Tip for Getting Things Done: Don’t Consult Yourself

There’s a vulnerable moment in the process of getting a chore done. It’s that tiny half-second flash of a thought where I take inventory as to how I’m feeling and whether I want to actually do it. Most of the time, when I stop to ask myself this, I don’t do it.

Words popped into my head before a workout one day: “Don’t consult yourself!

I don’t need to ask myself if I feel like working out—or doing the dishes or straightening the office or any of the thousand other chores I could put off if I want to—I already know I should. No need to revisit the subject. There’s nothing more to reason out.

The voice in my head is quite the talker. He can smooth his way out of any commitment, no matter how much he told me yesterday he’s all in. I’ve realized one of the best things I can do is just close my ears. There’s no new information. He doesn’t need to be consulted. He needs to be ignored.

Once I realized that this is the beginning of procrastination, I started jumping in more. Then I realized a second thing that might be even more powerful: once I start in, he almost always shuts up in a matter of seconds.

You already know what you need to do. Don’t consult yourself. Future you will love you for it.

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