Today is Monday, meaning the beginning of another week. For some this is the day to go back to work, to school, start exercising, work on a new project, and so on. Most of us face a procrastination on day to day basis. We procrastinate to write our thesis paper, go to the gym, begin homework, etc. Procrastination is the voice in our minds that we listen to, and that voice is a barrier to success. To get things done, we need to stop listening to that voice. It doesn’t matter if you are a student, an athlete or a blogger, we all face the exact same problem.
Last year, procrastination hit me hard, because I became an online high schooler, and I had to learn how to manage my time well and limit any distractions. If you are an online high schooler, then you know how easy it is to get distracted and hard it is to get things done. That’s when I started to read many articles and watch videos about procrastination, while procrastinating; it felt like a vicious circle. A month later, I came across a very motivating quote that have helped me tremendously with managing my procrastination. If you are currently struggling with the same issue, don’t worry there is a way to tackle it.
Follow these steps
1. Begin with writing down a list of things you need to do.
Don’t skip this step.
Example: Write a blog post
2. Notice, all the reasons your mind comes up with to not do this task now
You can write them down too.
Example: I will do it later
3. Turn off or put away all your distractions: phone, tv, etc.
If you are working from home, then a good way for you to get in the groove of getting things ticked off from your list is to have a clean space around you. If your desk is messy, make it tidy. It helps, trust me.
4. Procrastination is rooted in your thoughts. Listen to your excuses
“It’s hard to think about it but it’s easy to do” – Ajahn Brahm
A task seems hard for us because our mind makes it seem hard. We think that it’s so hard to write a research paper because it takes a lot of time, requires hard work, etc. Your mind comes up with a bunch of excuses for you to not complete that task at this moment. Even though, some of the excuses can be true about the difficulty of your task, you still need to get it done. You can do that by taking control of your mind. If you can silence your mind, you can take on anything. I learned this tip from one of the stories in the book called “Who Ordered This Truckload of Dung” by Ajahn Brahm (I mentioned this book in my “10 Books That Will Change Your Life” article). Remember this: Thinking is the hard part, doing it is easy!
Let’s take a scenario, where you need to wash the dishes and your thoughts sound like this “oh, I’ll wash the dishes later, because there is a big pile and it’s going to take a long time for me to wash it all.” What if you just stood up from your couch and started to wash the dishes? Without thinking about how hard it is to wash a big pile of dishes, you would just wash the dishes, and it wouldn’t be hard to do.
Example: It will take a long time to write this paper, so I’ll watch a video on YouTube, and then I will start.
The key is to realize that these are the thoughts that make the process seem hard.
5. The way to silence your mind is to be present in the moment.
This might seem hard at a first glance, but it is actually not that hard. Begin by grounding yourself in the present moment by noticing what’s around you. If you are sitting at a desk, start observing what’s on your desk. The key of this is to get yourself distracted from your thoughts. Once, you feel firmly in the present moment, tell yourself “it’s hard to think about it, and it’s easy to do.” Then, pick up a pen or open up the computer and start writing or begin doing some other task you need to complete. If you have nothing around you which you can focus on, start breathing slower than you, usually, do and notice how your abdomen moves up and down or just solely focus on your breath.
Be the master of your mind and not the other way around.
Example: I am looking at the things I have on my table, and I’m focusing on the details of my pen holder.
6. Stop thinking, start doing
Procrastination can be big or small, for example, you need to finish a science project, wash the dishes or make a phone call. The whole point of this technique is to get yourself from listening to the voice in your head and get straight to work. Stop thinking and start doing.
The difference between a lazy person and a person who is getting things done is willpower. Everybody has willpower, but some people have stronger willpower than others. However, I think everybody can develop a strong willpower if they want to. It’s like a muscle that needs to be exercised in order to get strong. Every day, do your best to pass through the procrastination and actually do stuff.
7. The voice of procrastination will never leave, only become quieter.
It’s a part of your mind, but it can become quieter with time. Don’t expect yourself to write a research paper and never face the procrastination ever again. What you need to do is overcome that resistance of working, as much as possible and your willpower and mind will become stronger and, stronger each time.
8. It’s ok to procrastinate once in a while, and still get things done.
This what, usually, happens to me. I get things done but procrastinate a little bit along the way, and that’s ok. As long as you get your tasks done on time, then you are doing a good job!
Remember that procrastination will always exist, but with overcoming procrastination daily, the voice in your mind will no longer be the authority, and it will be easier for you pass through it.
9. After you complete what you needed to do, compliment yourself.
Tell yourself that you did a good job. The recognition of your hard work is very important in this process. Never stop loving yourself!
I hope you guys found this technique to be helpful and good luck with checking things off your to-do list! If you liked this article, please share it.