There are certain things in life where you need to work consistently for a certain duration of time to get results. Things where intensity doesn’t necessarily produce any results. For instance, Weight loss, you need to consistently exercise and follow a diet for a few days to get results.
It doesn’t matter how intensely you exercise on the first day or how strictly you follow a diet, If you aren’t able to maintain a certain level of consistency with exercise and diet, you will most likely have no results.
These types of tasks or activities result in procrastination the most.
Moreover, the more difficult a task is and the uncertain the results are, the more likely you are to procrastinate.
Assuming you can maintain a certain level of consistency (you can train for 1-2 days consistently or follow a diet for a few days, but after that, you start going off route), there are certain things you can do to cure procrastination.
However, if you can’t convince yourself to work on a task even once, then you should seek professional help.
In this article, you will find 5 things you can do to cure procrastination.
Using these 5 things, you can reach a point where you are able to consistently work on a task with 100% focus and effort for as long as you decide.
1. The Skill of Consistency
A lot of people believe that to become consistent something will happen in their life, something which will make them obsessed with work, and then from then on, they will become consistent and stay consistent for their entire life.
Some mind trick or mindset shift will happen, and they will never make mistakes ever, and they will stay consistent and work extremely hard every day.
However, the truth is just like any other skill, consistency and the ability to stay consistent is something you need to develop. It’s a skill, a muscle you need to develop.
People who are highly successful in their life and can maintain consistency with their work and do not get distracted even though they have the most distracting environment is because of the skill of consistency.
They have developed the skill of consistency to a level where nothing can stop them from maintaining consistency.
The real question is how to develop the skill of consistency.
Simple; Do every task you have decided to do in a day. It doesn’t matter even if you do it for a minute or just a few seconds.
I have spent months where I only trained for less than 5 minutes daily.
I didn’t feel like training, but to ensure I maintain consistency, I exercised for just a few minutes. I performed a few sit-ups and squats even though I didn’t feel like leaving my bed. Sometimes I even exercised on the bed.
This is how this thing work: When you maintain consistency for days on end, even if you do it for just a few minutes every day, you develop resistance toward your feelings.
Even if you don’t feel like training, after a while, It’s not something that stops you from doing a task. You know you won’t feel like training, and that’s not something you see as a problem or obstacle. You gain that mental toughness to pull even when you don’t feel like it.
But this level of mental toughness is developed only when you maintain consistency for days, even if you are doing a task for a minute.
Keep in mind, You are not just trying to improve by maintaining consistency, you are also trying to develop the skill of consistency (To develop this skill, you need to do every task every day, even if just for a minute).
This is how this skill worked for me: I decided to read every single day. I didn’t feel like reading on the very first day. I read only a small paragraph of 4-5 lines. The next day came, and I again didn’t feel like reading, I again read just a section of 4-5 lines. The whole month ended with me not feeling like reading even once. I kept on reading just a paragraph every day. On average, I read for a minute daily.
In the next month, again, I didn’t feel like reading, but on average, I read a page a day.
The third month started, I didn’t feel like reading, but I was reading for an average of 10-20 minutes daily, and I was able to finish a book by the end of the fourth month.
Now I read every day even though I don’t feel like reading (at least non-fiction), and I read for around 30-50 minutes daily. It took me around a year to get to this point.
Believe in the power of consistency and do every task you decide to do, even if for just a minute and keep at it. After a while, it will get easier, and you will start making tremendous progress, but all of that will start with you maintaining consistency.
2. Better Mindset: It’s Not About Doing it Later It’s About What’s Best For You
The second thing you need to cure procrastination is a better mindset.
Here’s a quote I came across that helped me fight procrastination:
How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself and in no instance bypass the discriminations of reason?
You have been given the principles that you ought to endorse, and you have endorsed them. What kind of teacher, then, are you still waiting for in order to refer your self-improvement to him? You are no longer a boy, but a full-grown man. If you are careless and lazy now and keep putting things off and always deferring the day after which you will attend to yourself, you will not notice that you are making no progress, but you will live and die as someone quite ordinary.
From now on, then, resolve to live as a grown-up who is making progress, and make whatever you think best a law that you never set aside.
And whenever you encounter anything that is difficult or pleasurable, or highly or lowly regarded, remember that the contest is now: you are at the Olympic Games, you cannot wait any longer, and that your progress is wrecked or preserved by a single day and a single event.
