I decided to write this article yesterday (24-dec), but then I watched a movie and procrastinated writing it. What are the odds of something like that happening? If you are a professional procrastinator like me, you know there are limitless possibilities!
Procrastination is not just a bad habit; It’s a disease that slowly kills any success, life you can have or can create for yourself. And if you think it’s not that big of a deal, you may get amazed at what it can veer your life into in a few months or years.
Once you get on this road, here are a few things that will happen:
- You will always be full of desire and rage for change, but It will never translate into concrete actions, let alone results
- Drift from one low-grade pleasure to another low-grade pleasure
- Days with no progress will convert into weeks, weeks into months, months into a year
- You will lose years without even knowing the root of the problem (I have wasted 2019-21)
- Every day you will wake up to get things done and go to bed without completing even a single task, and the truth is this cycle will repeat for months on end
- The only thing that stands between the life you want: Procrastination, But you will soon start doing whatever you can in hopes that you can forget about your goal
- If you don’t consciously take action against it, Chances are you will settle down without even understanding what went wrong
During my high school days, I was a hardworking lad So, I always got good grades. However, this changed when I went to college. In my four years of college, I lost the ability to sit and get things done for some reason.
For instance, From 2019-21, I started working on a project, a project very close to my heart.
I started it in 2019. I was sure that I will complete it in 6 months. And even if everything went south, It will still not take more than a year.
However, Due to procrastination, days converted into weeks, weeks into months without any concrete result. It’s not like I never worked on the project or forgot about it, It’s just, I never sat down to put in work that can produce a result.
The work was just enough to keep my delusion of completing the project in time alive.
I completed the project on November 2021 half-heartedly.
I had so many ideas, so many things I wanted to try, implement, test, check, But in the end, I was so drained that ending it was the best foot forward.
And it’s not like I wasn’t thinking of it for three years straight. I thought about the project, thought about completing it, thought about innovating it every single day. But I barely sat down to work on it.
I only sat down enough to delude myself that I was working on something (Putting statistically enough effort every day that amounted to nothing).
An invisible force/a solid wall manifested itself between thinking and action. I thought about a lot of things, but I barely did anything.
In this article, I am going to share how I was able to go from thinking of completing a task, facing that invisible force/solid wall, and sitting down and taking action to complete it.
(All the actions mentioned below are my recommendations. So, I would advise you to seek professional help if needed)
To-do list, I am going to do this, Plan this – It’s all a joke!
(Assuming you have a goal, a plan to reach that goal, and you are aware of actions you need to take daily to complete the plan perfectly, Here’s what you need to do:)
Every day we have a long list of things we want to do, from Zumba practice to watering the plants, However, not every task holds the same importance.
Depending upon your goal, certain tasks (one or two maximum) will translate into significant improvement, and other tasks will be more or less complimentary.
For instance, if you are a writer, reading several books on different subjects to build a solid perspective is important, However, sitting down to write for an hour, is the best thing you can do.
In brief, doing what is absolutely necessary for success should be your only priority.
Everything else can be done later: Meditation, reading, daily affirmations, journaling, reading self-help books, etc, should be done after you have completed the tasks that are your top priority (Unless you complete your top priority, you shouldn’t waste your energy on anything else).
What you need to do: Make a list of your most important tasks. In most cases, this list will not be longer than 3-4 items (If your list contains more than three items, think again about the task and verify their importance). It’s about doing the bare minimum necessary for progress, consistently. If you try to do 100s of things, you will probably accomplish nothing.
Priority List – How to Avoid Procrastinating the Priority List?
Just because you are aware of your priorities doesn’t mean you will act on them. Chances are you will just waste your time watching K-dramas, just like I do. The only way to prevent procrastination is by understanding how it happens. This is what helped me.
I read a book, The War of Art by Steven Pressfield, and in this book, he explains procrastination as a barrier, a solid wall of resistance you need to break every day to get things done.
He explains it with various claims and religious standpoint, However, Here’s what I get and still use to deal with procrastination:
Think about your task and action that needs to be taken to complete it as two separate things. Now imagine a wall; a wall of resistance between the task and you taking action.
