Sitting, Waiting, Wishing
The only way to get better at anything is by repetition. Sadly the same goes for procrastination. All experienced procrastinators, me not being an exception, have mastered this art to such an extent that nowadays excuses to delay precede plans of execution.
As a result dawn keeps turning to dusk and the procrastinator keeps sitting, waiting, wishing. The art of procrastination is the single biggest reason for unfulfilled goals, unrealized dreams and wasted potential and more than most are diagnosed with it, some still unaware.
The first step in achieving any task is knowing what to do, the second part is planning and then finally executing on your idea. As a generation we have become very good at the first two parts, but when it comes to execution we sit, wish and wait.
Inertia of rest and motion
Inertia is the state of a body to stay in its state of rest or constant motion. For achievers it implies constant activity for procrastinators, constant rest.
While the achievers keep acting constantly the ones who get used to rest seldom move. With time as procrastination becomes a habit, the inertia of rest becomes too big a force to overcome.
I, over the last few months, have been delaying writing an article for my website (Earlier I used to write as many as 5 of them in a week). Everyday I used to wake up with the intention and slept with no end product.
As I made my journey to turn intentions into an end product, I thought what better way to end my period of procrastination than by writing an article on the art of procrastination. By sharing my experiences in a nutshell I wish to help others struggling with similar problems of inaction.
So here are ways of combating procrastination:
- Give yourself deadlines- We used to end up doing herculean homework because it had a deadline attached to it. It appears impossible to solve so many sums, write so many letters, draw so many diagrams now, but we managed as we were time bound. Similarly I gave myself a stern timeline to finish this article or delete my website.
- Break down the task into smaller bits- At times we postpone acting because the amount of work involved involved seems too much. In these cases it is to be understood we should divide the same task into smaller bits. By doing this we trick our minds into action as the task appears relatively smaller. I divided the task of writing the article into topic research, headline selection, content creation, graphic creation, content editing so I had clear and simple picture of executable tasks to fulfill my ultimate aim.
- Do what you love first- Once you have broken down the task into smaller portions, you can select the part that you love doing and act on it first. As I have a new found love for CANVA, I started with graphic creation and headline selection. As I executed, my interest in the task grew, and as a result I tricked myself beyond procrastination. (That has to be confirmed if I don’t find any other excuse to delay it by EOD today)
- Silence your mind- You cant shut down all devices but to focus on one task you can at least silence your mind from other activities and temptations. Meditation will help you reach this state when even after being disturbed you will get back to the work at hand. Yes social media alerts, phone calls, even toilet or snack breaks are trigger points of a train of thoughts which can totally distract you from the task. But with some meditation you will be mindful of how your brain works and get back as soon as you get distracted.
So finally I made it through this article without getting up even once. Barring a few editing and posting formalities I believe I have for now won the war against the procrastination. Do share your thoughts and experiences with regards to the art of procrastination and how you combat it.