How to Overcome Procrastination
Why is it that people aren’t doing the things they should be doing? Do you frequently leave your assignments for the last minute? Have you ever spend a sleepless night, because you needed to finish that paper due the following morning? Or have you ever just sat there, scrolling deeper and deeper into the depts of Instagram’s feed, until you just zoom out like…
It took me 14 hours to sit down and write this article. You could ask what took me so long, especially now, when there are no activities outdoors. Well, you see, the thing is I’m a professional procrastinator. My Rational Decision-Maker is always playing along with the Instant Gratification Monkey. If this sounds gibberish to you, the following pictures are from a TedTalk made by Tim Urban. He is quite good at giving definition to procrastination. (you’ll find a link to his TedTalk in the end)
Procrastination for beginners
The main point of Tim Urban is that in our procrastinating heads there are three main characters. The Rational Decision-Maker is the disciplined guy, who has everything planned, he is the chief of productivity. But sadly he is not always in charge…
The Instant Gratification Monkey is an image of why we do all the things that we do instead of the needed once. Like for instance doing chores instead of finishing a burning project or googling “do mermaids really exist”. But most often just start scrolling all the social media there are and gazing the meme masterpieces. Yeah, we’ve all been there. (I like doing different DIY household shit…today I made rugs from old towels..)
Luckily, there is the Panic Monster. It’s passive till the last minute. You know, that last day moment when you just get your shit together and do the thing. Not because you want to, but because you must.
Only then the Monkey goes away, and you start doing what you need to. But the Panic Monster works only when you have deadlines. Sadly longterm things don’t have deadlines. Like health or the dream job that needs you to start from scratch.
How do you cope with it?
Actually, for a start, just stop beating yourself up for procrastinating. Because it’s not there for no reason. There are many opinions about the nature of procrastination. Some say it’s a very needed feature of the human brain and thanks to it, people come up with genius ideas. Little add up that this doesn’t work from those who feel guilt and anxiety because of procrastination. Others say it’s just a neglected form of laziness. Either way, let me give you a couple of life hacks on how to cope with it, just in case you really need to get something done.
5 easy ways of getting things done
1. Break the task to little steps.
Smaller tasks seem much easier to accomplish.
2. Keep the task small!
The hardest thing is to start. That’s why the Pomodoro Technique is here to help you. Basically you work 25-minute blocks, separated by 5-minute brakes. Just set a timer on your phone for 25 minutes and concentrate on only ONE small task (or step of the task). Most importantly set aside all the gadgets that can distract you!
3. Set the bar LOW!
Yeah, you heard me right. We’ve been all through the “I’m gonna run 5 kilometers every morning!” and eventually end up with a maximum of two times per month (or per year). When you set the bar low, chances of achievement get higher and in most cases, you will exceed it.
4. Give yourself rewards.
Just please no junk food.
5. Create the perfect space for concentration and work.
Put on some music, clean your desk or just put away your phone already. You won’t miss much, trust me.
Wise words for a finale
“All human beings should try to learn before they die what they are running from, and to, and why.”
When you really what to do something, there won’t be many obstacles. It’s all on your determination. So, maybe next time, you don’t feel like doing something, you should look up your priorities. Check if this task is really interesting for you. If not, try seeing it from a different perspective. If this also doesn’t work, then maybe it’s time for you to find something fulfilling.
“Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken.” Oscar Wilde
Follow the easy steps, chill, let yourself be lazy sometimes. At the same time, remember your goals. Don’t let the Instant Gratification Monkey fule you 😉
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