Avoid Procrastination By Changing 'And' To 'Or'

When we procrastinate, we're simply making excuses to ourselves to justify why we're not going to do what we need to do. CD Baby founder and human encyclopedia of useful life lessons Derek Sivers has a handy hack: just alter the language of your excuses by replacing "and" with "or".

He provides a simple example, asking when the time is right to go for a run:

"When is the time right?"

"When it's a nice day, and I've finished my work, and I haven't just eaten, and I'm feeling energetic."

"Repeat that last sentence, changing ‘and' to ‘or'."

"When it's a nice day, OR I've finished my work, OR I haven't just eaten, OR I'm feeling energetic."

"That sounds like a better plan."

It's definitely easier to meet a single condition than a series of them. Try changing your ands to ors and see if your excuses are easier to overcome.

Procrastination Hack : change and to or [Derek Sivers]


    Ah, but if you run just because it's a nice day, then you're procrastinating on finishing your work! Running if you've just eaten isn't good either.

    For this particular example, a more logical one would be "Finished work AND NOT just eaten AND (nice day OR feeling energetic)". Unless of course you also realise that running in the rain could get you sick, or you increase the risk of injuring yourself due to slippage, and then we just end up back at the original logic statement.

    Seriously, it seems like people like this Derek Sivers just spout crap in the hopes that people will think they sound profound.

      Well Ogre, I believe I disagree with you.
      Sometimes, in order to get better, all you have to do is, getting another viewpoint.
      As in:
      "Forcing a smile releases endorfin in your brain, making you smile for real"

        Endorphins may have that effect, but the argument remains valid that the example was not very well chosen. If Derek Sivers had used an example such as, "When should you usually start looking for a better job?" "When your boss doesn't appreciate you and you aren't being paid enough and you spend more in gas to and from work than you earn in a shift." Common sense states that any one of these stipulations would justify termination of one's job, however, with how few jobs there are in the market currently, these statements have become more of an "and" situation.

    And, if you're afraid of trying new things, simply replace NO with YES! Pretend spiders are comical flying bears if you have arachnophobia, and pretend that your not fat, you're just hiding a better version of yourself behind some protective padding... like a cocoon of poor life decisions and you won't feel bad for eating those 3 whole pizzas!

    Gee Whizz Derek, where would we be without these pearls of wisdom?

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now