Procrastination and how to deal with it…
Take advice from the Procrastination Queen. Deal with procrastination once and for all. Otherwise you will be just putting it off 😀 So basically this is what procrastination is all about – putting stuff off. It almost always relates to difficult or urgent stuff, something you promised yourself to do, or know you need to do. Most common example I think I came across is studying for an exam. You can tell got exam coming up when my windows are clean, I can even come up with quite complex advertising campaigns ideas, and I know when my friend Kinga has exam coming up as she will be Wasupping me lovely dresses! LOL… Diet and exercising is also probably one of the top usual suspects. And interestingly that next Monday you hope to pull your shit together never comes for most of us. Another simple example, close to my ‘heart’: I hate registering some kind of points / shopping card online, I don’t know why, but if I just don’t do it straight away it will sit in my bag & in the back of my head forever and I may never do it anyway.
Although this is funny, and keep fooling yourself if you want to, but procrastination IS a key to failure, if this is what you want, then look no further and go ahead, kill your chance for success. Whatever goal you want to achieve, just forget it. OK with exams you may not have a choice so eventually you will pass it (it will drag on and you won’t even realise it would be less painful just to focus your energy on the unpleasant task). But if you have a choice, if decision about your final goal can be changed then you will most likely change it 🙁 That is if you are guilty of procrastination. But be honest with yourself 😉 You will keep delaying it just to wake up one day realising it’s been 5 months and you have not done what you said you will do. Maybe even today, if you really got up for that 6am run, you would have made the break through and lost that weight in next 6 weeks. But you didn’t and you will keep putting off this 6am run for next few months or more.
Not sure if reason for procrastination is needed, let’s not even waste time for finding it (it’s another trick and boom your focus is lost again). If you have to know it then in general we are putting things off because we are afraid of failure, that it won’t work out as we planned, or that even it work out as planned and we won’t be able to deal with good things or new responsibilities, or are scared of a change (even of a good one) so eventually will fail anyway. We may not be sure how to do something, so we wait to have a perfect plan before we start, but may never start because no plan is ever perfect. We may just be lazy and not like unpleasant tasks or unknown scares us. Some sources will even ell you to get a therapy and that it will be a long ride to cure chronic procrastinators. OK, maybe yes, maybe no, who cares what the reason is, just know that procrastination is in your way and that here are 3 tips that worked for me, try them too and say good bye to procrastination once and for all.
So how to change from Procrastination Queen to Procrastination Warrior? 😀 In 3 steps?!
- NEVER NEGOTIATE
First, make conscious decisions. Do what’s really important to you, kick out other stuff so they don’t get in the way. Do you really need to register that points card, do you want to, if no don’t let it clutter your thoughts, decide you just won’t do it and move to important stuff. Such as exam or your health. Very sneaky, but look at this:
Your brain will chose the easiest way to get anywhere for you, most comfortable or quickest. It would rather make sense to it to please you with longer stay in bed than force you to get up early and jog in the rain. Are you crazy, I know last night it was fabulous idea, but it was made by ‘last night’s brain’ 😀 You didn’t have to do it then so idea was so awesome (‘olejsom’ as my friends joke in polish). And this morning your brain is tricking you to take it easy. So know what you want, ignore the tricks (distract yourself with action, sing la la la, whatever works), do the important stuff. THE MOMENT YOU START NEGOTIATING WITH YOURSELF YOU LOST.
Read last sentence a lot of times, really! Until you get it.
2. BE A PAIN IN A BUM
Make it NOT comfortable ‘not to do it’. Usually your brain should be quite keen on doing it especially if it’s a day before. Do something that will force you to learn that new habit. Example with 6AM run? Leave your work clothes and car keys at your friend’s house, 20 mins away from where you live. That way you will have to get up and run. My friend used to have a rule to wake up and put all the gym clothes and trainers on, step outside the main door. Then chose, go back to bed or go to the gym. It confused his brain a little and most of the time he went to the gym.
3. ADMIT IT’S NOT SO GREAT
Plan what you want to do, break it down and track it, then notice that it is not going great. Admit to yourself that you are rubbish at following your own plan. Then try to understand that if you really want to get somewhere else you are gonna have to change something!
Regarding plan – never ever wait for a perfect plan, a fancy notebook or a new pen that will help you write it down. Perfect never exists, especially if you are perfectionist. It’s a trap that will just make you procrastinate even more and never get anything important done. Plan in your head, on a post-it note, write it down on a piece of paper you won’t see again, it just forces you brain to start thinking a bit, just don’t get too official with that planning process. Do a rough review every week or month, again don’t book a board room to do it. Have a Cadbury cream egg if you do well. Sprinkle it with pepper if you screw up. And keep in mind what General George S. Patton said once…..
‘A good plan violently executed now is far better than a perfect plan executed next week.’