How to Cure Procrastination

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Today we are going to discuss two very interesting methods for breaking the habit of procrastination.
I first learned them in the book “Eat that Frog” by Brian Tracy.

They are called the “Salami Slice Method” and “The Swiss Cheese Method”.
The object of the techniques is to make it easy to start and feel that you are getting something important done.

They are closely related to the 15 minute method.

The Salami Slice Method
The Salami Slice Method is based on making a little dent in a large task by taking it one step at a time, one slice at a time.

Say for example that you have a report to write, for school or your boss.
Writing the report has several parts: First you need to know what you should write about, next you need to collect data, third to compile the data and get an overview and then finally write the report.

Often when starting a task like this people feel overwhelmed, they don’t know where to start or what to do. My wife often has this problem, not because she puts things off but because she wants to do so much she ends up doing nothing.

If you have problems with these types of tasks I suggest you use the Salami Slice Method; do one part at a time. If you don’t know what to write about, look around a little on the internet, think about what you could write about, get that one slice out of the way.

Once that is done, move on to the next slice.

The Swiss Cheese Method
This method is a bit different from the Salami Slice Method, where the salami slice method works by taking a task and breaking it up into parts, doing one at a time until you are finished.
The Swiss Cheese method works by poking holes in a larger problem.

If you for example have a large task such as making a marketing plan you can easily see that there is a lot to do, many places to start and a lot of information and ideas to gather.

The Swiss Cheese method is a nice way to get a little done, you just have the goal to poke holes in the problem until it feels more manageable.

You can start anywhere on the project and poke a hole, get something done.
Gather some research, think about some ideas, set goals and so on.

How I use these methods
I mainly use the Salami Slice Method and I am sure you can understand why, it is more effective in that you work step by step until a problem is completed.
But once in a while you come across a problem and don’t know where to start, in those cases rather than sitting around thinking about what to do, the Swiss cheese method is great. You just get started, poke some holes in the problem and as you poke more and more you start getting an overview, you start to see where you can start and can then switch over to the Salami Slice Method instead.

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Related posts:

  1. How do You Cure Procrastination?
  2. How to Deal With Procrastination Problems and Break Bad Habits
  3. How to Stop Procrastinating – 10 Things You can do Today
  4. How to Stop Procrastinating – The 15 Minute Method
  5. What do you need to Defeat Procrastination?
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2 Responses to How to Cure Procrastination

  1. Einar says:

    It’s like we used to say in door-to-door selling. The hardest step is not to knock the first door but to get out of the car door!

    So the first “salami slice” would be getting out of the car!

    • Daniel M. Wood says:

      Hey Einar,

      Great point!
      That is exactly how the method should be used, first just vow to get out of the car, then to knock on it and so on.

      Thanks for your comment!

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