I procrastinated my way through school and college.
And I procrastinated dealing with procrastination…
It did come in my way of doing my best but I always thought that I’ll deal with my habit of procrastination later because I typically got what I wanted and never felt the need to change.
Until I decided to do something that really matters to me.
I don’t know about anyone but for me, procrastination is like an addiction. It’s a fight that I fight every other day. Some days the urge to escape, or to not start, is high and some days the fuel never seems to burn out.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy what I am doing. I like it very much. It’s stupidly because I am afraid of the magnitude of what I see it could become and the change can bring, (I’m just starting btw)
And shamefully because I am lazy. (There’s no pride in laziness.)
But to accomplish what I want to, I must perform every day. I can’t simply rely on my chancy motivation pattern. I must have a predictable and reliable work ethic. And here’s what’s working for me.
There are two aspects of it –
# Practical –
- Make a to-do list with time blocks and reminders for individual tasks. This is done the night before the day. Why? To have clarity. Simply knowing when and what to do makes it easier to get into action.
- Make it extremely easy to start and focus maniacally on starting. The moment I think about the difficulty of the task or time it’ll take to complete, I stop myself right there and just focus on the first step I can take.
# Internal –
- Ample self-love that involves forgiving myself and affirming that I am capable of doing better.
- Just enough guilt to make me feel that there are both external consequences of procrastination and also consequences to my internal well-being. Procrastination makes me unhappy and I feel it.
Now, there are plenty of books, videos and essays on procrastination and they have helped me a lot. However, what I’ve noticed is that the learnings I get from my own experimentation and experience stick with me far longer than lessons from many second-hand sources. (Swamiji’s words hit on a different level. He is more first-hand to me than I am to myself.) I don’t mean to say that I am not open to feedback, criticism and advice, what I am saying is, that which comes from within, stays longer.
Lastly, this post may not be valuable to all but I hope the younger ones like me get something out of it. Also, any tips that worked for you are welcome.