Macro Goals and Micro Quotas: How to Beat Procrastination

A few months ago, I saw a YouTube video from Tim Ferriss answering a question on a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). If you’re unfamiliar with AMA’s, they’ve become a rather common way for famous (and sometimes anonymous because of where they work or what they do for a living) people to answer questions from fans. Even Barack Obama did one.

Anyway, Ferriss did one of these a while back and for at least one of the questions, he did a video response. The question boiled down to procrastination. People look at Tim Ferriss and think that he mustn’t have to fight procrastination given that he’s just turned 36, but he’s published 3 best-sellers, is a polyglot, has travelled the world, and is an angel investor or advisor to Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, Uber, etc. Apparently, these people would be wrong. Tim Ferriss has to battle with procrastination just the same as you or I. In the video below, he offers some really important tips for dealing with procrastination.

A couple things I want to highlight: he’s just like you or I, as I’m sure many people you’d think were “other-worldly.” As the saying goes, he puts his pants on one leg at a time.

The second is the idea of macro goals and micro quotas. He absolutely hits the nail on the head that many people are paralyzed with anxiety in the face of an extraordinary goal (write a bestseller, climb Mount Everest, play professional sports, etc.). The key to hitting these macro goals is to set micro quotas. Ferriss shares the anecdote from a friend of his who has ghost written 60 (!) books:

“Two crappy pages. That is my quota. Everyday, I have to write two crappy pages. That’s it. If I write two crappy work pages, that day is a win.”

You can make your dreams come true. You’ve just got to know the mechanism, first.

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2 responses to “Macro Goals and Micro Quotas: How to Beat Procrastination

  1. It is interesting how his macro goals are ambitious and motivating, while daily goals are simple and easy to accomplish, so they don’t scare us from starting.

  2. Pingback: Are You Not Entertained: The Amazing Feats of Human Potential | Jeremiah Stanghini

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