How much time have you spent trying to do something and still getting nowhere? A couple of days, weeks, a year! What do you think is the biggest culprit of why you didn’t complete your task on time? The difficulty of the task, circumstances, earthquakes!
Modern life is easier compared to life in the past. However, still, the majority of people never realize their goals. This is weird, considering the fact that most people have enough resources and knowledge to make their goals a reality.
The problem is in the modern world, everything has become easier, work has become easier, life has become easier, and so is access to pleasure. The amount of entertainment an ordinary person can indulge in on a regular basis is essentially limitless, and that too at the cost of a few bucks.
This easy access to entertainment, pleasure, information, knowledge, etc has created a new enemy, procrastination.
In the past, people didn’t have anything better to do than their goals. Moreover, the consequences of not working hard were always apparent, dire, and instant.
However, now most people are surrounded by infinite distractions. Why work on a task that takes 4-5 hours to complete when you can spend your hours on youtube?
Yes, most people don’t want to waste time watching youtube videos. Most people want to work on their goals. However, it’s too easy to get distracted in the modern world, and if you don’t have enough focus and awareness, you can be distracted your whole life without realizing your goal.
Don’t believe me?
Look at everyone around you. Most of them haven’t realized their goal. Moreover, apart from a few, most of them had the resources to reach their goal, but they failed because they failed to identify the real enemy, the distractions of the world.
The distractions of the modern world are not simple. They are sophisticated, considering the fact that they are created in a way that they utilize our instincts and behavior pattern against us to rob us of our time, attention, and potential.
Keep in mind, you have two enemies. First is the distraction of the modern world, and the other one is the enemy within, your instincts. The modern world & its infinite distractions offer cheap pleasure, but your instincts are also wired to seek pleasure.
Against this mighty foe, all you have is consciousness to go after a goal you decided. You know what your goal is and what you need to do. That’s it.
Procrastination is just you getting bested by infinite distractions of the modern world and your instincts in the direction of instant pleasure.
However, there are people in the modern world, millions of people, who have successfully defeated both distractions & their instincts and realized their goal.
They understood that their instincts seek pleasure and the modern world offers it for free, so they need to control their instincts and avoid the infinite distractions of the modern world.
To control your instincts & avoid infinite distractions, you have to change your thought pattern and understand the emotions you feel, emotions that bubble up inside you whenever you try to do a task or whenever you avoid a task and seek instant pleasure.
The 73 rules mentioned below will help you gain awareness of how your instincts & distractions in the modern world operate. How they make your thoughts less rational, how they make you feel negative emotions such that you start seeking positive ones from immediate pleasures, and how they over time make you lose touch with your inner voice.
If you keep these rules in mind, you will never fall into the tempting trap of procrastination.
Depending on how much you procrastinate, read these rules once or twice, and it’s not weird if you read them again and again.
Moreover, your habit of procrastination is not going to be solved in a single day. It will take time. You are developing the habit of ignoring your feelings & distractions of the world and focusing on what is truly important to you, and that takes time.
Here are 73 rules you need to keep in mind:
Rule 1. You will never feel like doing your work ever.
Rule 2. To stop procrastinating on important tasks, you need to stop procrastinating on minor tasks too.
Rule 3. How you feel right now about doing something is the same feeling you will feel tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, and forever.
Rule 4. Doing things when you don’t feel comfortable doing them is the key to stopping procrastination.
Rule 5. Always have a plan for the day. A plan to complete your important tasks and fun activities, and you need to stick to the plan throughout the day.
Rule 6. Whenever you are not sure what you are going to do, tell yourself to follow the plan. Following the plan is what you are supposed to do, and it doesn’t matter if you don’t feel sure about it. Even if you are wrong, at least this way, you will get something productive done. Most of the time, you will start feeling unsure whenever you will try to work on your goal. That’s also an emotion that bubbles up to prevent you from doing a task. Just work on the task for 10 minutes. If you still feel unsure, you are now better prepared to decide what you should do this way.
Rule 7. Eliminate as many sources of distraction as you can. Keeping them around you and expecting that they won’t get in the way of your work is not wise.
Rule 8. You are not trying to stop procrastination. You are trying to become a person who sticks to his words.
Rule 9. You need to make yourself mentally tougher to stick to your word. Sticking to your words means plowing through dozens of negative emotions and taking action.
Rule 10. To become a person who sticks to his words, you need to live a series of days where you force yourself to do the things you don’t feel comfortable doing but are doing just because you have decided to do, and those days will be uncomfortable and painful.
Rule 11. Meditating twice a day for 10 minutes is required to keep the negative pattern of behavior at bay.
