It’s everyone’s nightmare. It’s what makes us miss our deadlines and seem so darn irresponsible at important settings. It’s the reason we don’t get As or make a millions. It has a name we all know too well; Procrastination.
Like every young adult, I have also struggled with putting off things I know I should very well be doing if I really want the results I say I want but this past week, I can say of a truth I murdered procrastination with my bare hands and got all my work done. I’m here to show you how you can do the same.
First, Be proactive
If you want to be more productive, you have to be proactive. We often don’t do the things we’re suppose to do at the right time because when we plan to do those thing we fail to also plan how to tackle obstacles that might hinder us from achieving our goals. If I know I need to study and I’m sure that my phone will be a distraction, the ideal thing to do is put my phone on silent and put off my data, or if need be put it in a room far away from me. If I want to have a productive weekend, I should not go get a tonne of movies from my friend. It’s common sense but it is also so easy to miss.
Do everything you can to make your task as accessible and easy to do as possible. Set a reminder on your phone if you tend to forget things. If you know you get tired easily, pack a snack or have an heavy breakfast. Take a book everywhere if you’re trying to read more often, so that in all that down time you can get to reading. You understand what I’m saying right? Envision a problem and solve it in advance. I am aware there are some things that will come up out of the blue and you can’t plan for but those instances, if we’re being honest, are a rarity and often need more time than can be planned for anyway. Leave those impromptu instances, you will tackle them and make up as they occur. In the meantime, try what I have said first, and let me know how it goes.
Second, Change your mindset
You have to see yourself as someone that actually gets things done. If you see yourself as hardworking and productive you’ll act like it. It’s all a mind game. The reason why we’re in this seemingly unending loop of procrastination is because we’ve accept that identity. We’ve taken it as our default mode, as normal. The more I thought of myself as someone that is efficient at what I do and not lazy, the more I played it out. Even in times when I was tired, I made myself believe that I could do more and so I did. I only gave out in moments when I physically couldn’t go on, like falling asleep on my books or developing a severe headache in which case, I’d take a break.
Also, I stopped comparing myself to others or seeing myself as others. Before when others said they were tired, I’d just automatically assume that I should be too even though more often than not, I wasn’t. If other’s complained the class was boring I would start to think so too. If people were sleeping in class, it would validate my urge to sleep too. I stopped thinking like that. I decided to choose who I wanted to be even if that meant enjoying a class everyone thought was boring or being happy and content when everyone else was tired and complaining. I decided to be myself and even more so be a better me. I didn’t just do what I like, I did what I thought was best to do. You should try that too.
Stop looking for excuses or motivation, just do whatever it is you know is best to do. Here’s something I said to my friend who was having trouble getting stuff done at the office (yes, I have friends who work in offices now, I feel old)— Just do it baby! Motivation/inspiration are for mere mortals anyway. I’m allowed to say that, cause I’m born again. I’m not just a human being, God’s spirit is inside me and He makes me capable. The next time you feel the urge to shift things, change your thinking.
When you eventually get your work done, take some time to let the giddy feeling wash over you in s l o w m o t i o n. Be happy with yourself, give yourself a pat on the back and if hugs are your thing, go ahead and hand yourself a bear hug. This works much like cocaine or alcohol. The reason people keep going back to those substance is that it has an element that triggers the pleasure centres of the brain and makes the abuser feel good. The exact same thing could happen to you when you get stuff done. You just feel good and you could get so addicted to this feel-good-feeling that you can’t wait to get another dose. All you need to do is to take that first step in the right direction and everything else will fall into place. This is actually a good addiction to have don’t you agree?
So here are the hacks I’ve found. I hope they will be immeasurably helpful to you. Take the time to practice them and see for yourself. The future is now. The future is here, don’t wait one second, grab it! I am looking forward to hearing all your success stories.
Love & love—O