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Stop Procrastinating: 3 Tips That Actually Work! (Ep 52)

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Are you tired of feeling like a professional procrastinator?

Well, I’ve got some awesome news for you! I’m sharing some amazing strategies for kicking procrastination to the curb and getting stuff done!

In this episode, we’re going to talk about three key tips that will help you get started on tasks and avoid putting them off until the last minute.

  • The 15-minute rule
  • The infuse fun rule.
  • And the two-minute rule.

Procrastination can be a real pain in the butt! Especially when it starts affecting important areas of our lives like relationships, business, or even our credit score. Yikes! That’s why I encourage you to identify areas in your life where important tasks have turned into urgent ones, causing stress, and to use the strategies to prevent this from happening.

So, my friend, if you’re ready to kick procrastination to the curb and start living your best life, let’s jump in! 

This episode will help: 
👉 You learn ways to stop procrastinating 
👉 When it’s actually okay to procrastinate (Yes there are times) 
👉 The Eisenhower Method

In this episode: 

3:08 The 15-Minute Rule 
6:13 The Infuse Fun Rule 
9:55 Touch It Once: The 2-Minute Rule
12:21 Using the Eisenhower Method 
15:05 When it’s actually okay to procrastinate 



15 Minute Rule

This one is so easy! Set a timer for 15 minutes (and only 15 minutes) and force yourself just to get started on a task. Once the 15 minutes are up, you can stop if you still hate it, but often, getting started is the hardest part, and it becomes easier to keep going once you’ve started!

I used this exact strategy to clean and organize my pantry and even start this podcast!

I also love using this rule with my kids when they are feeling especially overwhelmed. It could be cleaning their rooms, a school project….anything! This rule definitely helps!

Infuse FUN Rule

Let’s face it, some things we have to do as an adult just aren’t fun. They are boring, and we really don’t want to do it!

Taxes anyone?

Finding ways to make a task more enjoyable, such as playing dance music while moping or creating a mini cheeseboard to enjoy while working. By making a task feel less like drudgery, you’ll be more motivated to get it done.

Touch it ONCE: The 2-Minute Rule

And the third strategy is the two-minute rule, I learned this one from my dad 20 years ago when I got to come and work with him at his company. I had kind of a bad habit of putting certain things off and procrastinating. He taught me just to touch it once.

He said, “Leah, touch it once. If you can get it done in two minutes or less, then do it right then.” I have never forgotten that.

So I’m sharing it with you! If a task can be done in two minutes or less, just do it! Don’t put it off any longer. This helps keep productivity high and procrastination at bay.

Use the Eisenhower Method

I won’t go into too much here because I cover the Eisenhower Method in great detail in this episode, But essentially you use the Eisenhower Matrix to prioritize tasks and balance between small, simple tasks and deep work or project-focused time blocks.

If you’re ready to kick procrastination to the curb and start living your best life, try out these tips, and I know they can make a difference! Don’t forget that I love hearing your feedback and suggestions for future episodes, so hit reply to an email or send me a dm on Instagram!

Let’s conquer procrastination and live our best lives without compromising our homes, health, or happiness!

Links You Need:

I’d love to connect and know your thoughts on this episode. Find me on Instagram!

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Other Episodes You’ll Love:

How To Do A Brain Dump (Ep 41)

10 Simple Way To Find More Time (Ep 47)

[00:00:00] Leah: All of it is within balance.

[00:00:01] It’s balancing. Our lives. We cannot be productive robots all the time, and we can’t procrastinate so much that we end up in a level of stress and anxiety because we’re running up to the limit. 

[00:00:41] Welcome to the Balancing Busy Podcast. This is how you get yourself to do the thing that you just don’t feel like doing. At least it has definitely worked for me.

[00:00:58] Overcoming procrastination, it is no easy thing. Making the phone call, filling out the forms, paying the bill, answering the email, researching the thing, whatever. It is that you don’t like doing, I bet it tends to go back to the back of the list more than is good for you, more than is good for it. Maybe even more than is good for your credit score or your relationships.

[00:01:22] So often we just don’t feel like it. My girls and I, we have this joke that. Extrovert me, made the plans, and now introvert me has to follow through and show up for the plans. And it’s like that sometimes, isn’t it? Productive me made the commitment, but now that commitment is stuck with procrastination me.

