I will just do it later
Have you ever had to do something you knew you had to do but did not want to? Odds are you procrastinated and told yourself that you would do it later. Procrastination is a horrible habit that is incredibly detrimental to your success in life. Imagine how much better off you would be if you did the things you had to do as soon as they were given. It does not take a genius to understand that your productivity would sky rocket as soon as the habit of procrastination was overcome. We have all procrastinated at some stage, whether it was with studying for final exams or checking out Facebook when we should have been cleaning the dishes. The outcome is always the same, we do what we initially should have been doing however the stakes are higher, we now have a deadline and can not produce our best work.
How your mind works against you
Choosing the path of least resistance almost every time your mind abhors hard work. The human body has stayed the same for thousands of years, however the context in which we live has changed drastically. Essentially your body does not know or care that we are in 2015, it does not care about your hopes and dreams. Exerting energy into things that do not directly affect your survival is not your minds concern, this is why procrastination occurs. It also appears that the mind does not have a good grasp on the concept of time as well, it is not uncommon to procrastinate a task for months or even years. In the minds point of view there is always a “tomorrow” this is the trick it plays on you to keep you stuck. People often say “I will stop drinking tomorrow”, “I will join the gym tomorrow”, “I will take my notes tomorrow”, not realising that tomorrow never comes. They will make the same promise hundreds of times before realising the gimmick that they have played on themselves.
How to stop the madness!
Stopping procrastination is not easy, however could be one of the most beneficial things you do in your life. Everyone admires a hard worker, they give us a glimpse of what is possible, and have managed to build a habit of getting things done. What you have to understand is that you can’t consciously overcome strong habits. If you are someone who has been procrastinating for years, there is no way you can suddenly stop, any success in this endeavour would only be ephemeral without a change in habits. The subconscious mind is said to be more powerful than the conscious mind, it drives your car, and navigates your feet as you walk. You need to change your habits in order to change your subconscious minds approach to work. The best method that I have found in solving this issue is something I like to call ‘The now mindset’.
The Now Mindset
The Now Mindset entails doing the things you don’t want to do as soon as they pop up. It doesn’t matter how seemingly insignificant the thing is, you do it as soon as possible. For example when you wake up you might say to yourself “I will make my bed later”, as soon as you notice this postponing suck it up and make your bed right there and right then. You might later remember that you have to mow the grass, stop what you are doing and mow the grass at that instant. You notice that you forgot to email someone, you get your ass on that computer and email them. This way of living can become incredibly tedious as you would be forced to do a lot more things in your day than you are used to. The benefits will be obvious after a few days, you will realise that you have been wasting a lot of time in the past, and will be surprised at the amount of things you are able to accomplish once you get into this mindset. It is a simple idea, however needs 100% buy in. You need to believe that the idea will work and stick with it for long enough until you form the habit. Once the habit is formed you will be able to take on bigger tasks with confidence and most importantly without procrastination.
Buy into it MASSIVELY
If you can live by this philosophy for a 1 month immersion period, you will experience an incredible change in mindset that will allow you to take things to the next level. Successful people don’t procrastinate period, they get results and get them often. As Aristotle says “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”