So, once I finally got out of bed, I turned everything off. I changed clothes, and I gave myself 20 minutes to do something. It didn’t matter what I did; this wasn’t about the task, it was about resetting. I looked around, chose an easy, achievable task that would make a recognizable change in my environment, and got to work.
Tip: To get out of a procrastination spiral, stop trying to do the big things you’ve been putting off. Instead, ask yourself to complete an unrelated task that you know you’ll be able to achieve.
Of course, I didn’t do that. I could have swept the front room. I could have tweezed my eyebrows or done a face mask. I could have vacuumed my car or played a game of Scrabble. Instead, even though I should have known better (even though I did know better), I opened my computer, jumped into the most difficult task on my to-do list, and immediately wanted to cry.
If I’d actually snapped myself out of procrastination mode by doing an unrelated task, this would’ve been the time to rework my to-do list into a not-to-do list, bumping any tasks that took a lot of mental energy or finesse to the next day, updating anyone who’d be affected by my delay (as I successfully did a couple of weeks ago), and attempting instead only those things that I could be relatively sure I’d actually succeed at.
This would have been a great time to, for example, empty my spam folders or run all those computer updates I’ve been putting off for months—tasks that are simple, take minimal brain power, and give you that kind of ahhhhh, how refreshing why didn’t I do that ages ago? feeling when you’re done.