I wasn’t procrastinating when I bumped into this article about beating procrastination… pinky swear! I’ve been working on myself for the last couple of months, exorcising the demon of procrastination – because I’m not fully ‘cleansed’, a lot of the points written by the author spoke to me.
- The “I don’t know where to begin” excuse. Sometimes just starting is overwhelming, but, when it comes to challenging tasks, inactivity is the enemy.
- The “There are too many distractions.” excuse. Long ago I read that it often helps to start small, just completing something will give you the ‘go’ to take on the bigger tasks. Do this with caution, because being busy is not the same as being productive.
- The “It’s too easy” excuse. What does Murphy say? Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Always remember, tasks that are too easy can be surprisingly dangerous.
- The “I don’t like it” excuse. The author brilliantly says you should eat your vegetables before you can have dessert.
- The “I don’t think I can do it” excuse. I think much like the first point, we tend to get bogged down by a side show of our imagination, the trick is to have better imagination, shift your mind in a confident direction by focusing on all the positive things that are going to happen when you succeed.
Sowing a habit of getting stuff done is not easy, but what I learnt in the last few months is that that’s the hardest part. Once you get into the swing of it, and you are committed to it, the hunger for accomplishment (and success) will keep you going, like some kind of magical inertia. In the end, quotes like this one come to mind when you find yourself procrastinating.
My personal trick to fight procrastination? I write lists on square paper and scratch off things as and when I finish. These square papers are great for several reasons:
- You can carry them with you everywhere without burden;
- They are small enough to limit the number of tasks you write on them;
- The size as well limits your thoughts about the task that needs to be done, a bigger page tends to encourage one to unravel a task;
- There’s something about writing stuff on paper that creates a commitment, apps and note reminders on a computer/phone don’t have the same effect;
- And when I’m done with all the items, I rip the paper into small shreds (quite satisfying actually), and don’t feel too guilty about wasting paper.
I found the article helpful, I hope you find my 2 cents helpful too.