If You Want To Stop Procrastinating, You Need To Change Your 'Mental State' First

There is this notion in the self-help world that motivation isn’t important or useful. I don’t think that’s true. You see, motivation isn’t random. Motivation doesn’t just fall out of the sky. Motivation, just like energy, can be generated through very specific techniques.

When you learn how to get motivated on command, you can use this elevated mindset to reliably and consistently work with more determination, focus, and impact.

Move From A ‘Lousy State’ To A ‘Peak State’

In essence, getting motivated means that you move from a ‘lousy’ state of mind to a ‘peak’ state of mindIn a lousy state of mind, you feel like taking the path of least resistance, seeking short-term pleasures, and procrastinating on your tasks.

When you’re in this lousy state of mind, you need to push yourself and tap heavily into your willpower to get something done, which definitely isn’t the most enjoyable or effective way to get things done.

In a peak state of mind, however, you feel pulled towards working on your goals and doing things that benefit you in the long term. From this state of mind, work seems to flow much more, and it doesn’t require as much mental willpower to get things done. Essentially, if you want to be more effective and enjoy your workdays a lot more, you need to learn how to get yourself into a peak state on command.

As Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at Wharton and the author of Originals, said: “Often our productivity struggles are caused not by a lack of efficiency, but a lack of motivation. Productivity isn’t a virtue. It’s a means to an end. It’s only virtuous if the end is worthy. If productivity is your goal, you have to rely on willpower to push yourself to get a task done. If you pay attention to why you’re excited about the project and who will benefit from it, you’ll be naturally pulled into it by intrinsic motivation.”

Peak State Habits Are The Secret To Motivation

The way to change your mental state on command is by following a set of habits that spark energy and motivation. I call these habits ‘peak state habits’ as they help you go from a lousy state of mind to a peak state of mind in merely a few minutes.

I recommend you follow a few of these peak state habits in your morning routine, as that helps you start the day with an elevated mindset.

Keep in mind that these peak state habits are a tool for getting you into the right mindset to be hyper-productive. The goal is not to follow these habits at all costs. The goal is to get into a peak state so that you stop procrastinating. If you already feel amazing, just start working. Don’t spend any more minutes preparing for something that you already have.

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The Peak State Habits Toolbox

Let’s dive right into the most effective peak state habits so that, by the end of this article, you’ll have an expanded toolbox that you can use whenever you find yourself in a lousy state of mind. You don’t have to follow all of these peak state habits, just pick the ones that speak the most to you. Here are some of my personal favorites:

  • Move with your body for a few minutes to get the blood flowing and the heart pumping (this is the easiest but most effective peak state habit)
  • Review your most inspiring long-term goals as a reminder to why you need to stop procrastinating
  • Think about the positive impact completing a task will have on your life or other people’s lives
  • Think about the negative impact not completing a task will have on your life or other people’s lives
  • Read empowering affirmations and inspiring quotes from your heroes
  • Do some deep breathing exercises (such as this one by Wim Hof)
  • Watch a motivational video (it’s cheesy, I know. But it works for me)
  • Visualize about achieving your goals & living your dream life (and realize it’s only possible to get there by taking massive action)
  • Listen to happy, energizing, or motivating music (a boost in happiness is a boost in mental and physical energy)
  • Drink a cup of coffee (as long as you don’t overdo it)

Again, these routines and activities should never serve as a distraction or escape from doing real work. However, having a few routines and practices in your toolbox that reliably get you into a peak state — without consuming hours of your day — is very useful to overcome procrastination.

As Tony Robbins said, “If you want to make it big, you’ve got to push yourself beyond your limits. You’ve got to pump yourself up and get yourself into a hyper mental state. And you have to do this yourself. Nobody can do this for you.”

The way to get into this ‘hyper mental state’ is to follow a few of the peak state habits suggested above. They will help you generate mental and physical energy, spark motivation, and get you into the right frame of mind to stop procrastinating and be productive instead.

Now Do It

Overcoming procrastination and changing your mental state isn’t just done by knowing how to do it — you need to actually take action. Therefore, as an action point for this article, pick at least three ‘peak state habits’ to implement whenever you find yourself in a lousy state of mind.

To Your Personal Growth,

Jari Roomer

Founder Personal Growth Lab

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27 Productivity Hacks For Superhuman Performance