Here I am to share with you my progress in the everlasting fight against procrastination. First of all, let me tell you how I proceeded.
My weapon of choice was a timetable. Why ? Because time is the most important resource you’ll ever have, probably the only one that is never to be regained once used.
It’s funny because when people talk about time it’s usually in a certain sentence that everybody (yes, even me…) has used before, maybe today, and will probably use again the next day, this awful phrase that should have never existed in human language known as “I didn’t have time…“ . It irritates me to hear it used so carelessly, so inconsiderately because it’s a blatant excuse for not being able to be disciplined enough to execute what was supposed to be done and I think we all know what really happens when you “don’t have time” anymore.
It will sound harsh but the answer is death, and what usually happens after you die is that your life, your accomplishments and anything relevant about you will be summarised in a couple of sentences. I’m pretty sure that both you and I don’t want one of them to be “ (insert your name here) has not achieved much of what he/she had aimed for, but we still love him/her” .
Do yourself a favor and erase this phrase from your mind. So now that I got this little rant out of the way, a timetable is a matter of personal preference but I find it to be the most effective way to plan your time, I now literally plan every minute of my days and fill it with as many tasks as I can because busy people have less time to procrastinate and make use of their time more effectively.
So this is how I planned on preventing myself from procrastinating, but I’ll admit that I have struggled to get past some obstacles, I will call them the “Allies of Procrastination”, they are fierce opponents that you have met every single day and were defeated by consciously or maybe unconsciously, either way if you were to give them a point for every battle you’ve had against them, I won’t tell you the score because it depends on the individual but you’re most likely on a very heavy losing streak (come on now, don’t act surprised). We need to look at this as if we are fighting a war because the mindset to be able to strategise and eliminate those who oppose us is necessary. Now I’ll reveal the name of each of them because they deserve to be known and fought against:
–Internet and YouTube; the virtual library of knowledge open 24h/7 without any staff to supervise it or you, the fact that we can access it from any piece of technology makes it one of the most omnipresent enemy.
I understand why it is called the “Web” because it matches the purpose of one, once you’re caught, it’s unbelievable how much time and energy you’ll waste trying to escape from it.
This is how it usually goes. You start off with a focused topic of your choice which is what you came here for, you see something else related to it that seems interesting and click on it, next is something interesting but this time unrelated and you still click on it, then another unrelated thing appears that is more unusual and crazy than the previous one but yet again you’ve clicked, at that point all of the suggested videos are either funny, strange or completely obscure (have a look at your search history for proof).
This is the power of Internet, its ability to make you lose track of your objective without actually meaning to do so because all it’s doing is its job which is to provide you with as many answers to your searches, but unfortunately it implies that you are also unlikely to be doing your own job.
So how do you fight against it? Use Internet only when you absolutely need to, when it is difficult for you to access what you require because self-restriction will be essential for this one.
To me, I have effectively reduced my vulnerability to it by not having my phone on contract therefore I cannot access the Internet unless it’s a real necessity.
If it is an essential part of your lifestyle or your job, then don’t hold yourself back because it could be counter-productive but keep in mind that there are plenty of apps and tools designed to block or limit your access to specific websites of your choice. If this is what you think you need, they are all out there, you just need to find one that suits you and use it. I’ve even seen one that will delete your work if you’re not working fast enough!
–Television; the time spent looking at news where more than half of it is biased or simply depressive.
Let’s not lie to ourselves, the news is all about politics or disasters nowadays, it’s basically a 20 min of all the condensed sad stuff you don’t need to hear and 8 minutes (or 10 on a good day and your news network is feeling nice) of good news.
I can hardly remember the last time I genuinely smiled watching the news without being sarcastic, can you ?
It brings my mood down but also reminds me how fortunate I am to have a life without any of the calamities that make it on the news.
There are also the shows that I watch simply for their entertainment value like Game of Thrones or The Apprentice (you have to watch it if you’re in the UK), I don’t get anything out of them but my mind cannot consistently be productive, eventually I’ll have to find a way to relieve pressure and that it is a great way to do so.
The real concern is when and how to draw the line between entertainment and procrastination.
How do you stop television from making you procrastinate? The answer for this one is very simple. Put yourself in an environment where it won’t be an issue.
You will know that television is an issue for you when you give more priority to finishing an episode of a show rather than to start or finish an important assignment, why are you see yourself trading your valuable time for something that is completely unrelated to you? Because it is fun, now think about how illogical this is and try to get your priorities right because “fun” doesn’t pay the bills apparently but I’ve heard that “work” does.
As for the news, if you’re adamant on watching them, do it while you’re eating, this way you will not be able to feel like you weren’t doing what you were supposed to because you’ll be feeding your brain as well as your body at the same time and your brain will be too busy processing the taste of your food rather than soaking in the negativity of the news, what more could you wish for?
There are a few others which will be included in next week’s post so if you would like to find out, be sure to check out my blog next Monday. Now let’s focus on you, dear reader. Have you ever tried not to procrastinate? How did it go and what obstacles did you come across? Leave a comment below to let me know, if you have enjoyed this post, leave a like, share to the people who are missing out on this and subscribe to my blog so you can receive a notification of the part 2 of Develop Your Life #3 because there’s more where that came from !