FIRST, WHAT IS PROCRASTINATION EXACTLY?
Procrastination is the practice of doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable things, or carrying out less urgent tasks instead of more urgent ones.
Procrastination reveals our difficulties with self control and shows our inability to accurately predict our actions for the next day. We often tell ourselves, i’ll have the energy to do that tomorrow. We can depend on tomorrow to show up, but our motivation to be productive is another story. While researching, i found that %20 of the men & women in the U.S are chronic procrastinators.
“Everyone procrastinates, but not everyone is a procrastinator.” -Dr. Ferrari
20% sounds small, but it’s larger than he percentage of Americans diagnosed with clinical depression or phobias, both common conditions people are familiar with. When procrastination becomes a lifestyle, you’re officially limiting your health, business, finances and relationships. You’re making your life a burial ground for unaccomplished goals & wasted potential. More than 60yrs old, the snooze button, was one of the first technologies created to allow us more time, but what have we gained from it? Nothing but temptation to delay ourselves daily. Keep your hand off of that snooze button!
“Putting off an easy thing makes it hard. Putting off a hard thing makes it impossible.” -George C. Lorimer
WHY WE PROCRASTINATE
∇ As the speed of our life increases and the demands required of us multiply, procrastination is the ultimate struggle we wrestle with on a daily basis. The baffling thing about procrastination is that we think it will grant us temporary stress-relief, but indulging in it rarely does. After all, now you’ve just doubled your to-do-list for tomorrow.
Your actions send a message back to yourself about your character. Yes, affirmations are great temporary tools to boost your confidence. But only consistently taking action will build unwavering confidence and a self-image of you being a productive person. Procrastination lowers your self-esteem and sends signals back to yourself that you are, well, a bum or a slacker.
“Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started.” -David Allen
Many of us deliberately search for distractions. Disruptions as short as 2.8 seconds long doubles your chances of making a error, according to a 2015 study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology. The advancements of technology were created to be used to make the juggling of multiple tasks easier, yet we let them become our ultimate distraction.
SO YOU THINK YOU WORK BETTER UNDER PRESSURE?
No, you don’t. This is just how you do things. You are just accustomed to waiting to the last minute to do things. Many people that have always waited to the last minute to begin a task, after completing it successfully credits the success to their ability to be a procrastinator & still complete a task…but you don’t realize how it’s just the opposite. If you can accomplish something well last minute, just imagine what you could do with a little motivation & organization. Your options would be endless, but will remain limited. Why? Because the stress & the pressure that you put your mind through when you aren’t organized isn’t healthy. Eventually, it will become harder for you to live your life this way. Resulting again, in a burial ground full of your wasted potential.
“Nothing is easy after you’ve made laziness a habit.” -Teaira Carlton
HOW TO STOP PROCRASTINATING
Don’t waste time trying to create the perfect plan! Most plans you’ll find will have to be altered as you accomplish them. So, make an outline & just get to work! Over planning will quickly cause you to become overwhelmed.
“You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
Many times, staircases will have twist and turns on your way up. Just adjust & keep moving. It may be an unexpected twist, but the next step still takes you higher.
Acknowledge what your procrastination is doing to you, your future, your family & those who have invested in you. A different perspective of things can often give you that motivation you need to see that “procrastination” is a horrible epidemic. It’s spreading rapidly. That’s why associations are so important.
Proverbs 27:17 (KJV)
17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”
∇ You control your environments……
Require your friends to have goals. If they don’t have any goals, love them, but most of your time can’t be spent with someone without aspirations. It’s inevitable that you too will become wasted potential. Have associates & friends that hold you accountable! We all hit slumps & that’s when you need a friend that slaps you right out of it.
We’ve all spent countless hours scrolling through timelines, pictures & youtube videos. Without nodding one time, might i add & the moment you pick up a book you can’t make it through the first paragraph. That should show you that procrastination is a battle of the mind. Let’s seriously take a look at this. You’re going to have to set some strict rules for yourself until you desire achievement more than you desire attention on popular social sites. Have certain sites time out after you’ve been on them for a particular amount of time, because whatever you give most of your attention to will govern your lifestyle.
WE ASSOCIATE PRODUCTIVITY WITH PAIN
Yes, we’ve associated certain things with pain & don’t realize it. Pain comes in many forms. Not just the physical. It can be you simply dreading the exhaustion that you think you’ll feel if you organize that garage, write that book or start exercising every morning. It’s a form of discomfort to you, so your body naturally reacts when you think of it. It naturally kicks into “not today” mode. Leaving you with a funk to fight yourself out of. Just like you conditioned yourself to dread work, you have to condition yourself to dread failure even more. Make your environment failure proof. Put your phone, remotes & any other distraction you may have in a drawer until after your set time. Some tactics seem silly, but are necessary.
TRYING TO FOCUS? DRINK TEA, NOT COFFEE
Yes, you read it correctly. I was shocked as well. There are several studies that show that though most people reach for coffee when they’re trying to stay awake & focused, that tea is actually more effective. A article in Appetite reports that theanine, an amino acid exclusive to tea, can give you laser light focus. Theanine, which increases calmness and relaxation, interacts with caffeine to synchronize the brain activity related to the attentional processing. Additionally, tea provides a more consistent alertness throughout the day compared to coffee, even when matched for caffeine content.
THESE ARE JUST A FEW NUGGETS TO HELP SOMEONE GET STARTED ON THEIR JOURNEY TO A PRODUCTIVE LIFE.
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LOVE YOU ALL & GOD BLESS!