This wall of resistance is uncertainty, distraction, negative feelings (fear, boredom, anxiety), you start feeling the moment you decide to act to complete your task.
Feel the Wall of Resistance: Think of one task you can do right now to make your day more productive. Now do it, even before reading this article completely. Put your phone down and do the task! Do you feel anything? This feeling is resistance. This feeling is the wall that you need to defeat every time to complete your task by taking action.
Moreover, This wall of resistance is always present between your task and you taking action. So in a way, you have to defeat it every single time to act on your tasks positively.
This wall and thickness of this wall will never decrease and only increase with time, Making it harder and harder for you to act on your task as the day goes on.
All you need to do to defeat it: Be aware of this wall of resistance, aware of how it is making you feel, aware of what you need to do, aware of the fact that this feeling is not going to go away ever and will manifest itself tomorrow when you try to take action and then sit down and put in work.
More about this wall of resistance:
- This wall of resistance is always present and will never go away, Not even ones in your life
- This wall of resistance is present in every human being, no matter how rich they are or how strong or intelligent they are, this wall of resistance is always present
- The thickness of this wall will decrease as you take action, as you complete your tasks, but this wall will never vanish
- You need to break this wall every day to complete your tasks
- This wall is the only thing between your life right now and the life you want
- No one but you can defeat this wall
- All you need to do is sit down and take action to break this wall
- You can feel this wall anytime by thinking about completing your most important task
How to defeat procrastination in a nutshell: You have a task you need to complete to reach your goal, But as you start even thinking about taking action, a wall of resistance manifests itself. This wall of resistance is uncertainty, negative feelings, distraction, you feel. All You need to do is remind yourself that this wall is never going away, this feeling is never going away, and this is the only thing that lies between you and your dream life. You take action even though you don’t feel like taking action to go through the wall. You take action cause you know it’s the right thing to do. You repeat this process every single day, multiple times. You are not taking action by luck or chance. You are setting yourself for action every single time. You defeat this wall for months and then you reach your goal.
The Root of the Problem!
- Lack of awareness of the importance of your goal
- The wall of resistance between thinking of taking action and taking action
- Lack of a priority list
- Lack of discipline
- Lack of proper commitment, resolve to complete a task within a day
Why You have to Look at Procrastination as a Life-Long Battle?
The wall of resistance is never going away. It is going to manifest itself every time you even think about doing anything productive. You just need to get used to breaking this wall of resistance and doing what is necessary.
Just think of a productive task. Now think about doing it. The feeling you are feeling is the resistance and this resistance will never go away. In reality, it will only increase with time, making you less and less productive until there is nothing you can do to reach your goal.
That’s how procrastination destroys life!
And all you need to do is take action even if you don’t feel like it. This wall of resistance will be present every single day of your life. It’s your choice to make every single day whether to break this wall or not.
Simple Tips You Need to Apply Now!
- Make your priority list for the day, the night before
- The moment you wake up, focus on completing your priority task because as time passes, the resistance is only going to increase
- No matter how many days you have been consistent, lack of focus even for a day can waste your entire week
- Always do the hardest task first and don’t stop until you complete all your priority tasks. The hardest task has the most resistance. If you can deal with maximum resistance just from the start, you will be able to deal with other tasks easily
- You can indulge in other priorities only after you complete your top priorities
- If you are distracted by something mentally while working on your priority tasks, write it down, and remind yourself that you can think about it later
- Doing your task for just 5 minutes is enough to defeat resistance
Books That Can Help You in Defeating Procrastination!
These are the books that helped me shape my perspective, helped me in dealing with procrastination. So, if you need further help, you can use these books to supplement your knowledge:
- The War of Arts by Steven Pressfield
- The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene
- The Strangest Secret by Earl Nightingale
Procrastination is dangerous. It can make you abandon your goal without even a valid reason. I have wasted years because of procrastination and even though I realize how dangerous it is and how easy it is to defeat it, I still procrastinate and waste my time on things that have no importance whatsoever.
So, take hold of your days, feel the wall of resistance, defeat it as many times as you can in a day, and keep yourself prepared mentally for the next day until you reach your goal.
P.S Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article on Procrastination, feel free to share them. Moreover, leave a question down below in the comment section if you have any.
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