Rule 12. Any productive task you have decided to do will be painful and will remain painful no matter how much you like it or enjoy it. Work or any creative venture that will propel your life in a positive direction will always be painful and will require you to change your existing pattern of behavior and thinking.
Rule 13. In a way, getting things done is all about putting yourself through mental and physical pain.
Rule 14. It is never going to get easier. You are never going to start enjoying it. It’s just you are going to understand that some things are more important in life than your feelings.
Rule 15. To avoid procrastination, you need to avoid it in every aspect of your life.
Rule 16. Keep in mind, no task is easy, and every task will take a certain amount of time and energy.
Rule 17. People around you can also be the reason why you aren’t able to do your work.
Rule 18. Two voices are active in your mind. One is you (conscious thoughts), and the other one is instinct (thoughts that originate from your feelings). Depending upon whom you focus on, either you will go forward or stay where you are.
Rule 19. Always start your work with a target, and until you reach your target, you can’t stop.
Rule 20. The feelings and emotions you are going to feel as you try to work on a positive task will be intense. You are going to feel a wide range of emotions, from fear to uncertainty, from stress to exhaustion, even though you were feeling fine a minute ago. The only way to move forward is to realize and understand the difference between you and your emotions. You need to understand and feel that these emotions are part of you (not you) and can be manipulated, however, you are free to move and can move in any direction even if these emotions are constantly bombarding you. Let them wash over you, feel them, and still start working. Feel how these emotions change as you start working, and it’s okay.
Rule 21. You need to have an offensive approach toward work. It’s not about doing your work. It’s about doing it perfectly and in the fastest time possible.
Rule 22. If you try to enjoy your work, you will understand that you don’t enjoy it as much as you enjoy scrolling the Instagram feed page. But you still enjoy it, even if very little. You need to see this engagement while doing meaningful work as a way to center and calm yourself. A way to connect with your inner parts and be more conscious and aware without being deceived by emotions.
Rule 23. Categorize things in your life into high-grade pleasure, low-grade pleasure, and meaningful engagement. High-grade pleasure being out with friends for a hike, traveling the world, and doing something exciting. Low-grade pleasure is using a phone, watching movies, etc. Meaningful engagement is anything that propels you forward in life in terms of knowledge, skills, health, experience, etc.
Rule 24. Be very strict about when you are going to spend time on low-grade pleasure, high-grade pleasure, and meaningful engagement. Keep track of it every day and every night to decide whether the time spent was worth it.
Rule 25. Avoid hanging around with people who are unable to act productively and move in any meaningful direction in life. The inability to fight your own instincts to move in a positive direction is contagious.
Rule 26. Don’t assume anything is going to be easy. Whether it’s doable or hard, nothing in this world is easy.
Rule 27. It’s your duty to help anyone around you who is suffering from procrastination and lend them a helping hand if they are looking for a way out.
Rule 28. Talk about procrastination as much as you can. By talking to your friends and anyone whenever you get a chance, you will have breakthroughs and new insights about this terrible human behavior.
Rule 29. Every human being on this planet feels resistance (negative emotions) whenever he tries to do something productive.
Rule 30. The resistance you feel whenever you try to do something productive is a wave of emotions and thoughts that wash over you and try to stop you from entering a domain that can have a positive influence on your life.
Rule 31. Every time you feel resistance, there is an opportunity for you to move forward or learn something about yourself.
Rule 32. This resistance is never going to go away.
Rule 33. You have to defeat resistance every day and every time you try to do something or want to do something productive.
Rule 34. Low-grade pleasures offer no resistance.
Rule 35. High-grade pleasure and meaningful engagement offer resistance.
Rule 36. If you believe in god, you can look at resistance as a great evil that is trying to stop every human being on the planet from becoming the person the gods destined them to be by utilizing their potential to its full extent.
Rule 37. If you believe in evolution, think of resistance as an instinct that has evolved for thousands of years for the sole purpose of survival. However, these instincts get easily manipulated by mass media, the entertainment industry, and the environment in negative ways.
Rule 38. Millions of people every year are stopped by resistance & procrastination from reaching their goals.
Rule 39. Millions of people every year successfully defeat resistance & procrastination and reach their goals.
Rule 40. Be kind to those around you. Everyone is fighting the resistance and trying to reach their goal. It’s hard for them as much as it’s hard for you.
Rule 41. If the work you are doing doesn’t positively impact the world and your community, you are indirectly getting defeated by resistance.
Rule 42. Never surrender to resistance in your actions, thoughts, or otherwise.
Rule 43. Being afraid of your work is okay, but never let it stop you from working every day.
Rule 44. Keep yourself hydrated, eat healthy food, and avoid junk food, processed food, drugs. You need to be in good health to defeat your inner demons/natural instincts.
