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Tricks for Combatting Procrastination | Tim Ferriss

Let’s talk about it.
It’s a big topic.
And by the way we all face it.
这个话题始终热度不减不是没有原因的 甚至是出现在杂志封面上的名人
It is a ever present evergreen issue for a reason and even the people you see on magazine
除了少部分人 他们大部分都会拖延
covers, most of them, there are a few mutants, but they all have things they put off.
我从Tim Ferriss的节目嘉宾那里
And there are a few different tactics, approaches that I found very helpful that I’ve borrowed
from, whether it’s guests on the Tim FerrissShow or people I interviewed for Tools of
学到了许多有用的方法和策略 下面开讲
Titans my newest book, here we go.
So down the list.
So one is break it down into the smallest action conceivable.
And there are a few different types here.
So if you have a macro goal, which is double the number of podcast downloads per episode.
All right.
I’m just giving that as an example.
那么我们需要调整它 使它更真正切实可行
Well, we need to modify that to make it really actionable.
首先要使它变得超级超级具体 因而我们至少需要一条时间线
So the first is making it hyper, hyper specific so we need a timeline at the very least.
比如 在六个月内翻番 让播客的下载翻番
So let’s say within six months doubling, and this is a real example for me, doubling the
number of podcast downloads.
下载是永不停止的 在那个时间点计算下载量呢
Well, downloads are ongoing so by what point in time?
好的 我想要视频上线后 到第六周每集博客下载量的数字翻倍
All right, I want to double the number of podcast downloads per episode by week six
after publication and I want to accomplish that within six months.
All right.
于是乎我们可以借鉴David Allen 达成这个目标
And then we can borrow from David Allen and just ask what are some of the prerequisites,
the component pieces of doing that?
Let’s break it out into say content and organic.
你可以得到它 你列一长串这些可能的大量的
You could have it paid acquisition, you make a long list of these potential buckets of
当你做完这些事情后 你可以很直接的知道你下一步
From there you would look at next physical actions, and this is directly from getting
things done.
你可以把这个方法运用到你任务清单中的任意数字 我们假设有十件事
And you could apply that to any number of these, let’s just say it’s ten buckets but
你可以问自己一个问题 这个问题在我因为
you would ask yourself, this is a question I ask myself very often when I’m procrastinating
犹豫不决而拖延的时候会经常问到我自己 当然犹豫不决也是拖延的一种
because there is indecision, and this is a particular breed of procrastination.
这个问题就是 如果我的代办清单上有十件事情 或者有十件我可以买的东西
In other words if I have ten things on my to do list or ten potential products I could
pursue what to do in that situation?
对于我 我问自己 如果完成了这里的哪一件事情 会让剩下的有关联或
And what I ask myself is which one of these if done will make the rest the relevant or
这是一个我一直以来问的重要问题 做了这里面的哪一件事情
This is a key question I ask all the time, which one of these will make all the rest
会让剩下的事情更容易做 或者是让剩下的事情变得不相关 从而不用去做
easier to do if done first, or all the rest irrelevant, don’t even need to do them.
That is how I will hone in on one piece of the puzzle.
And this can be applied all over the place.
我们刚刚说的是播客下载量翻倍 我们也可以讨论减肥
But let’s just say it’s the doubling podcast, it could be losing weight, you can see that’s
very, very amorphous.
We need timelines.
We need an amount to lose.
And then you want to make it as small as possible.
So I’ll give you a different example.
如果你想开始洁牙 谁会喜欢洁牙?
If you want to start flossing your teeth, who likes flossing their teeth?
Pretty much nobody.
So how do you start flossing your teeth?
Well, you want to make it as easy as possible to develop as part of your routine, to make
it as automatic as anything else that you do consistently.
你可以引用曾经在斯坦福大学和其他地方做过大量研究的BJ Fogg的一句话
And you could borrow from the say BJ Fogg who’s done a lot of research at Stanford and
”让它尽可能的小” 意思是刚开始你要做的比你能做的事情
elsewhere, make it as small as possible, meaning in the beginning do less than you’re capable
of doing.
这就是关键 尤其当你认为一些任务太大或太艰巨
So this is another key when you think something is too big or onerous, so it’s too intimidating
or it’s too much of a pain in the ass.
So for flossing you might say I’m only going to floss my front two teeth.
That’s three gaps.
That’s all you’re going to do.
And you want to make it, again, as easy as possible.
So you might use a WaterPik or you might use those disposable flossing gadgets so you don’t
这样你就不用拿着止血带 当然要用止血带也是阻止我们洁牙的
have to do tourniquets on your fingers, which is also one of the side effects of flossing
that deters people.
