When I was pouring my thoughts for tackling procrastination and unlocking my experiences, there was this one being who hated it . . . Yeah Sally
Ah, this is the last article which Sally would love to read.
If you do not know who to meet here!
But thank goodness you are not like Sally!
As her eyes will turn fire and eyebrows will begin to do a breakdance if I ask her to even get up from the couch.
A procrastinator who does not want to change!
But I know you do want help in tackling procrastination.
We all have been there when we are just not READY to hit that task.
Why we procrastinate?
Before we dive straight into 4 powerful steps for tackling procrastination, you need to know that why we procrastinate in the first place. So let’s know the causes before solutions.
1- Fear Uncertainty
Ever wondered why all humans own this same procrastination pattern?
Yes, we all have this habit programmed in our subconscious mind.
The thing is that some overcome the habit better than others.
And completely beats.
Why do we have this pattern in the first place? You ask?
Because of our minds.
To explain simply: our brain works on connections.
It finds it extremely hard to make new connections as new connections mean uncertainty.
This concept is similar when it comes to risk-taking.
The brain will only signal negative suggestions towards risk because it is new and uncertain.
The same is the case with the procrastination habit.
We procrastinate because certain tasks are not our second nature.
Our mind has not gotten used to such a task thus it tends to avoid it overall.
2- We prefer easier quicker things
You will not agree more that we are so impatient! We need everything quickly.
Tell me now. Will you love to go read a novel right now or a blog post?
Yes, the latter. Why? Because it is short!
Quicker enjoyment and that too in less time. Consider that you have to complete a project right now.
Instead of diving straight into a project, your mind will force you to swipe across work emails!
And you will keep organizing the emails and take notes . . . till the day ends.
Because you need quick easy accomplishment. Remember this route is not advisable for tackling procrastination.
3- We trust our future self so much
- I will do it in 10 minutes . . .
- I will do it in an hour . . .
- I will do it in the evening. . .
- I will do it the next morning . . .
- I will handle it next week. . .
- This is best for next month. . . I should keep it for next year!
With at least some portion of the chain? We think that our future self is that fairy godmother who will rotate that wand and tadaaa . . . everything will get done.
The truth is that your future self will have exactly those same 24 hours in a day.
One will be as productive and as focused as you are right now. . . Damn future self!
4- No Motivation for tackling procrastination
The task is surely not moving you from within.
The task which you procrastinate lacks even the “M” of that motivation let alone the whole world!
If you will not have enough excitement for the task then you are sure to procrastinate. Just remember the relation which procrastination and motivation have – inverse.
To identify which of the reasons is the cause of your procrastination, you need to get your mind to work.
You will receive answers if you will ask it.
Be mindful of the thoughts which come to your mind when you think about a particular task.
I am a strong believer that thoughts are things [as the universe operates in this manner anyway]
Counter those thoughts as these are directly linked with your actions which determine results.
Steps for tackling procrastination
The simplest way of tackling procrastination is by:
- Identifying the task which never gets touched
- Find motivation in it. Find what excites you in it. Even if it is small.
- Clear your workspace. Turn off the internet and throw your mobile phone in your purse.
- Start this task early in the morning.
- Be imperfect. Treat yourself after the imperfect draft. You need to start by being imperfect else you are bound to procrastinate.
Let’s dig into each of the steps and see how we can master it.
STEP 1: Identifying the task to tackle Procrastination
You are smiling.
Yes, I can see that.
Because you already know that task which you hate to do.
But what if you hate to do all the tasks?
Interestingly, here is the solution: Choose the task which will have the most impact on your life.
Prioritize your task according to not the time which it will take rather the difference that it can make.
Let’s give a couple minutes here regarding the progressive mindset.
What do you think about it? It is distance.
It is a measure of how much closer you have gone to your ultimate goal.
Remember never measure your progress with time spent. How long does not matter, how much matters.
Now question which task will give you the progress? If there are several tasks then I share a ninja-tip with you.
Take a paper and jot down every task which has to be done. Like every.
Grow your list, be it small tasks or long. Next, you need to question the impact of each task.
Once you have done prioritizing, grab your calendar or tap google calendar.
Don’t clutter the calendar, just write one to three major achievable milestones each day.
If you will follow the calendar strictly then you will not realize how quickly you will get done with the list.
This method is different from a To-do list, as this list never gets completed!
It is always rescheduled.
To summarize: create a big list [which in essence is the to-do list for the entire month], prioritize tasks, and then finally plug them on the calendar.
This 3-way process is extremely helpful.
Through this method, you will not get caught up in excessive planning, because it can do you more bad than good.
Planning when devoids you from taking action becomes your top foe [and it often does, take my word on this].
In essence: Just simplify your life as much as you can.
Pin This for later FAM!
Step 2: Plug in Motivation for tackling procrastination
There are certain steps that you can take for fueling excitement in monotonous work. This fueling is vital for tackling procrastination. Let’s see how.
