Tiago Forte on Procrastination

I was reviewing Building a Second Brain 11 and Tiago expressed one of the most profound ideas I’ve ever encountered on procrastination.

A student asked a question,

Do you have tasks that are just forever on your To-Do List?

And here’s Tiago’s answer (edited for brevity):

Almost everything you're not making progress on is caused by ambiguity and lack of clarity.

What’s missing is not motivation, time, energy, or not knowing how (we don’t know how to do most of the things we do. We figure them out.), it’s almost always clarity.

If a task shows up more than a couple of days, if it keeps not getting done, refine the task until it becomes inevitable.

  • Use a more specific verb (see: Tiago Action Verbs)
  • Make it more concrete and physical
  • Make it easier

Ex — From “Figure out hot tub” to "Read the manual” then "Clean it".

If you see the same task more than two days in a row, change it. It’s not allowed to stay the same.


It’s buried in the “Get Stuff Done” section, Part 3 video at 10:43. Here’s the link for students with BASB 11 access.

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