[00:01:46] I don’t know what your it is. I procrastinate making nail appointments. I know that sounds so dumb, but I do. I wait until the color is like grown out halfway down my nail and I’m thinking, oh man, that looks horrible. I really need to make an appointment, but I just don’t find the actual act of getting my nails done relaxing.

[00:02:07] I love how they look when they’re done, but I don’t enjoy the process and so I seem to always procrastinate. Making the appointment, I was thinking about what else I’m really bad about procrastinating on my HOA dues. They’re always late and I just accept the $60 fee. That is the, if you didn’t pay the early bird rate, because it’s such a pain to pay.

[00:02:29] I do everything auto pay, and then you just get these few random bills where you actually have to write a check and have a stamp and that scenario and me, it is just not a good fit. So I end up procrastinating. So we all have the things and sometimes they’re way bigger, but everyone has those things that we’re just, we know we should do.

[00:02:50] We even maybe want to do it, I mean, in some sense, but we’re getting stuck. Here are my three favorite, favorite strategies for getting past procrastination and back into productivity.

[00:03:08] Our first strategy is the 15 minute rule. This one is so easy and it’s really just kind of playing a little trick with ourselves. It works great for your kids. It works great for you. It just works. Awesome. Here’s what I do. I set a timer for 15 minutes, no more than 15 minutes, and I just force myself to get started.

[00:03:30] I say, okay, you know what self, you only have to do it for 15 minutes. Then you are allowed to change your mind If you’re absolutely still hating it, and it is the worst, you get to stop, But guess what normally happens once I’ve started, once I’m 15 minutes in and that timer goes off. I just stop it and I keep going because now that I’m actually in it, it feels good.

[00:03:56] This works for everything from organizing the pantry to researching how to get your podcast on Apple. Yep. I totally used this exact strategy when I was starting my podcast because I was under the wire because I had totally procrastinated so long that my window for launching was now down to like the tiniest little we were within.

[00:04:17] 48 hours because I had made my, my launch date had to be before my 40th birthday, and I was like down to 48 hours left, so I couldn’t hire anyone at this point. I had waited too long. I had procrastinated too long, so I set a timer for 15 minutes. And the very first step was like tubing, how to get your podcast on Apple.

[00:04:40] And once I got started, it was not as scary as intimidating as I thought it was. And from there I just kept going and going. In fact, I caught the fire. I got so excited and obviously this podcast made it to light. So that was one of those times where I really did use the 15 minute rule.

[00:04:59] I love also using the 15 minute rule with the kids when they’re feeling, especially overwhelmed by something saying, Hey, you just need to get started. Let’s just set a timer for 15 minutes. You can stop if it still feels so hard. And that can be with cleaning their room. That can be with working on the school project.

[00:05:17] That can be with doing chores, but often. Those things that we’re intimidated by because of an overwhelm factor. That’s where I find the 15 minute rule to be so, so powerful. It’s when I’m looking at it and it just feels daunting. So I’m looking at the pantry and I’m thinking, this is gonna take me forever.

[00:05:35] This is gonna be so hard. I’m gonna need so many things, and I just get myself to start, or the podcast, or for my kids, it’s the research paper, whatever it might be. I love the 15 minute rule when the task feels daunting. So that’s what I use when something feels daunting. But what about when it has nothing to do with daunting.

[00:05:55] It’s just blah. It’s just that thing that you’re like, this is not how I wanna spend my time. I don’t enjoy this. There’s always something else I could do That is I. Ranked higher on the enjoyment scale than this. That’s when I use my infused fund rule. Now this one, I literally made it myself, so that that is the name I have given it infused fund rule.

[00:06:18] And this is where I try to figure out how can I make this more enjoyable? Like, how can I literally infuse fun into this not fun thing. I have tried anything and everything from bribing myself. You get to take yourself out to lunch right after you finish your quarterly tax report. I have done things where I create the ambiance or the mood, so I have this especially yummy candle that I picked up from anthropology.

[00:06:48] I keep some especially delicious dark chocolate in my drawer and sometimes it’s like, oh, it’s a candle and a chocolate moment. Or other times I’ll be like, okay, I’m gonna play some really fun music in the background. I’m gonna make a little mini cheese board. Cuz Hmm, I don’t know if there is ever a situation where a charcuterie board cannot make it better.

