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A Simple Trick to Beat Procrastination

Ali Abdaal
Ali Abdaal

Hey friends,

As you know, I’m all about finding little hacks and mindset shifts that boost my productivity and help me live a happier, more intentional life.

One that my brother mentioned on our podcast last week was a trick for combatting procrastination.

As you know, it’s way too easy to fall into an infinite pool like scrolling through twitter, browsing instagram and the like. Often we find ourselves doing it without really thinking, and then before we know it, an hour’s gone and we’re feeling terrible about ourselves.

But there’s something we can do about this - when we notice ourselves doing something useless (like scrolling through Twitter or Instagram), we can ask ourselves “What do I actually want to be doing right now?”

In some cases, the answer might well be “I want to be aimlessly scrolling through Twitter”, in which case continue my good friend. You’re winning because you’re being intentional about how you spend your time.

But in most other cases, I suspect the answer might be “I probably don’t want to be scrolling through Twitter right now. Instead I want to be writing my daily journal”. And then, having had that thought, we’d be 10x more likely to stop scrolling twitter and instead do the thing we actually want to do.

I really like this tactic because it reminds us that what we do with our time is entirely within our own control.

“I just can’t stop myself from going on Twitter” is a myth. It’s not heroin. We can simply choose to not waste time on it, if that’s what we want. Sometimes we just need a little nudge, to remind ourselves that we’re in control.

Have a great week!

Ali

PS: The channel hit 1 million subscribers this week. Huge huge thank you to everyone for the support over the past 3 years <3


My Favourite Things This Week

1 - Article - Even with short articles, Seth Godin still manages to deliver key messages. In this article he shows how an how even a small shift in mindset can produce significant results.

2 - Book - I’ve started listening to Six of Crows, a fantasy series by Leigh Bardugo. So far, it’s incredible and it’s filling the hole in my heart from when I finished the Wheel of Time series a few weeks ago.

Quote of the Week

Life is too short to waste, but it is also too long to be a pessimist or nihilist. Whatever you’re doing now is just a stepping-stone to the next project or adventure.

From The 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss. Resurfaced using Readwise.

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Ali Abdaal

Junior doctor, YouTuber, web designer, aspiring musician. Trying out this blogging thing.