One the most common things you will hear a procrastinator say, is something along the lines of “I know I have to do it, but I just can’t make myself”. Therein lies the problem; motivation is very little about doing and very much about feeling. And yet, the hallmark of the procrastinator is that they focus solely on the action itself, how much time it will take, how boring or difficult it will be and ultimately how unappealing it is. No wonder we have such a problem with motivation!
One of the most reliable motivational techniques you can use is emotion. This is often overlooked as many modern cultures look down on emotion, and the fashion being to stymy or belittle our feelings. However, your emotions are powerful things and can be used to help you to overcome procrastination. So how does this work?
Instead of asking yourself “what do I need to get done?” try asking “how do I want to feel at the end of the day/week/year?” Stay with that question for a while. Really explore it. Try to resist the urge to leave the answer as “happy” or “better”. What sort of feeling would make you feel better? A sense of greater control in your life? A feeling that you can give yourself permission to relax properly? Undeniable pride? Whatever it is, track it down and explore it as much as possible. This sort of internal motivation is so much more powerful the vast majority of external pressures we try to get ourselves going with and because it focusses on the outcome you are less likely to get bogged down in the specifics of the process.