Question yourself the importance of the work. You need to ask what does it have to be done.
You will get surprised because there will be a few times when the work would not seem to serve you. Thus, always ask and remember the formula.
Work should be important + work should excite you.
If even one ingredient of the formula is missing, choose the task which fulfills both conditions.
Tying yourself to it.
Now suppose that you have found the motivation. But what is the guarantee that you will have that continued excitement?
It is very much possible that you start and never . . . . [yes, exactly the way I did with this sentence].
So you need to become that boat who is tied and anchored, else tides will take you away and you will swim and sleep forever!
Tied means accountability.
Make sure you announce the identified task to a group of people or at least a few people so you have that ringing pendulum in your head which sings: “You have to update people.”
Let me tell you a secret why authors announce the sequel even without writing a draft for it?
So, that they could not forsake the idea when they got hit by writer’s block.
By raising the expectations of people and publishers, they are bound to grab their pen and get going!
Isn’t it powerful for tackling procrastination?
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Step 3: Time Management for tackling procrastination
Why did I suggest morning time?
It is because if you will conquer huge milestones in your morning then you will be able to make the largest progress.
You will be proud of yourself.
This encouragement will keep you going and help you to tackle other tasks you procrastinate.
The morning is peaceful.
No chitter-chatter except for those soothing hummingbirds.
But as the day progress, things are bound to come up.
They are bound to interrupt your planning and all-important task.
And you will get lost in this afternoon chitter-chatter to such an extent that you will feel the motivation flowing.
A motivation that was so hard to get in the first place! Remember, the Afternoon is bound to get crazy!
What further happens is that you find a resort rescheduling.
This rescheduling is the worst thing that you can ever do when first starting. As you will just get trapped in this very cycle.
In a Nutshell:
Accomplish the most impactful milestones at the beginning of the day to tackle procrastination.
Step 4: Declutter for tackling procrastination
Now, this is an extremely important step that you need to take.
You need to declutter your mind, your desk, and everything that surrounds you.
You have to shut everything.
Below are some practical steps that you can take to shut everything and tackle procrastination:
If your identified task does not require you to use the internet then simply turn it off. Else you know you will sway everywhere. . . . touring the entire world through the feed!
If you are working on the internet then limit your browser tab to only 1. I know it is hard.
Talking about myself, I used to have more than 30 opened at a single time.
You can also search the extension of the browser tab which will remind you that you have opened several tabs.
I recommended tossing mobile devices into the purse.
But I think the better option is to hand it over to someone who will not give you back (I was not referring to the robbers of course!) . . . till you are done for the task!
There can be a high probability that you get tempted to open another tab in the browser. Youtube perhaps . . . Block the site.
There is an easy extension Focus which blocks and unblock certain sites for you.
Handy for monitoring kids! But when it comes to procrastination we are not less than one anyway!
If your workspace bothers you then hit a library and do not carry anything except for the task.
I know we are digital people, but if your large impactful task can be done without the use of a computer then do it.
Yes, be friends with pen and paper.
Turn towards simple tools.
To get something substantial done you do not need to have fancy stuff.
You will get lost.
If you are working from home or office. Then create a clutter-free desk.
(Get cool desk organization ideas here)
But decluttering should be done before diving into the work.
And it should be stretched till the afternoon!
“I will get right into the task once I clear this mess on my desk”
Trust me! This clearing task is never-ending.
And this will be the only time when the most organized soul will hop into your body.
If you get tangled in this situation then limit these organizational skills for now.
Just be simple.
If your desk is full of papers then it is not the right time to sort them up and trash the unimportant.
It can be done later [probably, before hitting bed! Esh are you crazy, I would rather scroll my feed before bed!]
Anyways, whichever time suits you, but not the mornings.
Just stack the papers and leave it on the corner.
Procrastinators will not agree more than staring at the walls became the MOST fascinating thing on earth when it comes to getting the real task done!
You might appreciate the paint on the wall or the wallpapers.
You might count the spots . . . endless activities.
And When nothing is left you will simply focus on one of the spots and sink back to an old memory!
If there is something on the wall that is a potential distractor then pull it off!
Like something that makes you laugh.
If it’s a vision board then it’s fine, but certainly do not get all flowy into the visualization process at this time.
You can get rid of the distraction by setting a timer. By best friend!
Yes, if you will be setting a timer then you will experience the feeling of a marathon.
If you will be doing certain things for a focused time then there is no doubt of not getting things done.
It is because of the timer that I do not stare at anything else except for the screen . . . as I remain mindful that the clock is ticking by.
Final words for tackling procrastination:
My last advice for tackling procrastination: ENJOY THE TASK!
Be mindful. Enjoy every single action.
If you have a gym to hit which you dread as a hard task.
Then enjoy the simplicity and ease in the action of tying shoelaces and preparing for the gym.
Enjoy the little task for a rewarding and worth-remembering experience.
Being in the moment and enjoying it is the best thing you can do for a better life.
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