Julia is preparing for her examinations coming up in 5 days, she knew she need to revise her books. She picked her text book and her phone beeped; she picked her phone and saw a celebrity just updated her Instagram story. While checking the update, her book fell from her hand; she picked it and set it aside saying I’ll get back to it later. Instead of studying, she picked her phone and started scrolling mindlessly through Instagram for hours on end. The same thing happens tomorrow and a day after tomorrow. She knew that if she continued this bad habit, she may never actually excel in her forth coming examination and she will definitely regret it. Yet she felt completely powerless over it..
Are you like Julia? Did I just described you in my story and you are thinking of stopping here? That will be a wrong move.. Why don’t you read on?
Procrastination is the act of ‘putting off’ a task until panic kicks in and you either; don’t have a choice but to complete the task, or come up with a reason for yourself as to why it’s not important.
I have always had big ambitions and goals and clear direction, but I used to lack everything else that would get me there. I used to watch TV for hours and prefer just doing nothing to what I should be doing. I’d feel guilty about that but the guilt was never enough to stop my bad habits.
Procrastination is just a thought. A voice in our head and it comes from two core areas:
- Not willfully deciding what you want.
- Entertaining fear of some sort.
Humans like to think we are clever lot. Yet those magnificent, mighty brains that allow us to split the atom and touch the moon are the same stupid brains that can’t start an assignment until the day before it is due. Procrastination is about lack of motivating energy and motivating energy seems to come from brain focus. Do you know that the brain will only focus when it is told as specifically as possible what to do?
Cesar Millan said;
“Never work against Mother Nature. You only succeed when you work with her.”
But the truth is this? How do you work with something that tries to distract and undermine what you’ve set out to do? There always a trick.
The trick to overcoming procrastination is understanding where your procrastination comes from.
One would ask; is there any cause of procrastination? My answer is yes! The only cause of procrastination is the urge to procrastinate.
Below are some TIPS to help you fight that monster called procrastination;
- First, you need to have A PLAN. Organize your whole day, write every aspect down and create a timetable.
- DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT. Even if it is just in the next few hours.
- FOLLOW YOUR ENERGY. The presence of energy will tell you that you are seeking something valuable.
- DEVELOP A DRIVE: one thing that jump starts a drive is passion. You need to be as passionate about your goals as you can be. You say that you are ambitious, so what exactly are your ambitions?
- CUT YOUR WORK IN SMALL BITES. When you wake up in the morning, make a to do list and make sure your works are cut in little bits. You want to study? Instead of going 5hours straight, you can share it in bits. Let say, 2hours, then you do other things for fun then 3 hours. Once you have a success, celebrate. Give yourself a treat. you can see a movie or have a cookie.
- Find new place to work if you feel your brain can’t work anymore at a place.
- Build momentum from tiny accomplishments.
- SET PRIORITIES. Focus on things on the top of the priority list. Just so you know, priorities change rapidly;
Your priority may be to to get to office early, now you are thinking of the best way to beat the traffic and get to work on time and then the lovely smell of toasted bread and sardine and a hot cup of beverage is making its presence felt, and your stomach starts rumbling…lol. you will agree with me that your priority will change immediately and you will start having a rethink.
So ensure; you are mindful of how time affects your stress levels, and adjust your priorities.
Now that i have pointed out some key factors of dealing with procrastination;
What are those things that distract you? Identify each of them and do away with them. Eg, if you are the type that is addicted to Facebook, Instagram or snap chat, you have to put a limit to how you use it. Social media is here to stay and just because it’s a side distraction for you does not mean it should be banned. So here is how to overcome it when you are busy with a task, turn off the notification button or even your data till you are done with the task.
Know you peak period:
Everyone knows their strength and weakness, we know when we are more productive and when we are not. If you fall into the category that do not know their peak period, I’d advise you take time to study yourself or you can tell a friend, spouse or sibling to help with that.
I could remember back then in school, i notice when I read in a noisy environment, I tend to understand quickly unlike going to the library to read, my mind will be having a jolly ride while I end up having achieved nothing. I also observed that 5:00am was the best time for me to read my books but not without me putting on the television or playing a music. These were my academic productive period.
You may say; I am not in school, what about your place of work? Those periods when you can finish three to four task perfectly and you are applauded for it are you peak period.
The next thing to do is;
CREATE A VISION BOARD:
Create a vision board of how you want to be and work towards it.. There’s this lady I so much admire her write-up on Facebook. I always read her post and wished that one day I will be a better writer like she is. Now I am not comparing her and myself, but I am using her as a yardstick to achieving what I want. I am merely finding inspiration by looking at them. No comparisons!
SURROUND YOURSELF WITH INSPIRATIONAL PEOPLE:
People area success driven, people who can pull you till you achieve that dream of yours, people whose lifestyle will motivate positive. These are the people you should be surrounded with.
The good news is that if a person can improve on his/her experience, she is less likely to procrastinate in the future. When you wake up each day, ask yourself, “What is the most important thing I can complete today?” “What will move me forward the most that I can complete by the end of the day?”
My question for you now is; what major goals are you neglecting as you waste time watching Netflix or ranting on social media or doing whatever is distracting you? How many times have you said “I’ll do it tomorrow” in your life? Why don’t adopt and learn to use this Michael Jordan, Nike slogan—JUST DO IT?
Whatever it is, put it away, remember the bigger picture, and go put in work.
Written by: Juliana Jonathan
Photo Credit: Stutterstock photo