Start Using Procrastination To Become More Productive by Mat Veni
Are you going to read this later? It’s ok, I have nothing against distractions or procrastination. Neither do our brains.
But you won’t do it later. Now or probably never. So let the urge to switch to another relaxing event pass.
Are you ready for a practice… it’s easy, no need to dig deep and it’s only about imagination.
1. Imagine the most important task and the huge priority you must do now. Let’s imagine it’s really a complex one or frightened or from the unknown area. And you can imagine it will take ages… ok let’s say hours to accomplish it.
2. Second step is: imagine and focus on doing only a small part of this task. It’s the first few second or a minute. Something really easy, a piece of cake.
3. This is the secret hint. Because getting started and getting a movement is the far most important thing that counts.
That’s it. You started. You are not procrastinating. Your brains are warming up. It’s like being an athlete and warm up muscles before the competition. It sounds logical there. And the same is with warming up our ‘brain muscles’.
If you observe yourself you might notice that some intention to leave that task is starting to appear. Almost from nowhere. It’s ok, just observe it. Now focus again on your ‘few seconds’ long task. Do it. Observe your actions.
When I repeated this method for a few times I realized it works well. It’s much easier to focus and act on minor simplified task. So when I’m setting goals, the huge ones, I instantly break them to small ‘minute’ tasks. That’s also why I used to have hundreds of stickers all around my place in the past.
All of the above mentioned can only work if I’m well organized. I don’t care if I procrastinate sometimes. I’m quite aware that my brains need relaxation for a short time.
How do I organize steps to limit procrastination and manage to move all my important tasks?
Before I tell you, I just want to remind you (and me) to keep things simple. Don’t allow to think on a never-ending project you need to start working on, but instead on a pen or table you will use. Focus on searching car’s keys instead on driving 2 hours. And then on radio station you are going to listen while driving, and so on.
Enjoy in simplified steps…. [I exclude setting goals as I mentioned them above]
1. Motivation – work with passion
When I procrastinate it’s mostly because I don’t have the incentive to do the big task. I don’t have the passion to do it. I don’t enjoy. I rather check emails, news and other distractions. They are easier to achieve.
I need to set a list of reminders that help me focusing on big tasks. The awareness of what’s going on is many times more important than solution itself. That’s why I need to remind myself to be aware and start focusing on priorities. That leads me to outsourced motivation.
2. Leverage – set enough Why’s to avoid going back to the past
Right at the beginning of setting goals or daydreaming huge ideas I need to declare myself why I want to do this.
- – Is this my passion?
- – Will this help me solving my problems?
- – Will I be able to work nights and long Mondays even If I think this project is a piece of cake?
If I don’t have the leverage I will easier start paying attention on new social media feeds or phone calls or any kind of unimportant stuff going on in my surroundings.
When I think of leverage I visualize the moment of accomplished task. It’s a moment of joy. But the problem is I need to remind myself over and over. It seems like these reminders have nothing with living in Now. Well their purpose is to kick my actions on and reach the moment of being rewarded.
3. Reward – take a relax and celebrate minor milestones
Getting all done is far from this moment. I know the good feeling, but it lies somewhere in the future. Still I need to think on rewards of getting things done. It’s another energy I can deliver to me and transform into action. And it’s for free right now.
Relax and procrastinate for a while. That’s far from bad time. Our brains need the time to settle news and to get familiar with. We act and we react differently if we react tomorrow (it’s actually a huge help for decision making). We might avoid arguing as well and that is ok for our project.
Boredom is definitely the necessary filter I need when I have too much information in front of me. So the procrastination is ok when it’s not …
4. Share big task with others or set a public commitment
- – If I share my ideas, my excuse and what’s preventing me to achieve goals I find myself in position where it’s more difficult to avoid.
- – I can cooperate with accountability partners – those who share similar difficulties with me in order to motivate each other.
- – I can share ideas with close friend who I trust and don’t lose the fear of stolen ideas.
- – I can post reminders all over my home and write goals and deadlines in my notebook and outlook.
- – I can work on my project in public place (e.g. writing book in library or park).
However I need to know why I want to realize this project. Knowing why means to create leverage big enough to not looking back.
If you want even better results from anti-procrastinating ‘race’ watch, this DIY accountability journal trailer (less than 3 minutes to watch & No sound needed). It shows in brief how the analog journal works, why this silent piece of paper is accountable and what kind of incentives provides. You can also learn from the creators manual what the benefits are and how to do journal by yourself.
Author: Life hacker but not a hero. Mat Veni recently wrote about Procrastination. He’ll tell you more later… or if you want better results check this video now. And DIY by using this manual