Make it as easy as possible.
Now this applies to a lot more than flossing.
因此为了《巨人的工具》我跟很多人聊过 这些人都是
So I’ve talked to many of the people for say Tools of Titans, people who are eight time
纽约时报的畅销作家 或是著名音乐家 歌曲创作者
New York Times best-selling authors or prolific musicians, prolific music producers
比如传奇制作人里克鲁宾 所有这些都是千里之行始于足下
like Rick Rubin who is legendary, and it all comes down to tiny homework assignments.
像如果里克鲁宾有一个艺术家突然没灵感时 他会说你明天工作的时候能给我你正在创作的这首歌
So Rick if he has a stuck artist, for instance, he will say can you get me one word or one
你可能喜欢的一个词或是一段谱子吗 这可能吗?
line that you might like for this song that you’re working on by tomorrow, is that possible?
Many, many homework assignments.
So with the creative project in the beginning that’s one
我从尼尔·斯特劳斯那里得到的建议之一 尼尔·斯特劳斯是
It’s related to a piece of advice that I got from Neil Strauss, eight times New York times
纽约时报畅销作者 他曾为纽约时报和滚石杂志撰稿
best selling author, he has written for The New York Times, he’s written for Rolling Stone
他给出的建议是 降低你的标准
Magazine, and that is lower your standards.
So he doesn’t believe in writer’s block.
He says your standards are just too high.
You’re creating performance anxiety for yourself.
所以我从另一个作家那里得到的和他匹配的建议是 每天坚持写
So the advice that I got from another writer, which matches with that, is two crappy pages
per day.
所以大部分人都是 我一定完成它
So a lot of people are like I’m going to kill it.
I need an ambitious goal.
我要为我的书每天写1500字 2000字
Let me do 1500 words, 2000 words per day for this book I’m working on.
好吧 这样很大的可能你会只进行了一小半你就感到泄气
Well, there is a very high probability that you’re going to fall short of that and then
然后你会对任务感到害怕 随后 你会开始
you will get demoralized, then you will get intimidated by the task and then you’ll start
所以 将障碍和成功的门槛设置的低一些 再低一些
So make the hurdle, make the success threshold really, really low.
That’s what I’ve done for my last three books is two crappy pages per day.
That’s all I need.
如果我没有做到 那也没关系 我只需要放弃这两页
If I don’t end up using them that’s fine I just need to get out two crappy pages.
What ends up happening?
洁牙 写作 锻炼等都很适用 如果你新年的决心是准备开始锻炼
With the flossing, with the writing, with say exercise, if you’re going to exercise
you’re making a New Year’s Resolution, don’t make it an hour a day four times a week, no,
且如果你没有锻炼的习惯 那每周去三次体育馆 每次坚持5到10分钟
no, no, and if you don’t have an exercise habit five to ten minutes at the gym three
times a week, plenty.
And in all those cases you will feel successful because you’ve checked your box for success
and then very often you will exceed that for extra credit.
你将会是 噢我已经在体育馆了那就再锻炼10分钟吧
You’ll be like oh I’m already at the gym I’ll go for an extra ten minutes.
好吧 我已经清理了我的牙齿那就再清理四颗吧
Well, I’m already flossing my teeth I’ll do an extra four.
好吧 我已经完成了我的两页书但是我现在感觉很好很有灵感
Well, I’ve already hit my two pages but I’m feeling great and I’m in the flow, maybe I’ll
do ten, maybe I’ll do 20.
But it prevents you from feeling like a failure.
这非常 非常重要
This is very, very important.
就是因为这 才让许多人半途而废并且让任务清单困难的吓人
That is what derails a lot of people and it also makes the task list intimidating.
So those are a few recommendations for avoiding procrastination.
Some of them are time related.
所以当你面对任务时 我们已经讨论过如何拆分它
So if you are looking at a task, and we’ve already talked about chunking it down, if
如果这个任务巨大而又繁重 甚至可能会
it looks gigantic an onerous and you calculate in your mind well that’s probably going to
消耗你几百个小时或者是三周时间 这时候你面对任务时 你不会想迈出第一步
take me a hundred hours or three weeks, however you look at it, you don’t take the first step
because it’s like taking a bite out of a whale or something like that.
举个例子 你可以用这个方法 番茄工作法
So you can use the technique, for instance, like the pomodoro technique.
这个方法人们有不同解释 但主要是指在20或25分钟内对任务的完全
And people have interpreted this in different ways but it effectively means sprints of say
20 to 25.
