This is how to stop procrastinating in five unusual steps.
We are all human, and there’s a limit to the amount of willpower we can exercise at once. So, it’s even smarter to make discipline automatic by organizing our lives in a way that makes it easier to get the right thing done without deliberating whether or not to do it later.
Procrastination: The thief of time, yet the friend of man.
Procrastination is simply postponing or delaying doing stuff due to time, laziness or boredom. This is especially if it’s done intentionally or habitually. Most people procrastinate because it is so easy to do it. I even procrastinated writing this article for a long time (lol).
Nonetheless, Procrastination is an enemy of productivity. Thus, I’ve decided to share my personal tips on how to stop procrastinating and get things done, efficiently and on time.
In no order of importance, here are five tips on how to defeat procrastination.
Do it as you think it (aka, the 5 seconds rule)
Have you ever thought of something you had to do, but rather than getting up to do it immediately, you decide to postpone it, only to find out moments later that the motivation to do it has gone?
Most if not all of us have experienced this and that is why I am introducing the 5 seconds rule aka, Do it as you think it.
A lot of us might be familiar with the 5 seconds rule as: “if you pick up something from the ground before 5 seconds, then it’s not contaminated yet”
The five seconds rule is simply this: once you think of doing something, get up and do it before five seconds is up. If you don’t do it immediately, you may procrastinate or forget totally.
End point; In order to kill procrastination: Do it as you think it.
To-do-lists are your wing men
Procrastination is often as a result of lack of planning. When you don’t know when to do what you have to do, you’ll push it to another time. This is when to-do-lists becomes your friend.
They are many organizational apps online. Still, I like to do mine the old fashioned way; by writing them down. Then, place this where it will be seen to be reminded frequently. This reduces the chances of postponing your tasks and can help you to stop procrastinating.
Also, make a to-do lists as detailed as possible. For instance, rather than writing “read books” as an item on your list, write in detail what, how and when you want to read. “Read nuclear chemistry for 30 minutes at 3pm”. This will automatically take off some of the burden and make them seem less overwhelming.
Make a to-do list everyday once you wake up. Trust me, it’s a life changer.
Starve the gratification monkey
I got this tip from a Ted talk titled “Inside the mind of a master procrastinator” by Tim Urban. In his talk, he described procrastination as being a result of what happens when we decide to satisfy the “gratification monkey“. This monkey always insists that we do what pleases us at that moment thus the term “gratification”.
The gratification monkey runs away once it is confronted by a giant enemy called deadline which explains why most people remember to do stuff once it’s approaching a deadline.
But what happens if we don’t have a deadline? Will the monkey continue to thrive in the absence of his sworn enemy OR. the monkey will leave us when we starve it to the point of death.
How to Starve the Gratification Monkey
Easy! Don’t give it what it wants by staying away from instant gratification. If you notice that you’re choosing current pleasure over future success, then stop.
It’s easier to stay stuck on your phone when you should be reading because it feels better than flipping through boring textbooks, especially if you don’t know good study tips.
However, recognizing that not studying can and will lead to failure in your exams (which damages your future in the long run), will convince you to forfeit the current pleasure of scrolling through Tiktok for the benefit of your grades.
Again, it’s more pleasurable to fall back into bed early in the morning than to do your daily activities, but you just have to realize that doing that will be choosing your current pleasure over the success of your goals/ambitions. That is instant gratification which is again, what we are working against.
Starve the gratification monkey and he will flee from you.
Make Discipline Automatic
There is a limit to the amount of willpower a man can exercise at a time. So, it’s even smarter to make discipline automatic by organizing life in a way that makes it easier to get the right thing done. That is, without having to deliberate whether or not to do it later.
For instance, dressing up for the day is a lot easier if the first thing you see on your bed as you wake up is the outfit you picked the night before.
Reading your books is less tedious if they’re so close to get and not piled away messily at the farthest corner of your room.
Working out is easy, if your workout clothes, mat, dumbbells, jump rope, etc. are packed together within eye range.
Also check out: How to Enjoy Working Out in 10 simply steps
When you make discipline automatic, there will be absolutely no reason for you to procrastinate. In other words, you don’t have to use more will power than necessary. This makes it easier for you to just get stuff done.
Attach Rewards to Each Task.
Don’t we all love rewards? More importantly, don’t we love rewards when we feel we’ve earned it?
You can stop procrastinating when you attach rewards to completing a task as this can motivate you to get it done sooner. It definitely works for kids and can certainly work for you if you attach the right reward. It could be a bottle of your favorite drink after getting a chore done. Buying yourself something you love once you’ve reached a target or achieved a goal.
Your rewards may not always be tangible. Example, I am very motivated to study because I will be less worried about exams in future as I’m prepared. Also, I can spend the rest of my day doing other things without feeling guilty or unaccomplished makes me do the important stuff in the morning. These are all my steps on how to stop procrastinating. I hope these tips helped. Over to you;
How do you deal with procrastination and get stuff done?
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