Want to make it big in sales? Step #1—stop procrastinating. I used to have a huge problem with putting off my tough tasks till later. And my career suffered because of it.
But then I learned how to stop procrastinating for good. And today, I’ve built a 7-figure sales training business, run two YouTube channels, and am now more productive than ever.
How’d I do it? I killed my lizard brain.
The Lizard Brain
What is it? Well, this is the part of your brain that’s leftover from your pre-human ancestors. It’s focused only on the now. It doesn’t understand the future or the past. And it just reacts according to your most basic needs.
On the other side of things, you’ve also got your “Human” brain. This is the rational side of you. It can use the past to predict the future. It can plan. And it can choose to avoid pleasure now in exchange for greater gains in the future.
But for as advanced as the human side is, it doesn’t deal well with abstraction. If it can’t find a clear pathway to completing a task, it gives up control to the lizard brain. And the lizard brain’s go-to method for dealing with a problem is good ol’ fight or flight.
The problem is you can’t fight abstract goals like “increase revenue this quarter” or “boost commissions by 10%.” So the lizard brain chooses flight. It runs. It procrastinates. And your human brain finally swoops in to justify all the reasons not to start in the first place.
The good news is you aren’t trapped in this cycle. Because…
You can kill your lizard brain and stop procrastinating for good. You’ve just got to do a bit of brain hacking to get the job done.
And there are four techniques to do just that.
1. Goal Priming
When you’re faced with a daunting task like spending hour after hour prospecting, it’s hard to find the motivation to get started. But that’s because you’re focused on the difficulty of the task. So instead, focus on the end result.
How will your work pay off? What will your life look like after you’ve achieved your goals?
If you’re focused on boosting your commissions but hate cold calling, think about what that extra money will mean for you. What will having an extra $50K a year do for you and your family? What about the career opportunities that will open up as a result?
The more you think about the rewards, the less you’ll think about the costs.
2. Overload Reduction
Technique two, overload reduction.
There is such a thing as having too much choice. It’s called “Choice Overload Bias” And it’s the documented phenomenon of people having a harder time deciding when they have more options. Worth noting is that they’re also less satisfied with their choice when all is said and done.
If you find yourself struggling to get a task started, take a step back for a minute. Are you deciding between 3, 4, 5 ways of doing the task? That’s your problem.
Instead, limit your options. Cut down your choices. And just get started. Don’t worry too much about making the right choice. You can always pivot later on. What matters here is moving forward.
The bigger the goal, the more intimidating it’s going to be. When you’re dealing with something as huge as earning $50K more this year in commissions, it can seem like there’s no way to start making headway.
That of course kicks your lizard brain into high gear. And it makes you 10X less likely to ever get started.But here’s a trick. Break your giant goals down into smaller, more achievable milestones. Shooting for $50K extra this year? Okay, that boils down to $12,500 a quarter or about $4,200 extra a month. How many sales does that mean you have to make in a month? And given your current success rate, how many cold emails do you have to send or cold calls do you have to make to get there?
Then you can start chipping away at that larger goal day by day.
Instead of earning $50K more this year, you just have to spend an extra 30 mins prospecting each day. And that’s a lot easier to swallow.
4. The 5 Minute Rule
The last technique we’re talking about is the Five Minute Rule. And it might be the most immediately powerful.
See, the hardest part of most tasks is getting started—the initial hump. But if you can get past that, the momentum you build along the way will usually be enough to carry you through to the end.
So instead of avoiding that task that takes you 30 minutes to do, commit yourself to just five minutes.
Hate cold calling but need it done? Just do five minutes.
Can’t stand updating your CRM? Give it five.
Always miserable while learning product specs? Cinco minutos mi amigo.
Five minutes is all it takes. So at the next sign of procrastination, just commit to five minutes. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you get the motivation to keep it going