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Elements of Mindset

How to Stop Procrastination & Increase Motivation

7 min
Average Score

Andrew Huberman

Professor and Neuroscientist at Stanford University and Host of the Huberman Lab podcast

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Do you find yourself procrastinating, caught in the web of demotivation? As a sales representative, the stakes are high, and delays can impact your success. Surprisingly, insights from the addiction literature provide a powerful tool to overcome procrastination. In this session, we delve into the relationship between dopamine peaks and troughs, offering a strategy to swiftly navigate the depths of procrastination.

Understanding the Dopamine Dynamics

As the saying goes, "What goes up must come down." This holds true for dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with motivation and reward. The depth of the trough after a dopamine peak is not only linked to the peak's height but also its steepness. So, how can sales reps leverage this insight to their advantage?

The Power of Discomfort

In moments of demotivation, the common approach is to engage in activities that seem easier, like cleaning or waiting. However, these tactics often fall short. The key lies in doing something more effortful or even mildly uncomfortable to propel oneself out of the procrastination trough.

Sales reps can implement this strategy by engaging in tangential activities or those unrelated to their immediate goals. Consider activities that introduce discomfort, not to the point of harm, but enough to shift the dopamine dynamics. A classic example is a cold shower or immersion, known for both its discomfort and ability to expedite the rebound from a dopamine low.

Applying the Strategy in a Sales Context

Let's translate this concept into a sales context. Imagine a sales rep facing a lack of motivation to make crucial calls or meet deadlines. The usual advice might be to start with a small task, like making a single call, and use that success as a stepping stone. While this approach works for some, others may find themselves still stuck in the procrastination trough.

Going Beyond the Usual Tactics

For those struggling to find motivation even with small tasks, a different approach is necessary. Instead of choosing a task that's just slightly less comfortable, consider something tangential to the sales process but significantly more uncomfortable. This could be a task that, while not damaging, induces a level of discomfort—something that truly sucks, in simple terms.

Implementing the Strategy: A Cold Water Moment

Let's say a sales rep is procrastinating making important calls. Instead of waiting for motivation to magically appear, they deliberately choose an activity that induces discomfort. This could be deliberate cold exposure through a cold shower or even an ice bath. If the mere thought of this makes you cringe, congratulations, you've found a tool that holds the potential to kick you out of procrastination.

But Should You Wait for Procrastination to Evaporate?

The answer is a resounding no. While procrastination might eventually fade, waiting for it to dissipate can be costly, especially in the dynamic world of sales. Relying on deadlines to trigger motivation is a risky game. Instead, take charge and actively seek ways to pull yourself out of the demotivated state quickly.

In this session, we've explored the surprising connection between dopamine dynamics and overcoming procrastination for sales reps. The key is to embrace discomfort, choose activities that steepen the trough, and expedite the rebound. Sales is a competitive field, and mastering the art of motivation is crucial for success. Watch this session to learn more about leveraging dopamine insights to propel your sales journey forward. Remember, the discomfort might be the catalyst you've been searching for.

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