[00:07:09] I can’t think of one. I, I don’t know. Maybe you can think of one. DM me if you can, but I’m pretty sure. Charcuterie boards always make things better, so I’ll just bring that and create this little, this little setting, this little moment for myself that makes that thing that I have to do just feel a little more fun.

[00:07:29] It’s the blasting your super fun eighties, nineties playlist from, you know, your heyday in high school while you clean the house. It’s lighting the candle, and eating the delicious chocolate while you. Finish the tax report. It’s just infusing fun into those things that there is no way anyone can convince you that this is something that you want to do, but how can you just make the drudgery just a little more delightful, right?

[00:08:01] Like that’s truly the goal.

[00:08:03] And I saved maybe the very best rule for last. This is the two minute rule. My dad taught me this 20 years ago. I can actually remember it. I remember exactly where I was, where he was when I was 20 years old. I got to come work with my dad for a few years and it is truly. The best business experience I ever got to have.

[00:08:30] It is what gave me what I already knew. I loved business, but it rooted it so deeply into my soul that I knew entrepreneurship was who I am. There was no question, so my dad, my whole life growing up was a stockbroker. And then he retired and he retired when I was in high school, and he very clearly understood that he needed other things.

[00:08:54] And he started a yacht management company. We ourselves, had always had a boat, and he never really felt that anyone was as good at working on his boat than he was. He’s very, very meticulous. Uh, And, and so he decided, you know what? Since I can’t find anyone as good as me, I’m gonna start my own yacht management.

[00:09:16] He trained up teams and he taught them the way he would have it done. Well, I got to come in and work for him when I was 20, and he let me just, Give my ideas and then implement them. And it was incredible to get to see my ideas and then the outcomes that they could have for our company, how they would boost referrals, or how it boosted revenue, or how it increased our profitability.

[00:09:43] It was so, so powerful. But one habit that I had was frequently putting things off, and I remember there was a few things that needed to get taken care of and I kept putting ’em off and he said, Leah, Touch it once. If you can get it done in two minutes or less, then do it right then. And I have never forgotten the two minute rule.

[00:10:05] I have never forgotten that idea of touch it once. Don’t keep moving it from stack to stack, pile to pile unread to red, back to unread again. If you can do it in two minutes or less. Just do it right then. So, examples of where this strategy works incredibly well would be things like responding to an email, putting the cup in the dishwasher, getting all the details for the event right?

[00:10:32] Then I’m always shocked how often like a text sequence or an email sequence becomes like four or five, and I’m thinking, why, why is it taking this long? Just give all the details in the very first one. Uh, it could also be first scheduling the appointment, making your bed. Replying to the text, resetting the room.

[00:10:51] So these would be all great examples where you can use the two minute rule to just get it done, touch it once. The obvious pro of this strategy is that you’re not putting things off that could so easily just be finished. The con, and I do think this is important to just recognize and talk about, is that you need to be careful that you’re not jumping from thing to thing, which will actually inevitably slow you down.

[00:11:17] So if I’m jumping from my inbox to the dishwasher, to the laundry room, to the garden, I don’t know why you would go to all those different places. That just would not make sense. But if I was, then now I’m slowing down. And this is why I love batch processing, right? So, I might carve out some time and I’m going through my inbox, and instead of moving that email back to unread, if I know I can respond, get it done in two minutes or less, or I think I can, I’m gonna try to do that and I’m gonna get those ones done, sent back off and be able to finish them up.

[00:11:53] Then ones that are going to take longer, I just save those until I’ve gotten all the two minute ones. Done and then I finish the longer ones as much as I can during that time block that I set, and then I’ll come back and work on more email in the next time. Block. But what I find really powerful is that you can just get things done that you keep putting off.

[00:12:14] What I think is important to be careful of is that we want to not be going from thing to thing to thing, but also back in episode 41, we talked about when your brain is at capacity and using brain dumps with the Eisenhower Matrix. Well, the Eisenhower Matrix, we really, really talked about how important Quadrant two is, and if you remember, Quadrant two is the important but not urgent.

