It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end. —Leonardo da Vinci
To avoid procrastination at work, I use a rule I like to call “the zero-second rule”: the moment I realize that I’m wasting my time to avoid work, I immediately stop whatever unproductive thing I’m doing and start working.
If I let myself ponder whether I want to start working or not, my resistance will only grow, and soon, it will be so difficult to overcome that I may fail to accomplish anything productive for the rest of the day.
This trick works because (like Leonardo da Vinci said) resistance is greatest at the beginning. Once you start performing an unpleasant task and gain some momentum, it’s easier to stick to the task than to give up and return to procrastination.
Whenever you catch yourself putting off something unpleasant, act right away and deal with it now. The sooner you act, the sooner you’ll be done with it.
For example, I always wash the cookware I used to cook my dinner before I eat my meal. This way I can eat my dinner without the unpleasant thought in the back of my mind that I’ll not only have to wash the dishes, but also the pots and pans I used for cooking.
Small habits like that can help establish a habit of choosing to do the hard things now instead of letting all the hard tasks accumulate like a backlog at work. When you adopt this habit, you’ll greatly reduce the impact of procrastination on your life — and enjoy more tranquility to boot!