Productivity Booster: Decide to Have Fun Doing It & Enjoy Taking Any Action

It's funny, every time I ask my subscribers questions like: "Where are you stuck right now?" "How could things be better?" "If I could wave a magic wand and fix one thing about you to improve your live, what would it be?"

A very very very small percentage of people tell me things like: I need to improve this conversion rate by 1%... or I need to finish this product...

Most of the people who respond to me tell me they have a deeper problem: lack of focus, not being organized, time management, overwhelm, lack of creativity, or lack of productivity...

Why You Are Where You Are

The good news is these problems are easy to solve. Then why doesn't every one solve them? A few reasons...

First, it takes a lot of existing time and energy to break your existing habits. You'll actually put more work and effort into staying the way you are, even if it's "easier" to act a different way -- more on that in a minute.

Second, it's even easier to regress into your previous self. Think about "that one time" you took a morning run, "that one time" you went to the gym after a New Year's Resolution and then never went back, "that one time" you paid for advertising? Being a productive person is a continuous process, not a one time event!

Third, you self-sabotage yourself every step of the way. Don't feel bad, we all do it. I can't go drive to that place because I can't find my phone. I can't lift weights at the gym because I brought the wrong color shorts. I'm going to cut my run short because the battery in my iPod died. I can't run a webinar because that would mean I actually FINISHED something!

Are we agreed then? We all have a focus/productivity problem, we need to make a PERMANENT change and in a way "outsmart" ourselves to be better... BUT at the same time, we can't "just snap out of it" or "force ourselves to do it" because we won't repeat the process. Here's what you need to do instead...

How to Change Your Own Mind

Let me ask you something, do you enjoy every day going to the dentist, mowing the lawn, and doing the dishes? PROBABLY NOT!

I ask because this last week, I visited a dentist for the first time in 8 years. Don't worry, nothing was hurting, and it turns out I had no cavities. Why did I go? Because it was the right thing to do.

I thought to myself, if they find anything wrong... the damage has already been done, at least they caught it before it got any worse, I can stop worrying about it and I'm better than most people because I'm going to have a good attitude about thing this easy step.

This month, I also fired my landscaper and hired a new one. I've been meaning to get rid of this guy for a while. He stopped pulling the weeds, let the bushes grow into the walkways, began mowing the grass very unevenly, and somehow managed to break most of the sprinklers with his lawnmower.

It's something I've been meaning to do for a while... until one day, I looked out at that misshapen brown lawn and thought, I'm embarrassed to live here. One phone call, hi I'd like to terminate service, do I owe you anything, thanks bye... a second phone call, are you taking on new customers, here's the services I need, what day can you do it, here's my payment information, done.

There are two ways of looking at that. One way, "I have to get rid of this stupid idiot who can't mow my lawn." "Why does my yard suck so much." "I have to make these stupid phone calls." "I have to shell out even more money."

Or, how about this? Everything's been running on autopilot for a while, but it's no longer working out. The landscaper has other business, he has no problem with being fired. Things are a little bit broken, but I'll make two quick phone calls to fix it. And imagine how neat, clean, crisp, trimmed and green the yard will look once this new guy comes in and fixes things.

How This Affects You

You know that optin page you just can't get yourself to finish installing? That Kindle book you can't finish writing? Autoresponder broadcast email you can't seem to write and send?

Here's what WON'Tget you to do it:

  • Thinking you'll do it later
  • "Forcing" yourself to "just do it"
  • Ignoring the problem or hoping things will just be better
  • Being a victim and enjoying your failure
Here's what WILLget you to do it:

  • Deciding that it's the right thing to do
  • Find a good reason to do it (even a silly one)
  • Separate the issues you need "let go" of and the ones you should tackle head-on right now
  • Have fun doing it so that you won't think twice about it

And if you still doubt me... have you ever found yourself cleaning your apartment because you had an important term paper due? Because one was more "fun" and pleasurable than the other.

Have you ever washed your car or cleaned the dishes because you were delaying making some important phone call? Exactly.

Look... you can let this behavior guide you in one of two ways: self sabotage & procrastination (feeling that your unimportant tasks are more "fun" than the important ones)...

Or, focused action & productivity. First figure out what important task you need to do, then justify with it logic. And finally rationalize the following things:

  1. How taking action on that task will give you more pleasure than pain
  2. How NOT taking that action will give you more pain than pleasure
  3. How to enjoy taking that simple action, and have fun doing it, so you'll do it now, you'll do it quickly, and you'll do it over and over again

Question: What's something you've been delaying that you know you should be doing? It's ok if it's something simple, please don't include details if you are too embarrassed ... and what would get you to do it right away?

