Beating Procrastination: The killer of dreams

I am a self-confessed master procrastinator and it cost me a ton in my life. God has blessed me with an analytical mind and the ability to learn most things I need quickly. But then I guess all things average out. The varied set of skills I have are utilized very rarely due to this procrastination monster. So what is procrastination costing you and how can you stop procrastinating?

The story of this blog

This blog for instance. I’ve been toying with the idea for over a year. In fact I went so far as to write a few test articles and had them reviewed by friends and family. They encouraged me, but well life just got in the way? At least that’s what I kept telling myself. You see across my life ill see periods of activity and then this tremendous slump. Coming back to life getting in the way, would usually mean me slumped in bed watching YouTube videos all day (it used to be amazon prime but thankfully the membership expired). So not much got done there.

Then there was more stuff that kept acting as a hurdle. What do I name the blog. Who’s going to read it? Are they going to read it at all? And so many other doubts but funnily, I seem to be writing this stuff and here you are reading it. High five.

Another instance where I procrastinated endlessly was in taking control of my finances. 2 years ago, as I was quitting my previous job, I realised I had almost nothing to show for the 3 odd years I worked there. I had no investments to speak of. I didn’t know where all the money had gone. And this for a guy who claimed to be living life low key. It was always “I’ll get it done tomorrow”. Leave it. By my estimates, If I had been more focussed back then, I’d have at least double if not triple my net worth today.

Ill do it in  a bit

I still remember always telling my mum this when she asked me to run errands as a teen. Clean your room. I’ll do it in a bit. Change the bed linen. I’ll do it in a bit. Right down to come for dinner, five minutes was the standard response. Funnily you’ll forget, and till someone is yelling at you the stuff never gets done. But how do ?

Prioritise

This isn’t as simple as it looks. It’s a constant question I have to ask myself, as to how best do I use my time. Ill admit it, I’m addicted to watching weird stuff online. VinWiki videos, Tavarish, Tyler Hoover, produce some of the stuff I consume voraciously. But at some point, even my addled mind realises there’s better things I can do.  So that’s when I bring out the priority questions.

  1. If there was one thing I could work on and improve today what would it be?

That’s the first question. It helps you focus on the important stuff. The second question is much simpler.

2. Have I worked on what I wanted to do as a response to question no. 1?

Funnily these days it seems to be working on this blog and trust me it’s been quite a learning curve. The feedback and response I get from you guys is what’s pushing me harder each day.

FOCUS in smaller chunks of time

It’s hard to break habits, so I have to cheat my mind. Especially into doing heavy stuff like thinking or creating or writing. So I break it down into smaller bits. Giving undivided focus for 10 mins is not that great an ask. So, I start with that. After the first 10 minutes are done, I’m usually so engrossed and enjoying what I’m doing effectively, in what a lot of people call flow state. So start focussing on smaller chunks of productive time and getting shit done.

REHAB

Like I said I’m addicted to YouTube. So I need to take my mind to rehab. It takes conscious effort on my part to stop myself and I have been slipping and struggling with this for a ton of time. Here I can occasionally get by with the prioritisation technique, but other times I just need to constantly force myself into doing stuff away from my from my phone. Housework is great here. Laundry, gardening, fixing stuff. Anything that makes me work with my hands helps. Plus, it also helps in the focus bit.

Closing thoughts.

Procrastination kills your dreams and aspirations silently. Don’t let it win the war. Take control of your life, stop procrastinating. Identify the things you are passionate about in life and work on them. Today. Don’t let the day go by to wake up 20 years down the road wondering what it would have been like if you had not procrastinated.

Have you struggled with procrastination? What are your strategies for getting stuff done? How do you get yourself to stop procrastinating?
Share your experiences in the comments section below

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