There’s not many things I’m extremely good at. Not a fact to be proud of, I know. A fact to be even less proud of is that one of the things on this list is procrastinating. If you could make money out of procrastinating I probably wouldn’t make a penny constantly postponing procrastination.
I just really need that coffee right now. And to be honest I haven’t properly cleaned my room for at least a week. Just a quick check on Amazon about that plug… My keyboard is so dirty. Is it five o’clock already? Nah, I’ll look into it tomorrow. I don’t need to do it so urgently anyway. And so my Monday’s work flips over to weekend and, well, weekends are for relaxation.
And then I get angry at myself and frustrated for not doing absolutely anything. Why do I do this? Why do I keep repeating the same mistake over and over again when I know I’m going to be angry and the work will not be finished? How will I ever do anything in my life? Is there a way around this?
Thanks to Google and Youtube you can now learn about procrastination while procrastinating (I just tried saying that three times really fast) which shouldn’t really be procrastinating. The main reason for procrastinating lies within our brain. No, really? Problem is when you are facing a task or a problem your instinctual part of the brain that’s responsible for survival, hunger, emotions, etc. kicks in telling you to not think about the future and avoid the task and rather enjoy the moment. And before I go all scientific on the whole thing just watch the video.
In a nutshell we prefer to enjoy the moment rather than think about the future. So now that I know why I am procrastinating, how do I get rid of it? Surely there’s a way to do it. Well, there is. And it only takes stubbornness and strong will. Piece of cake for a serial procrastinator. As I’m heads in with promoting my not-yet-made film I spend way too much time on social media (which really doesn’t help my addiction) which is the easiest place to get lost in time. So I set myself a few rules.
Number one: Set goals.
For everything I’m doing I set a goal. A long term goal I need to achieve which is then chunked down into smaller, daily goals that will get me to “the big one”. For instance; my goal is to finish the film’s webpage by the end of the week. In order to do that I need to every day finish one thing. Day one work on ‘about’ section, day 2 work on pictures and photos, etc. So by Friday I have the website up and running. If it’s only smaller things you need to do, it makes it look much easier and it kind of becomes fun.
Number two: I do not check any of my social media accounts unless I am going to do something which will get me closer to my goal.
Say my goal is to get 300 followers on Twitter by the end of the week. I can’t just open Twitter and check if I have any notifications (the least productive thing on Earth since the rocking chair), instead I have to either post something, retweet or whatever it is that will make my account more active and attractive.
Same goes for Youtube and Vimeo. I do not go checking videos unless I need to post something or learn something.
Number three: To-do time table.
Every evening I write down things I need to do the next day. In the morning I have my coffee and create an hour-to-hour daily schedule. My day almost never goes by plan but at least I know what I have to do and I can see the priorities. Stuff that needs to be done urgently is, who would think, top of the list, when my head is clear and I have more energy.
Number four: Prioritise.
It took quite some time from the beginning to learn which things are not important and can therefore be removed from my schedule entirely. Get rid of the stuff that doesn’t help you reaching the goals or at least put them on the bottom of your list.
Number five: Get out.
Take a break, go for a walk, for coffee, get some fresh air, look at people. Sometimes a 15-minutes walk will give me completely fresh ideas.
Number six: Exercise.
Stay fit. Of course you want to stay fit because being lazy and staying at home all day is anything but healthy but you will also need a lot of motivation. And sweating and getting the pulse up a bit every now and then releases endorphins. And endorphins make you high and keep you unbelievably motivated. I go jogging twice to three times a week and some of the best ideas I got came to me while sweating and cursing.
I’m not saying these steps will help everyone in overcoming procrastination but they might give an idea of how to avoid it. And although I am doing everything I can to not procrastinate it still feels that every time I set myself to doing something I must first fight off my laziness. Now where’s that coffee?