The procrastination cycle and how to escape it?
Everyday we find numerous articles online suggesting us to be productive. Deep in our minds we all know that there are things to be done, goals to be accomplished and mistakes to be corrected. But everyday, we still choose to ignore all the pressing tasks and procrastinate. We prefer watching Netflix and eating pizza over eating healthy and exercising.
Why does it happen that we choose the easier path everytime? Deep inside we know that our mind is intelligent enough to differentiate between what needs to be done and what needs to be stopped. Still we purposely let it sit back and relax. We let it take the wrong decision to find alternatives to solving the problem.
Lets solve the issue point by point.
You come back from office/school at the end of day. You are tired AF. You want to relax your body a bit, give your mind a small break from the whole hassle of day long events that just happened. You decide to eat something or watch something. Are you hungry? Maybe a little. Aren’t your eyes tired enough from your day job where you have to stare at the computer for 8 hours? Yes. Then why do you want to do both of these activities?
Well, because you had a long tiring day. You got through it and now you deserve a little reward. You want to escape the boring reality and watch few episodes of that funny sit-com where people do crazy fun things without having any consequences. Now after eating whole pizza and watching about 5 episodes of that funny show, you suddenly start feeling guilty. You have tired out your eyes completely. You just want to go to sleep and forget all the problems. But suddenly, your mind realizes that you made a big mistake. Your inner voice suddenly starts yelling how you need to take care of your body and mind instead of Netflixing and chilling. You have to crack that exam or get that job and being this irresponsible won’t help.
But! its too late now. You are already slipping into your bed and preparing for the short nap you plan to take, after which you will surely do the tasks. That nap turns into a night sleep. You wake up next day, just to repeat the whole thing again and yet again.
So, the question is when do i know i am slipping into my procrastination cycle and how do i get out of it? How do i not fall into it in the first place. Well, lets handle all of this one by one.
- Always make a list just after you wake up as to what you want to accomplish in the day. Once you write things down, they are no more floating in your head or running like a background noise the whole day. After you accomplish each task, keep striking it off. It gives a lot of pleasure. Trust me! Try to keep a small notebook which you can carry with you all the time. It will make you realize the importance of the tasks to be done. If not possible to carry that, carry a small post-it note in your pocket. That is certainly a very simple thing to do.If you hate writing things down, use note taking apps like Google Keep. They are so much easier to handle.
- Start one step at a time. You want to reform yourself completely. But don’t expect yourself to immediately start changing in everyday activities. Start slow. Take one step and stay committed to it. And by the time you are confident, take another one.
- Don’t wait for deadlines. Ya! i know it sounds very lame and you must have heard it thousand times but try it. Just list what all you want to achieve. For example, losing two inches from waist by end of month or completing the assignment by tomorrow. And start acting on things immediately. Every morning and every night have a look at them. Every time you achieve one, you will be super proud. And it will give you the strength to take up another one with even more excitement.
- Surround yourself with people who remind you to stay on track. This certainly works. Tell your best friend or your parent or sibling to remind you not to indulge in these guilty preasure driven activities. Share your progress with them and tell them how you feel about related things on regular basis.
In the end remember,
Thoughts lead on to purposes;
purposes go forth in action;
actions form habits;
habits decide character;
and character fixes our destiny.
There is no harm in trying to improve yourself. Even if you fail at first, you would have tried at least!
So, Just go and start with that one tiny change and let the miracle happen! :)