Filed in: MindsetProductivity

Comments (28)

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  1. bob marconi says:

    PROCRANSTINATION – The bane of my existence!

    Something I’ve always struggled with all my life. And it’s worse now since my stroke. Under these conditions you just want to let it all go, feeling it won’t improve.

  2. Jay Venka. says:

    Get it out FAST and then perfect it later… trying to be perfect and keep working without deadlines is another issue and reason for not getting things done…

    Jay Venka.

  3. serena says:

    hmm what do I procrastinate with? sometimes i am doing so much I think I am procrastinating cos I can’t keep up with myself. Setting up systems is part of my procrastination

  4. Myles says:

    Why do today what can be put off until tomorrow.This attitude although popular always leaves a nagging little voice in your head that says I’m going to pay latter with interest.

  5. Wendy Owen says:

    I have been procrastinating a lot lately, partly because I don’t know WHAT to do. There is so much conflicting advice on SEO going around, I don’t know which bit to follow.

    Consequently I have decided not to do anything until I’m sure. So I’m enjoying a bit of a break!


  6. I’m still learning from you, as I’m trying to achieve my goals. I definitely love reading all that is written on your blog.Keep the posts coming. I enjoyed it!

  7. Lou Conklin says:

    I just started a new website so, I need to drive traffic to it. It’s not a fun task but, it needs to be done if I expect the website to be successful. If I had a few people signup to the site, that may be just what I need to motivate me into looking for unique ways to aquire more traffic.

    All the best,

    Lou Conklin

    P.S. Please help to motivate me and visit my site and consider joining, it’s FREE! I don’t know if I’m allowed to include the url to my site, just delete it and this PS if I’m not. Thanks!!

  8. Jan says:


    I just love this kind of input! It helps anyone to stay on track and to reconsider what has happend latly. Most of thend to forget where we are and where we are going from time to time so reminders is always welcomed.

    Take action and then adjust is one of the most important aspects of getting things done. Most of the time we are all of track like 90% of the time and we need those small adjustment to change direction again.

    Thanks a lot for your input.


  9. Cararta says:

    I have this dreadful task…Had a server all the keywords, titles and descriptions for SEO are missing from the articles for one of my sites. Afraid to check the others. Course I have a BC stored…
    Remembered I bought a plugin that will do that for you, and seo all your old articles.
    Saw Robert’s post….now a distraction as I was looking for the download email for the plugin.
    Help….No Help!
    Distractions are my big problem… here, zip there,
    get nothing completed.

  10. Chuck Neal says:

    As for the topic of productivity, there is a simple answer which could be and is “to do something today to get results today” Doing it every minute of our life is being productive in itself. for example looking for a full time job, I’m sure every one lately has dealt with this or heard the pain of others as they express there difficulties today as our economy erodes and crumbles, or the ones that are dealing with foreclosure issues, I know of one person that has been fighting almost everyday for the last 3 years, or what about keeping the electric and phones on! Witch affects our ability to use our internet connection and keeping up with the ever changing internet on a daily basis! What you do that is acceptable today will remain that way for tomorrow.
    Or how about taking care of the ones we love most which is over whelming in itself, Home health care issues for in house nursing just like the example of the lawn care attendant staying on top of everything to make sure the job gets done right!
    Now there is the for ending phone ringing 10 hrs a day 6 days out of the week, don’t you just whish that you could turn it off?
    It all has to due to the attorney’s, banks, utilities company’s and collection agents calling, WOW if we could only out source that one, than you truly could and would be productive.
    To sum up productivity “No One Person Can Due It Alone!”
    This all in my opinion and opinion only.
    So why does everyone not have a favercon? Wouldn’t you like to know who you are addressing or speaking to? It is a trade mark of who you are and branding of recognition
    Well can’t write for ever, even thou one could, it’s time to be productive!

  11. Hey Robert

    You actually mentioned sone if the things I need to do to grow my business. Such as create my optin page, write a follow up email sequence, outline a product and get working on it. I have plenty to offer after many years studying IM but of course I realize procrastination is killing any success I could have in making real money.

    Thanks for your great and timely reminder. I have recently been reading books on procrastination instead of acting doing the work. A friend turned me on to Steven Pressfield and over the last 3 days I’ve read his ‘the art of war’ ‘just do the work’ and ‘turning pro’. They were all great books which all talk about procrastination as ‘resistance’ and how to overcome and slay this deathly beast. I highly recommend these any if these books, they will help you see procrastination in a different light.

