The question is, why are you procrastinating in the first place?
I would begin by having a real conversation with yourself.
1. Is there progress? (yes/no – why, why not)
2. Are you excited about this objective/task? (yes/no – why, why not)
3. Are you a lazy person by nature? (yes/no – why, why not)
4. Is there clarity around the goal/desired outcome? (yes/no – why, why not)
The beauty is my friend is just like anything procrastination can be conquered. You could try any of these remedies to fix the solution and keep improving.
- Listen to motivational tapes and podcasts
- Listen to people who have high energy, crushing it in the field that you desire
- Get some exercise, get the body moving and change your state
- Take smaller steps of progress
Normally when there is progress, even if it’s the smallest form of the word, that’s ok! You’re moving forward.
It’s when things become stagnant that a majority of us begin to be idle. If no one has told you today, let me be the first to let you know.
I don’t even know you. But what I know about you is you and I are cut from the same cloth. We want more. We desire more. We have a vision. And we can live in that vision if we so desire.
I believe in your abilities. I think you have the potential to be great. And no matter what anyone says, I expect you to do great things!
1. The First 30 Minutes Of The Day Is Always For Work
Does this sound familiar: you start the work day/study session by telling yourself you’re “just going to check email/facebook/twitter/reddit for 5 minutes, then I’m going to get to work”.
Before you know it, 5 minutes has dragged into 2 hours, and 2 hours has dragged into 4 hours and you realize you’ve spent half your day sucked into a never-ending loop of checking email, social media, youtube, and your favourite viral NEWS sites?
The first 30 minutes of your day/work day/study session should be spent doing work. If you need to check email or your social news sites, do it once you’ve established a good work groove and you’ll find it much easier to shut it off. Or better yet, block distractions out completely untilyou’re done.
2. Become More Self Aware
Procrastination usually comes in two forms. There’s:
1. Difficulty in starting a task
2. Getting distracted while working on a task
They both follow a similar pattern of self rationalization :
- You tell yourself “I really need to get started on this.”
- You feel stressed.
- You feel an urge to do something else, so you tell yourself “I’ll get started soon, but I can afford another 5 minutes doing this one other thing.”
Giving yourself this little reprieve relieves the stress temporarily and reinforces the neural pathways associated with procrastination, making it just a bit easier to fall victim to procrastination again, 5 minutes later.
Try this next time you find yourself facing this never-ending cycle. Next time you’re about to start a task and you feel a voice in your head telling you to “check your email, it might be important!”, or “I wonder if anyone commented on my Facebook status”, resist the urge.
Tell yourself you’ll just resist it this one time. You’ll find that the urge does pass once you acknowledge it for what it is – a sudden impulse driven by your reptilian brain.
3. Make Yourself A Date
Human beings can be strange – if we’re meeting a friend, we’ll set a fixed time to do so, and we show up. Most of us would never make an appointment with a friend and simply avoid showing up for no reason. Yet when it comes to important tasks like going to the gym, or getting another chapter written for your novel, we’ll just set vague goals and feel perfectly comfortable pushing
back our self-imposed deadlines.
Start scheduling your important tasks and showing up every time, no matter what. You wouldn’t bail on a meeting with a friend just because you feel a little tired, would you? So why do you do it with the gym? If you want to go to the gym 3 times a week, instead of just telling yourself you’ll go 3 times this week, pick 3 days and 3 times that you’re going to show up, and don’t miss those appointments no matter what.
Here’s One Last Tip
Stop reading articles about how to overcome procrastination and just get to work!