[00:12:38] These are the needle movers that truly move your goals forward. They’re what create your best life, but they often get neglected because they’re never urgent. So it’s really, really important that there is this balance between those small, simple two minute tasks and getting ’em done. And then those bigger tasks that are the.

[00:13:02] Important but not urgent, and carving out and scheduling real time to make those things happen.

[00:13:08] But I will say it’s really, really important to make sure that we do this balance. So there’s this balance of getting those simple, small tasks done. Those. Two minute type items, but then also having blocks of time, which is the deep work or really it’s project focused time blocks, and you’re using this beautiful combination in your schedule of the deep work, working on those things that are important but not urgent.

[00:13:32] And then also scheduling time where you’re just crushing the urgent things where it’s like, boom, email sent back, done next, and you’re just moving forward through those, those different projects. I like alternating between those two things in my schedule and just giving myself a little bit of time for both.

[00:13:50] I will say that using that 15 minute rule and the fun refusal rule work fantastic with quadrant two, that important but not urgent. Cuz those are things that often do feel a little more daunting, a little more intimidating, or they’re just things that.

[00:14:07] You keep meaning to get to, but you’re not. And infusing some fun or giving yourself the 15 minute rule can really, really be powerful. Maybe you want to write a book, and so this is an important, but it’s not urgent, and so you decide that you’re gonna have this ritual that’s just really enjoyable. It’s fun infused that you sit down and do for 15 minutes every single day to make progress on your book.

[00:14:33] Or maybe it’s a task, like you wanna start a podcast and there’s some research you need to do and it’s just felt daunting and intimidating. So you’re like, okay, setting a 15 minute tire me, I’ve blocked out time. I’m going to work on this important but not urgent task, and I’m going to use the 15 minute rule.

[00:14:50] So you can see how each of these rules can help you in a very specific situation of procrastination to help you just elevate. And become more productive more of the time. 

[00:15:03] Now, there are times where it is definitely not a good thing to procrastinate if it’s hurting your relationships. If it is. Hurting your business because you’re looking bad, because you’re not doing what you said you were gonna do when you said you were gonna do it. If it’s hurting your credit score because the bills are late, then we need to use these rules and we need to implement them so that you are getting things done when you need to get things done.

[00:15:29] But sometimes, sometimes it just feels so good to blow it all off and say, you know what? I think a nap. Would fix just about anything and everything right now. Or maybe it’s like, Hey, I just need a moment and I am going to pause and just enjoy something that lets me zone out and then come back. All of it is within balance.

[00:15:56] It’s balancing. Our lives. We cannot be productive robots all the time, and we can’t procrastinate so much that we end up in a level of stress and anxiety because we’re running up to the limit. I think one of the most real examples of this is your yearly taxes. Okay? So we know they’re coming from January 1st.

[00:16:21] You’re getting all the information. I think we have it all by February, early February. And how many people are waiting till the last 24 or 48 hours in April to get that in? You just took something that had been important but wasn’t urgent, and you turned it into urgent and important, which now elevates the stress.

[00:16:39] If we can carve out that time, use things like the 15 minute Rule or fun refusal, if we can do that earlier on, it doesn’t have to become stress. We could even use the two minute rule. Boy, every single time you’re getting. One more thing that goes with your taxes. You’re grabbing it, printing it, putting it into a, either a true paper folder or a folder on your desktop that is for taxes, so that when it’s time, you’re already a little bit more organized.

[00:17:08] So there’s a very real example for you of where I think. Important but not urgent. Turns into urgent and important. And with that, stress levels go up. So look for in your life, what are those things?

[00:17:20] Where are the areas where you went from? It was important but not urgent to it suddenly shifted to urgent and important, and now the stress level came up. And how can you use one of these? Three strategies to have that happen less so that you can balance the busy. Okay, that’s it for this episode. I hope that you’ve enjoyed it and I cannot wait to hear from you and see which one you try.

[00:17:47] All of them, one of them DM me, shoot me an email. I love hearing from you and if there’s a topic you specifically want me to address, I want to know that too. This is the Balancing Busy podcast where we learn strategies and ideas and simple tips that are going to help us live our very best life and do all the things, but without compromising our home, our health, or our happiness.

[00:18:16] All right. I’ll see you next time. 



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