    Anyway, thanks again Robert. I’m going to be working on my goals today!

    ~ Ricky Britton

  12. Oh typo city.. I should have had that coffee this morning before I left that comment 😊 plus using on my IPhone didnt help..

    ~Ricky Britton

  13. Derek Aitken says:

    Procrastination! It’s stopping me playing the self hypnosis tape to help cure my procrastination. I really need help!

  14. I have had a fear of using an auto-responder even though I have the proper messages to put in it… I have read a book titled “Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway…” this week it will be my goal to get a campaign completed… Thank you for the poke, and for your timely advice…

  15. Dave says:

    Problem is, sometimes procrastination makes my work product better.

    I’ve had a writing assignment on my docket for a couple of months now: about 15 short articles for a book an associate is putting together. High quality content (about 2/3’s of which has never appeared in any form before) that will be given to a top-shelf marketer. He gets most every dollar he can make for the sale and we get all the back end.

    I did some of the original writing in advance but it wasn’t very good. Now that we’re close to the deadline the potential $$ are closer to me and I have more incentive to get it done. The content is seasonal too, and we are much closer to that season so my juices are flowing. The words are flowing much easier now. And the quality is up too.

    I can’t work like this all of the time. But for this particular project procrastination produced palpable payoff.

  16. Mike G says:

    I was just about to leave my comment here and then got distracted by an email about the latest and greatest, shiny object, killer WSO.

    So off I go to investigate further and spend money on something I’ll start to read, start to watch video, or start to implement and then never finish because I’m off to the next greatest thing.

    Wait…I did make it back here to leave my comment. But the above is my problem, and it has been hard to break.


  17. Hey Robert! Nice post. I had to laugh when you wrote about your lawn guy. I did the same thing recently. After 15 years, he just got lazy and sloppy. I put it off..after all, he had been doing it for SO long. Then, one day I said Enough is Enough. That afternoon, the guy who cleans my pool was out there and I asked him if he knew anyone who would do my lawn (over 2 acres), for XXX amount. He said, “I will. I’m expanding my business.” This guy is awesome, so I jumped on it, and called the lawn guy and thanked him for his service over the past years, but told him it was ending. I wish I had done it last year.

    Another example…I had heard of people who have VA’s and as my offline marketing business has grown exponentially, I could not go further without help. One day, I decided “Enough is Enough.” In 24 hours, I had two really good Filipinos who were qualified and I couldn’t decide. So, I hired them both! Now, I have two fantastic full time employees who are making my life easier. Should have done it last year, and my income would be higher today.

    Today, my “get it done” thing is to find the project management software that is right for me. I will have decided before the day is over.

    I’ve seen (again) how easy it is to build a 6-figure income with focus and the right people and tools in place.

    You’ve reminded me I need to go to the dentist. Yuk.

    I hope you and Lance are doing well. Looks like we’re not in the same circles anymore, but I’m glad we met, and I’ll be visiting your blog from time to time.

    Here’s hoping you have a fantastic day!


  18. James Elliott says:

    The $47 to day is inpossable. The $.99 to day I could do but in two weeks the $47 wouldn’t be there. Why? Because I am on Social Security and one check a month is all I get. Almost $1000 of my check goes to the house payment and the auto payments that come out of my check every month. I don’t get much more than that. Yes the amount I paid into SS when I worked was not enough to pay me more. This has been a problem for years.

    Would like to do this but will have to wait.


  19. Ann Moore says:

    Taking fast action then ironing out the wrinkles later. I have spent countless hours with “chores” as an excuse for not taking action, after all I am a Mom.

    Robert, you are right, many times I have been left with discouraging thoughts, “What if I had…”

    This week I found out how much I love writing when I jumped on a little known site called iWriter. Here I took fast action, provided article content for others and already made money!

    I have put off freelance writing for years with many, many excuses…my spelling, how my brain mixes languages being both Spanish and English native speaker, the kids, the chores, my husband, etc. etc.

    Recently, I came across an opportunity to do some freelance writing for a tax site…I would love the challenge to take the boring subject of Tax and make it something excitine…I do not even have a cover page but I already wrote an article they would appreciate.

    They want another article sample, even a published one, would be fine. I was making excuses again…fear of rejection and so on…but the lessons I learned on iWriter this week was rejection is o.k. just makes me work harder in something I am passionate about.