That is how Socrates fulfilled himself by attending to nothing except reason in everything he encountered. And you, although you are not yet a Socrates, should live as someone who at least wants to be a Socrates.According to Epictetus (From Manual 51)
These few lines contain everything you need to fight procrastination.
This idea of doing what’s best for you sums up everything anyone needs to move forward in life. This is the most important lesson, and you need to apply it if you want to defeat procrastination every day.
You need to become a person who always chooses what’s best for him.
Doing something later or postponing something is not even a question.
However, becoming this person who always does what’s best for him, Who always chooses what’s right is difficult, and you may need some time before you can practice this lesson perfectly.
Moreover, this isn’t a lesson you can put aside. If you leave this lesson, you are essentially giving up on the greatness you are destined to achieve.
3. Mental Clarity
The third thing you need is mental clarity.
You need a certain amount of mental clarity & focus to get things done, even if you have a proper mindset.
This is how it works: If you don’t have mental clarity, you will get easily influenced by things around you, or if you don’t have enough focus, you will get easily distracted even in the middle of work by things around you.
This way, you may start working on your tasks, but you will never complete anything on time.
This is where meditation and journalling come in.
By journalling every day, you will be able to keep track of your progress and learn from your mistakes. Hence with time, you will become more and more clear about your shortcomings, strength, and what works for you and what doesn’t.
Journalling will also help you develop a connection with time and will help you better understand your circumstances & problems.
By meditating every day, you will develop the focus necessary to complete a task without getting distracted. You may not know this; TikTok & Youtube shorts or social media sites diminish our ability to focus. That’s the reason why an average person has an attention span of only 8.25 seconds (the attention span of goldfish is 9 seconds).
There are many ways to develop focus, but the best way to is through meditation.
You can use this article to learn how to meditate, and here’s an article on Transcendental meditation.
Journalling + Meditation are enough to develop mental clarity. However, it will take some time before you start seeing results. I think you need to meditate and journal for at least a week to see its effects.
The easiest way to meditate and journal: Meditate the moment you wake up and journal right before you go to bed.
4. Work Strategy: Don’t Indulge in Anything Other Than Work Until Your Work is Done
Work Strategy: Don’t indulge in anything other than work until your work is done, and once your work is done, you can do anything you want with the rest of your day.
This Work strategy will result in five things:
- You will complete your tasks as fast as you can so that you can use your spare time for fun.
- You can have fun without any stress.
- You will complete most tasks daily.
- Your self-control, focus, mental clarity, dedication, and performance will increase with time.
- You will feel great throughout the day.
You need to avoid certain things every day until your work is done. You can go to clubs, watch endless youtube videos, play video games, etc every day, but only after you have completed all the tasks.
Moreover, once you implement this strategy, you will notice that using your phone & watching videos, etc filled your brain with too much unnecessary information & made you very impulsive, however, now you feel much more relaxed and focused than usual.
5. Acceptance of High-Grade Pleasure
Why would you waste time on Netflix if you have a trip planned next week and you need to prepare now to go? Why would you scroll through Youtube Shorts if your life is more enjoyable than most things you see on the internet?
Avoidance of low-grade pleasure should go hand in hand with the fulfillment of high-grade pleasures.
High-grade pleasures are the things you want to do. Things you are interested in doing.
I don’t think anyone in the entire world wakes up to watch TikTok videos for hours. The truth is no one wants that. However, most people have their life positioned in such a way that there is nothing they can seek for pleasure other than their phone.
This is what you need to do: Take a notebook and write down things you want to do, things you want to try. Now spend your free time working to make these things happen.
I avoid low-grade pleasure by not doing anything other than work until the work is done, and then, I indulge in things I like. I mostly just go on long drives or walks.
You won’t defeat procrastination in a single day. It’s more like a daily war you must wage. Like a tiger who hunts his prey every day to survive, you need to get used to hunting for your progress every single day.
Somedays, it will be easy to get things done, Somedays branches will snap back at your face. It’s just how it is.
The greatest myth about procrastination is that it gets easy after a while. It never gets easy. As hard as it is for you to get something done today, it will be hard even if you do this for months on end. Plus, at this level of difficulty, you have to maintain consistency.
However, as you start making progress, you will get addicted to the improvement you witness mentally, physically, and financially.
Moreover, it’s not impossible to defeat procrastination. Look at successful people all over the world. 99% of them defeated procrastination to get where they are at. You can also be one of them. It’s in your grasp. Just keep moving forward one day at a time. Good Luck!
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