Rule 45. Even if you lose today, you have to go to bed fully prepared to fight tomorrow. In your fight against resistance, you are going to lose a lot, but don’t let it stop you from trying once again.
Rule 46. The best way to spend your day is by doing something productive and meaningful. Everything else is just a distraction. At the end of your week, at the end of your day, and at the end of your life, meaningful engagement & high-grade pleasures will be remembered, and everything else will be forgotten.
Rule 47. Read about procrastination, resistance, psychology, etc to gain the upper hand in your fight against procrastination. (Try reading: The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, The Atomic Habits by James Clear).
Rule 48. Consistency is your only weapon against resistance.
Rule 49. The intensity and trying to get everything done in a day, or thinking you can do everything in a day, is the most destructive thought you can ever think of & the greatest lie you can ever believe since it will never serve you well.
Rule 50. Slow progress is the only progress. As good things take time to happen.
Rule 51. If you have a goal, don’t stop until you reach it. Even if you are doing something else right now, just dedicate an hour toward your goal. Even a minute every day counts as long as you are trying your best. However, never abandon your goals.
Rule 52. There will be days when you will wake up feeling tired and not wanting to do anything with the world. However, to reach your goals, you need to get things done. If you let your feelings decide whether you will work on a particular day or not, then chances are most days you will get nothing done. On these days, either you need to work on your project while feeling bad or do something that you know will cheer you up enough so that you can get things done.
Rule 53. Feelings are temporary. How you feel is temporary, like the waves in an ocean. There are millions of waves rising and diving every second. The only permanent thing is the satisfaction you gain when you complete your work.
Rule 54. Everyone is trying to be happy. Everyone is trying to be happy all the time. However, the work can be done only from a stable center. You have to learn how to spend your day without trying to seek pleasure.
Rule 55. Doing your work is painful, and it will always be painful until you stop trying to fabricate bliss at every moment of your day.
Rule 56. If you don’t feel like doing a task now, you will not feel like doing it in an hour or the next day unless there is instant pain associated with not doing it. Hence, self-improvement tasks like meditation, exercise, etc are very easy to skip and very difficult to do.
Rule 57. Do even the smallest of tasks with perfection. No task is insignificant or important. All tasks have equal value. You may get different results from different tasks, however, judging a task solely by its result will make you prone to working poorly on less productive tasks.
Rule 58. Am I going to spend my whole day working? No, you are going to spend your whole day the way you plan it. If you plan it in a way that you spend your whole day working, then you should spend it entirely that way. The goal is to spend your day the way you decide it.
Rule 59. Millions of things can happen and make it impossible for you to execute your plan. In those cases, creating a new plan is the way to go.
Rule 60. All you are trying to do is gain power over your own self such that if you say you are going to run for an hour in the middle of the night while wearing heels, you are sure you will do it. The path to gaining the certainty that you will do what you say is the path to happiness, success, health, wisdom, and knowledge.
Rule 61. Live in the pain of doing your work, live in the pain of change, live in the pain of getting things done, live in the pain of following your words, live in the pain of trying to be a better person, and in time you will realize that living this way is better than spending your time watching Netflix shows.
Rule 62. Our society has developed in such a way that your attention is a currency. Hence, every time you go online or even go outside, you will find numerous things that will try to take that attention away from you, away from your work to something else. It’s your duty as an adult to decide whether you want to waste that attention on things that don’t matter but make you feel good or on things that matter and will change your life and help your family and community.
Rule 63. It will never get easy.
Rule 64. Key to defeating procrastination: Controlling your thoughts and ignoring your emotions.
Rule 65. You have to defeat procrastination every single day.
Rule 66. You don’t have an unlimited amount of energy. With every task, you are losing energy. The only way you can gain energy is by resting, nothing else. Even the act of watching an entertaining video will drain your energy.
Rule 67. Start your day with the most difficult task. The difficult of the task is directly proportional to the resistance it will offer. Completing it when you have the maximum amount of energy is the best way.
Rule 68. Negative people will drain the energy you can use to work on your goal. Avoid people you don’t like, negative people, and just simple people if you can until your work is done so that you have enough energy to get things done.
Rule 69. The amount of time, energy, and focus you think a task will take will always be greater than you think. So, plan wisely.
Rule 70. Indulge in meaningful entertainment and stay away from low-grade pleasures.
Rule 71. You need to take rest throughout the day from time to time to ensure you are always working at your best.
Rule 72. Don’t watch things or do things that are highly entertaining before work. It will make you dread work even more.
Rule 73. Don’t eat sweets while working.
Curious about who you truly are? Here’s a Free Archetype Quiz that will help you realize Your personality quirks, innate talents, and hidden weaknesses.
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