    My secret excuse for applying to the tax site was I needed to write another article…but like I said a published one is fine, they just want to know if my writing style is what they are looking for and they plan to give the subjects…I big plus for me.

    So, what am I waiting for? Thanks so much, Robert.
    I am out of here talk to you all later.

  20. Jay says:

    Robert, as always you make complete sense. I’ve got too many interests and too many irons in the fire. My next week is blocked out for a business/family trip, but the week after I’m clearing my calendar to concentrate four hours a day on nothing but Membership Cube. Thanks for your insights and encouragement.

  21. Richard says:

    Yes Robert, you’re 100% correct. I keep putting off something that is very simple to do. Actually, I end up putting off a lot of things that are quite simple to do.

    The main issue is one requiring a simple membership script that forces a payment through paypal, and allows a person access to a site and autoresponder list.

    Yes, I know you sell the perfect solution… So why haven’t I bought it yet? I’ve spent over $500 in the last month or so on other stuff, so it’s not a case of no money.

    I guess its because with all the other stuff I still have somebody holding my hand, making the banners, doing the copy, and tracking everything for me. Launching my own ‘product’ leaves me feeling like it will be a disaster before the first ad is published. I don’t feel quite ‘ready’ for it.

    So, how can I make it fun? Seriously, the fun part for me is all the research. I guess it would be like somebody starting a trucking company, but wanting to spend their time at all the truck shows. Oh well, I’ll figure it out.

    Thanks for all your great advice and tips over the last couple of years. I’ve come a long way from the sandbox days.

  22. Michele says:

    Oh poo… why do you have to be so right? My biggest problems are:

    1) procrastination to the point of it becoming an art,
    2) not finishing projects – always leaving the last little bits undone ie: not seeing the whole thing through
    3) pretending that buying and reading all these latest WSO is actually helping me when it is just distracting me and giving me an excuse to go back to point 1) procrastinate.

    The circle of failure and hard to kick because it has become an ingrain habit.

    I really need to go cold turkey and start all over again.

  23. Adam Porter says:

    Market Research.

    None of my hobbies or skills are clear-cut enough to form an ‘enjoyable’ business around. I’ve got a huge list of ideas, but I just haven’t gone through them to determine which may work the best, which to try first, how to test each market quickly and cheaply, etc.

  24. What great content you have on your site. Such quality and professionalism is a breath of fresh air.

    You certainly deserve a round of applause for this post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material.

    I’m finding out so much from you as I have an interest in providing my local area with the information they need to showcase thier business on the Internet locally.

    Your content is just perfect for that!

    I’ll definetly be coming back for more…often!

    Thank you so much, keep up the good work (two thumbs up)!

  25. David Bibby says:

    Thank you for this timely post and call to action!

    I was reading a book and I was delaying finishing a project website I’ve been working on for a few weeks.

    I feel silly for my excuse not to put the book down: “I have no suitable bookmark!”

    So.. thank you for the slap on the forehead.

    I’m putting the book down and I’m getting back to the project I need to finish by the end of this month.

    David Bibby

  26. Robert –

    Great post! It just takes too much effort to change. Just like you (and Jeanne) talked about with your landscaper, I want to share my funny story.

    I am in the process of purchasing my Father-In-Law’s house. He will be staying with us a few months of the year, and then he will be in FL a few months of the year. Since it is “too hot” in FL in the summer, he is up here now.

    His lawn service is run by a private individual. I want to change to the individual that used to do my lawn at my old house. However, my FIL says he cannot terminate the service because when he calls, the voice mailbox is full.

    This has been going on all season long.

    If a change is really wanted, we all can find a way to make it happen.

    It is all about priorities!


    Be Well.

  27. Leah4sci says:

    Alas I have been postponing creating my new video series for my business all last year, but I think I’m finally on track and getting the wheels in motion

  28. Shelley says:

    Well, to help me beat procrastination I have signed up for the oxfam 100km team endurance trailwalker / fundraising challenge in April 2013 – I have to get fit – or I will be letting down myself and my team. Each team of 4 has to raise at least $1000 – I have strategies in place for that. I keep it at the forefront of my mind as often as possible and take action to be continually increasing my fitness and readiness. I am using the same strategies for other areas of my life too. I once read somewhere – “cooking without recipes” I think it was, that if you start achieving results in one area of your life it will flow over into other areas and that is what’s happening, if anyone would like to donate to the oxfam challenge to help irradiate extreme poverty you can do so here:

    Thanks for your post Robert, I find your insights invaluable. Shelley

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