This Easy Hack Forces You to Stop Procrastinating

Adrian S. Potter
2 min readFeb 24

Tell the right people about your goals.

Photo by Radoslav Bali on Unsplash

The kitchen sink is overflowing with dirty dishes that need cleaning.

Your tax info sits on a desk, waiting for you to work on them.

A memo is due for a client, but you have not even turned on your laptop.

Your life is full of tasks to be tackled, yet you would rather postpone doing them.

So what should you tell yourself when you do not want to do something, but need to anyway?

Here is my hack — I don’t tell myself anything. I mention it to somebody else, so they can keep me accountable.

I am incredibly adept at lying to myself. For example, I can convince myself that surfing the internet and perusing social media right now will help me finish writing a report or article later. I can justify putting things off by telling myself that goofing off online will help me relax, which will make it easier for me to write.

But you know who will not fall for that?

My wife, friends, coworkers, and nearly anybody who dwells outside the confines of my mind.

They will cut through the facade and call me out on my bullshit. This is why telling someone else about my goals is a smart strategy.

Next time you are content to kick the can down the road and delay putting in the deep work that needs to get done, do yourself a favor — find someone you can trust to keep you accountable and tell them what you intend to do.

You are probably willing to let yourself down, but you will instinctively try harder to accomplish a goal knowing someone in your life will call you out for not getting the job done.

Adrian S. Potter — the antisocial extrovert — is an author, engineer, consultant, and public speaker. When he’s not busy silently judging your beer selection or record collection, he writes poetry, short fiction, and articles on various subjects, including creativity, leadership, optimism, and personal growth. Adrian is the winner of the 2022 Lumiere Review Prose Award and the author of Field Guide to the Human Condition (CW Books) and Everything Wrong Feels Right (Portage Press). His next book, And the Monster Swallows You Whole, is forthcoming in May through Stillhouse Press. Visit Adrian at Say hi. He won’t bite.

Adrian S. Potter

Antisocial Extrovert · Writer and Poet, Engineer, Consultant, Public Speaker · Writing about self-improvement, gratitude, and creativity ·