时间可以随你喜好比如23分钟 哦我知道我不会做完这个任务
Some people do 23 minutes where you’re like all right I know I’m not going to get this
但是我可以专心致志的先做20分钟25分钟 然后休息5分钟
done but I’m going to sprint for 20 minutes, 25 minutes and then take a five-minute break.
And then I will sprint again for 20 to 25 minutes.
像这种时间约束的魔力 我在帕金森定律中已经谈过许多
And the magic of those time constraints, I’ve talked about this a lot has Parkinson’s Law,
but the complexity of a task swelling to fill the time that it’s allotted.
一旦你有了这些积极的时间约束 顺便说一句对于有创造力的人来说
Once you have these positive constraints, which by the way for a creative person, very
important to have positive constraints.
总是随心所欲 是拖延症患者的
Being able to do anything you want all the time is a recipe for disaster and paralysis
and procrastination.
And I’ll talk about one or more constraint that you can apply.
So you have something like the pomodoro technique.
如果是和邮件相关 你可以用一个叫电子邮件游戏的工具
If it’s email related you can actually use a tool called Email Game.
在此不展开介绍 只要知道emailga.me是一个网址
I won’t go into a long description but emailga.me is the URL.
You can check that out.
它会让你看不到你的收件箱 然后再让你一封接一封的回复邮件
It avoids the inbox view and forces you to answer sequentially.
So I’ll let people check that out.
它会大幅度的缩减你回复邮件的时间 甚至能减少40%左右
That will probably cut down your email clearing time by 40 percent or so.
The next way that you can apply positive constraint is by building in incentives and consequences.
All this means is make yourself socially accountable.
你可以用这些网站如 Stickk.com Coach.me
And you can use a site like Stickk.com, you can use Coach.me, having someone else to
这样可以有其他人监督你防止你懒散堕落 并且能激励你重拾梦想完成目标
hold your feet to the fire and keep you accountable for whatever goal you’ve set for yourself.
比如通过打卡记录 或是和别人的赌约这种涉及到金钱的方法
That could be a check in via phone, it could be a bet, so a financial component, which
is very effect.
I’ve seen high ranking folks at Google lose a hundred plus pounds because they had a bet
with a friend, this is what got them started, their gym bodies if someone didn’t show up
they had to pay the other person a dollar.
So it’s incredible what a small amount of money can do.
你也可以定个规则说 五个人每人出100美元
You could also put together a betting pool say five people each put in $100 and the person
然后在第一个季度末 谁的体重掉的最多或是体脂率最健康
who loses the most of body fat or improves their body fat percentage using say DEXA Scan
by the end of the first-quarter gets the $500.
That is hugely, hugely effective.
而且我觉得你可能不怎么关心你能得到多少 但你肯定很关心你会失去多少钱
And I think in part not because the money you will win but the money you will lose.
人们为了减少损失会更努力的去工作 有时候还能因此得到意外惊喜
People will work a lot harder to counteract loss eversion it turns out.
So those are a few things that you could utilize.
接下来我再讲一个比较奇怪的方法 这个方法是从迈克·比尔比利亚那里获得的
And I’ll give you one kind of wacky one that is from Mike Birbiglia who’s one of the most
他是世界著名喜剧演员 拍出许多成功的电视剧电影等
successful comedians on the planet, has done tons of TV, tons of movies and is fantastic
也是优秀的脱口秀演员 多次为《美国人生》献声
at standup, lot with This American Life.
And when he was procrastinating working on his screenplay, his latest screenplay, we
noticed that when he was accountable to someone else he had a meeting he was never late, he
was always early.
But when he had a commitment to himself to write he might put it off for hours.
这时候他会在他的床头上贴个便利贴 这听起来很滑稽
So he took a Post-it and he put it next to his bed, and this sounds ludicrous, but it
但上面写着 迈克 三个感叹号 7点你在咖啡厅或者在其他什么办公的地方
said, Mike, and I think it was three exclamation points, you have a meeting with yourself at
有一个要和自己开的会议 无论这看起来
7:00 a.m. at café whatever it was where he intended to work and that actually for whatever
多么滑稽多么怪癖 但的确能把他带回正轨
weird quirk of human psychology got him to stay on track for his meeting with himself
to write his screenplay.
So that’s another Jedi mind trick that you might try on yourself.
这里提供了很多方法 化整为零 定义明确 制定能够顺利完成的任务
There are many tools in the toolkit but keep it small, keep it defined, rig it so you can
还有当你想拖延时想出一个奖惩机制 让你能够为了减少损失而更努力的去工作
win and when in doubt figure out a way to create a loss or shame if you don’t actually
tackle your task and achieve some type of measurable goal by a specific point in time.