Who didn’t start an activity fully motivated and ended up reading a book, checking emails, reading blogs, watching movies or even “taking a time off” because you are too tired or too stressed.
It is a-m-a-z-i-n-g the tricks that your own mind play at you, or better saying: the excuses that you give yourself to just add more time before you really do some work or whatever you put your in your to-do list.
At this exact moment I’m delaying a task to be done to be able to write this post. Well, I thought that was very important, at least this time, to confess and put on writing what is going on with me.
I’ve experienced procrastination many times and, don’t get me wrong, I’m very focus when I am focus and put the correct mindset to work; but if I allow myself to just wonder a bit and navigate websites, check ‘little’ things instead of the object/subject of focus ooooohhh, then I’m in trouble! I could spend hours postponing a project just because I’m ‘relaxing’ and fooling myself into thinking that I need that time in the middle of a big project!
My latest experience was when I was doing an assignment… I could have finish it loooong time ago, possibly two weeks ago, but I just kept going out, reading different books, browsing and doing less important tasks instead of what I really need to do.
It seems very easy to get the focus back and stop the ‘vicious circle’ of procrastination. The problem is to START…
I read a few articles here and there and the majority of them mentioned these points:
- pick a few tasks that you should do today – don’t give yourself a huge ‘to-do’ list, just choose few, important/urgent tasks to be done (on this, I recommend reading “Lazy Productivity: 10 Simple Ways to Do Only Three Things Today” and to check that not usually the urgent is the best criteria for choosing tasks)
- turn-off, hide or avoid distractions – mobile phones, email programs, messengers, books, magazines, tv, radio, etc. They can lead you astray and you will end up checking emails, writing to friends that you don’t communicate for years, get the latest magazine to check the ‘latest fashion styles’, read only ‘one chapter’ of the book (c’mon! you know that you don’t stop after that!).
- just start – yes, simple as that… stop delaying, playing around, think that you should do this or that, piling up papers, organising your desk (unless that is exactly what you need to do). If you just start, there is a bigger chance that you will enter on that desired ‘zen state’ where you will focus your mind on the work to be done.
And if all fails?
Well, that means you have a bigger problem or even an adiction to procrastination, and you might need professional help! 🙂 (jokes apart, if you really have a problem, please talk to someone!).
Another way to push yourself to do something, if the rest fails, is just ask help from a friend that can monitor your work and ask him/her to keep pushing you until the task is complete. If you are at work, the fear of loosing your job if the task is not done can help you give the boost needed to the project.
Can be simple or complicated, it always depend on how you tacle your own problem and how honest you are with yourself. Give it a try, at least, and let me know if works! (only after you finish your tasks please!)