programming your mind using positive conditioning to create a positive stimulus-response pattern. The memory of a succesful, productive experience has become the stimulus and the corresponding calm, productive feeling has become the response.

After practicing this technique for a while (to make the stimulus-response pattern stronger and stronger), you will be able to be productive on command, simply by vividly remembering the succesful, productive experience, assuming a powerful position of your body and saying your anchor word or phrase.

You are now completely ready to start working on your project!

See also:
10 Simple Tips to Start Getting Things Done
5 Things you should realize about “Getting Things Done�
5 Tips to Create More Time
Know What You Are NOT Doing