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At its root, procrastination is almost always based on some kind of fear. And figuring out how to beat that fear is the key to un-procrastination, in the long run. Quick fixes are fine, but if the fears remain unabated, they will continue to act on you, causing you to want to procrastinate despite your best intentions.

So how do you beat fear? One of the reasons fear can be so powerful is because it lurks in the dark — unnoticed, in the recesses of our minds, it acts without us knowing it. So the first step is to shine some light on it — fear hates light. The light is our attention, our examining of the fears, our taking a close look at them to see if they’re rational or baseless.

Once we’ve shined a light on the fears, we can beat them with information. For example, if you’re afraid you’re going to fail, well, do a small test and see. If you don’t fail, that’s information — you now know that, at least with a small test, you won’t necessarily fail. Keep repeating the tests and you’ll gather a lot of information that is contrary to the fear, beating the fear because you now know with good certainty that it’s baseless.

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