Sustainable Productivity + Focus

A simple tool to overcome procrastination

January 31, 2020

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We’re in February and you may find yourself in one of three camps in relation to your goals for 2020…

#1 Still yet to set your goals 

#2 Already rocking those goals with a clear plan in place

#3 Fallen off the band-wagon

Which camp are you in?

(By the way, there’s no judgement here my friend….)

According to a 2017 study by Statistic Brain, 27% of people typically abandon their resolutions within a week. By the 2 week mark, 32% of people will have ditched their goals. 

So if you’re in camp #3…you’re in good company (cue: sigh of relief)

Why is this?

Why do so many of us not follow through on our goals or resolutions?

The truth is we’re not “bad” or “wrong” for not following through…

We may simply be setting the wrong goals and/or using the wrong strategies to help us get there. 

I’m a big believer in working with instead of against yourself.

We all do things differently. We’re motivated by different things. Have a different perspective. 

So why not work a strategy that supports how we work rather than beat ourselves up for not doing things the “right” way?

If you’re curious to learn how to work with yourself instead of against yourself so that you can take action on your career goals this year, then you’re in the right place. 

Today we’re going to explore, a simple tool to overcome procrastination once and for all.

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Do you:

+ have a tendency to procrastinate?

+ not do the things you say you’re going to do? 

+ find yourself frustrated because you’re not taking action on those goals that you’ve set for yourself?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you’re in the right place my friend.

This topic of procrastination and not sitting down to do the work you’ve set out to do, is a topic that is ripe at particularly this time of year. 

When we’re at the beginning of the year, there’s so much hype about how to make the year the best year yet and actually take action on those soul aligned career goals of yours.

Let’s overcome procrastination together, shall we?


Today I want to share a really cool tool that’s helped me to understand myself better so that I know how to take action on those goals that I set for myself and stop procrastinating.

I’ve found that having self-awareness for how you work as an individual is the best way to actually take action and do it your own way. 

Each of us is:

+ unique 

+ different

+ motivated by different things

+ Desiring something unique

+ Thinks a certain way

….And that’s beautiful. 

Instead of making things hard, I encourage you to work with your unique way of doing things, your energy, your personality and making it your own. 


Going back to this tool… can use it to assess how you’re motivated when it comes to taking action so that you can work smarter instead of harder. 

Spoiler alert: This tool I’m going to share with you is something that I did not create. I have no affiliation with this woman. I just think it’s a fabulous tool and I wanted to share it with you. 


So the tool is the Four Tendencies Quiz by Gretchen Rubin.

Gretchen Rubin is an author who wrote the books “The Happiness Project” and “Happier at Home” amongst others. 

She created the Four Tendencies Quiz to help answer this key question:

“How do I get people—including myself—to do what I want?” 

It’s a quiz that helps you to reduce conflict and make significant, lasting change. Personally I use it to assess how and why I’m procrastinating so that I can come up with strategies to take action!


The quiz will help you see how you are motivated to take action based on two things:

Thing #1:  How you meet your own internal expectations

These are your own goals that you set for yourself and are important to you.


Thing #2:  How you meet external expectations

These are what others demand of you. 

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We live in a world where we’ve got both internal and external demands going on.

It can be very helpful to set what your natural tendency is so that you can come up with strategies to make sure that you’re not leaving yourself out and you’re actually taking action towards what matters to yourself and others. 

There are four main groups each of us can fall into. I’ll do a brief description here. 

Group #1 The Upholders

This is the easy breezy group of the four. Unfortunately I’m not part of his group!

This is the group that meets their own internal expectations and their own external expectations.

So what that means is that…

When a boss says, “hey we’ve got this project that needs to get done” and you’re a person that’s a go getter and you’re like “yep that’s aligned to  want I want to do. It’ll help me get promoted” then you’re going to be very good at just taking action and getting on with it making sure you look at all the steps. 

An upholder will mapping out the steps, putting pen to paper and ultimately meet that deadline relatively easily. 

It’s very straightforward and easy. 

I understand that this group is pretty small which makes sense.

How many people follow through on those health regimes at the start of the year?

How many people take action on those goals?

Not many. 

There aren’t a lot of upholders out there, so if you fall outside of this group, don’t beat yourself up. I’m right there with ya!

Group #2 The Questioners

Questioners are those that meet their own internal expectations. They say:

“OK what do I want to get done? What’s important to me?”

Then when somebody tells them something to do they’re going to question the heck out of it. 

They’ll ask:

“Why do you want me to do it?”

“Why is it important?”

“What’s the frickin point?”

And so using the same example, you have a boss that says “hey we need to do this project.” 

The questioner is going to ask:

+ Why is it important?
+ What do we need to achieve?
+ What are the key outcomes?
+ What are the key metrics?

They’re going to have to make sure that what they’re putting that energy and effort towards makes sense to them.

So if you are a questioner just know that that’s okay. You just want to make sure that you’re spending your time wisely and that’s not a bad thing. 

Take the time and give yourself permission to ask those questions so that when it clicks feels good then you can go. 

Group #3 The Rebels

The rebels are those that don’t meet external expectations and don’t meet internal expectations. 

The example I like to give for this is really kids. 

If you say:

“hey wear a jacket it’s really cold out put it on”

They’ll say “no I don’t want to!” because they want to do the opposite of what you say i.e. external obligations. 

The rebel’s natural reaction is going to be “No I don’t want to! I’ll do it my way, thank you very much.”

It can be a challenge right?

Because if you do want to do something and you know you have a person that’s saying “hey do this so that you can do that and achieve that goal”…

You’re going to say “No” because you want to be that rebel. 

It can be very confusing but not all is lost.

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If you’re a rebel you’ve just got to figure out how you can work with yourself in the present moment. How can you attach joy and pleasure to what it is you’re doing?

So for example if you’re starting an exercise routine and somebody says
“hey you gotta run three times a week” you might say “screw you I’m not gonna run three times a week I really feel like kickboxing” and you’ll do that. And that’s cool. 

But when you start you  might not commit to kickboxing because you don’t want to. 

That’s when you can tie a story to it say:

“I love kickboxing and makes me strong”

“I love the results it gives me”

You can work with it to make sure you do take action. 

Group #4 The Obligers

These are people that tend to meet external expectations but don’t meet their own. 

So classically these are the people pleasers. They’re the ones who will say:

“OK I’ll show up for you.”

So let’s say you’ve made a commitment to go to a gym class at 6:00 in the morning and you’re going with a friend you’re not going to hit snooze because you told your friend you’ll be there. 

So you go even though if it was just you you may continue sleeping, because you said you’ll go with your friend, you’ll drag your butt out the door. 

I know this one well because this is mine.

If you’re an obliger then working with accountability, making sure you’re getting support and/or you’re telling someone what you do, can be a great way to take action on those goals.

When I first found out I was an obliger it was a bit of a bummer but I’ve learned that most people do fit into either be obliger or questioner category so rather than making ourselves wrong, let’s just rock on with how we are. 


As I’ve described each of the groups, do you know which one you are? 

Go take the quiz and discover your tendencies when it comes to being motivated to take action. 

So there you have it…

A very quick and simple tool for how you can actually take action on those goals that matter by working with your natural tendency and overcome procrastination.

I would love to hear from you:

+ Which tendency are you ?

+ What key insight are you taking away from your type?

Leave a comment for me below. 

If you’d like support on how you can work with this just leave a comment and we’ll continue the conversation over there. 

Just remember there’s no one in the world who can do what you do, the way you do it. So keep on going, kick procrastination to the curb and go do the thing you came here to do.

With love,

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