Procrastination is the silent and killer illusion of productive people, because it is not necessarily as obvious as you might think.
Laziness, on the other hand, is. Not getting out of your bed in the morning, checking your phone, sleeping just 10 more minutes, I mean…30, not going to the gym, putting off that important assignment, is clearly a sign of being lazy. It’s a conscious process, and quite unpleasant if we are “suffering from it”.
Procrastination, or, “the silent killer” as I like to call it, is dangerously easy to do and get used to. Checking your phone one more time before studying, deciding to eat before finishing those assignments, basically alternating important actions, with much easier, not at all important actions, which result in a temporary feeling of gratification, a little dose of serotonin, and, in the long run, destroying our productivity, degenerating into laziness, causing lack of motivation and depression, turning you from hero, to zero.
Life is often hard, and unpleasant, we all know this. But one day, when this will all end, and the lights will be forever out, you’ll be glad if you did what was necessary, even if it was unpleasant, tiring, even if it hurt like hell, because you’ve reached your goals, as a result of the struggle you’ve been through. So if you think you might be also a procrastinator, don’t worry, because I have got the required strategies to overcome it, but you’ll have to apply them, not just read through this and then go back to browsing meaningless stuff.
Step 1: Recognize that you, in fact, have a problem that needs to be solved.
You will never be able to reach a goal, until you set it. Set your goal too high, without breaking it down into smaller, achievable goals, you will be overwhelmed by the daunting difficulty and lack of results in the long run. With procrastination, it’s not any different. Yes, it might not be physically demanding, but it will certainly give the appearance of a hard, huge, nasty and difficult goal, which will take a godly willpower to overcome. In fact, all it takes, is recognizing, first of all, that you, as a person, are halting your progress, putting off important tasks, not taking the necessary steps towards a better life, because your mind would rather do something more pleasant. But your mind in in totality under your control, and now, you are going to take charge of it. You are not tired, you just think that. It is not hard, but you make it seem so, because you are not willing to face your problems, and real life.
Step 2: Identify key points that result in procrastination:
You might avoid tasks because they are hard. You might also avoid them because they are boring, or just a chore to do. You might also avoid tasks because you believe that the result will anyway be a negative one, or that they won’t take you any further in life, or because you might be frustrated.
Procrastination can also be caused by much more serious problems, like depression, however, we are purely focusing on getting over it. If you think, or know that you might have such issues, please take additional steps, like talking to a professional.
If a task is boring, do it first, so that later you not only will have to deal with the more enjoyable parts of a task, but also be worry free that you will have to deal with it later. This can apply in almost any situation, from studying, to office work, but the importance of getting over it as fast as possible is a huge advantage. Success not always manifests through failure, it can manifest in the form of daunting, boring tasks, which you will have to pass in order to reach your goal. So you can consider boring tasks a challange. Visualize your goal, and then the task you are not willing to take. Imagine yourself succeeding. And now, imagine yourself failing, and the only thing between you and your success was that boring task. You don’t need to procrastinate because a task is boring, or hard. If you fail, that’s great, because it’s all your fault. You don’t need to stress over it forever, you must try again, as many times as necessary, until you’ve done it.
Step 3: Break the cycle, kill the habit.
Habits are habits because we constantly repeat them. We do them today, tomorrow, and just keep on going, like we’re stuck in a loop. We get so absorbed, used to doing it, that we accept it, we believe it’s okay. But that is exactly where step 3 comes into play, where we finally take action against our bad habit.
Before anything, in order to break a habit, we need to have the correct mentality. Every morning, waking up, there are key things you must do:
- Visualize your goals for the day.
- You don’t need to, or must, you will do, and you chose to do your tasks.
- Get over the boring, and hard tasks first, so that you can continue your day doing more positive things.
The first point is the most important. Before checking your phone, or doing anything else, you must repeat, silently, or loudly, your goals, and what you are going to do first, followed by the fact that you do them because you want, and not because you must, or are obliged in any way. Don’t skip this, I want you to do it every morning. As days will pass, what we say, what we repeat, can, and ultimately will, become what our mind perceive.
Step 4: Visualize, focus, execute.
As soon as your goals are set, and you’ve gone through your morning routine, you will visualize the task, focus on starting to do it, and then execute, keeping as much focus as you can while doing it. Don’t hate the task because it is boring, and don’t be scared of it because it is hard. Just focus on doing as much as you can. What you can’t, it’s okay, you will get back to it, as soon as possible. Don’t use this as an excuse, because it is not meant to be one. We all have things we can not do, because we don’t have the necessary knowledge, or skill set. But we are, however, responsible for developing it, day by day.
Step 5: Accept yourself, and accept relapses:
I understand that reading this guide can make me seem way too harsh, or having motivation beyond anything you can grasp. But the truth is, I, myself, have worked on this daily, for years now. Some of us can break habits faster, some of us slower. Some of us are motivated by failure, some of us are scared. Failing, and relapsing are two things that we will all do at some point. Maybe after three days, maybe after three months. But what is important to do, is to try again, right after you’ve failed. Don’t give up on breaking your habit of procrastination, accept defeat, and use it to motivate, to inspire, to drive you. Remember where you started from, and remember where you’ve got. Remember where you are, and remember where you’re headed. Because as impossible as it seemed when you began killing the habit, you’ve done it. I’ve done it, every successful person did, and does it. Make clear the fact that excuses are not what you need, and failure just means you’ve taken your first steps. Because, we all crawl before we walk, and so will you, if you stick with this guide.
Thank you for reading, I really hope I have provided you with the right strategy in order to overcome procrastination. After years of trial, failure, research, and dedication, I have developed this guide which has helped me enormously in my day to day life. If you have any suggestions, thoughts, or opinions, feel free to leave a commentary.