How to Stop Procrastinating

Cut your stress, stop feeling overwhelmed, and go from good intentions to getting what you want (for real this time).

Sam Julien |

Gif by Jacqueline Jing Lin,

Why do we...

  • Scroll endlessly through social media.

  • Clean every surface in our house.

  • Do literally anything else

...instead of doing The Thing?

What You're Going to Learn

  • The mindset that separates good intentions from top performance.
  • The fastest way to cut massive amounts of stress.
  • The exact tactics I've used to transform myself (that took me years to learn).

Who is this guy?

I'm Sam Julien and I'm on a mission.

In the last few years I have:

  • Moved to my favorite city
  • Changed careers
  • Doubled my income
  • Lost 60 pounds
  • Learned a ton of new skills

My Crazy Journey


I've learned how to get hard stuff done.

Two Types of Procrastination

  • "I know what I need to do but I don't want to." (Boredom or lack of desire.) 

  • "I want to but I don't know what to do next." (Feeling overwhelmed.)

Focus on Outcomes

  • The key mindset of top performers.
  • What we say (and almost never follow through on):
    • "I really need to go back to the gym."
    • "I really should start learning new skills at night."
    • "I've gotta figure out how to travel more."
  • What we should say:
    • "I want to build confidence and live longer."
    • "It would be amazing to feel fulfilled at work."
    • "I want to have freedom and see the world."
  • Visualize the desired outcome in vivid detail.

(Not tasks!)

Throw some out!

  • This is how to deal with boredom or lack of desire, the first type of procrastination.
  • Do really want to do that Pinterest project?
  • 80% of your results come from 20% of your work.
  • Ask yourself:
    • Do I have to do this? (e.g. job, taxes, kids)
    • Come anyone else do this? (hire or delegate)
    • Is this for me or just out of obligation?
    • Does the outcome bring me joy?
  • You have permission to let things go.

You have permission to let things go.

Cat Break

Now, how do we stop feeling overwhelmed and get the hard stuff done?

Okay, we've eliminated what we don't have to do or don't want to do.

Tactic 1: Decide the Outcome is Happening

  • It sounds woo woo/hippy-dippy - it isn't.
  • You already do this with small things.
  • This is the secret to getting big stuff done by breaking it into smaller tasks.
  • Treat it like it already happened.
  • Visualize it.
  • "If this were real, what are the steps I'd take?"

Tactic 2: Turn it into a Have-To

  • You always do what you really have to do.
  • Use money
  • Use third-party accountability (be selective!)
  • Pair both of these with scheduling
  • Pair both of these with deadlines, like scheduling a trip or signing up for a race

Tactic 3: The Next 15 Minutes Rule

  • If I only had 15 minutes to work towards this outcome, what would I do?

  • Once you make the outcome real, the steps often come by intuition.

  • If you don't know what to do next, then your next step is to ask an expert (not advice from your weird friends!).

  • The most import part of this is to do something.

  • Consistent action is much more important than making the perfect plan all at once.

  • You will hone in on the answer!

Tactic 4: Journal

  • The first step towards change is observation.

  • Write something down every day.

  • This should be as effortless for you as possible, don't stress about the format (e.g. written, Google doc).

  • Don't worry about changing the behavior, just record it.

  • No judgment: be as honest as possible.

  • Pro tip: use countdowns, not count-ups.

Example Journal Format

Day -60



7am one water bottle



8am three eggs, 1 piece of bacon

12pm entire bag of Doritos



12:10pm I feel really sick after those Doritos.


(Brutal honesty)


Go furrth and conquer.

Tell me: What's your biggest takeaway from this? I read every email.