Image by: Hans
By: Todd Downey
Funny I’m writing a piece about procrastination when I’m submitting this article only minutes before its deadline. Some of us can’t help it, though, as procrastination either is in our blood or it isn’t. With that being said , if you’re like me and you wait until the last possible moment to either go to the gym, clean up or clock into work, there are several ways in which our unfortunate habit can be appeased.
It may seem like it’s not a big deal, just dive into the work and get it done! Is something a normal person might suggest, but me being plagued by the procrastination gods I can tell you that it doesn’t work that way. Often times we are procrastinators because either our attention span is so short or we literally have some invisible bulwark preventing us from accomplishing whatever task that needs to be done. It’s a vicious cycle of unneeded stress that can easily be avoided with a few simple tricks.
#1) Seclude Yourself
Sometimes us procrastinators have to go to drastic lengths to overcome our prominent issue, and that may even include locking yourself into a room for hours on end until whatever task you aspired to finishing gets done. You may be thinking–Whats the point of ensconcing myself into my room if I can just leave anytime I want? Well, the entire point behind this is to make yourself unavailable to the people around you.
If your roommates, your girlfriend or even your mother recognizes that you have something to do and your taking vigorous action to get it done, they will respect your privacy and allow you to proceed.
Not only will this be good for getting your girlfriend to stop nagging you, but since you would have already explained to her that you’re unavailable for a few hours then you would have effectively resigned yourself to the task. Leave the room and you’d have to deal with her questioning how important your work really is after all.
#2) Eliminate All Distractions
Okay, you successfully informed your mom, girlfriend, or roommate that you are unavailable for exactly three hours and now you’re at your desk staring mindlessly at your computer screen. What to do next? That’s quite simple: DISCONNECT YOUR INTERNET. Yea, the internet is often times the culprit behind missing hours which had been lost at the unforgiving hand of the world wide web.
No matter how much will power we have, if you stumble across an article with an interesting enough title, you are bound to click on it and spend the next 10 minutes skimming through it. And say that article consisted of a new species of shark discovered in East Asia–you would proceed to Google images to see what the creature looks like, right?
And after seeing how strange it looks you’ll be compelled to learn more about the damned thing so you’re next destination will undoubtedly be a documentary about said shark on YouTube. Suddenly, you find yourself halfway through your three hour session with no progress whatsoever in the task which needs to be executed.
Why not avoid the trouble by simply disconnecting the Ethernet and proceeding forward without the distraction? And if the Internet is required in order to do whatever it is that needs to be done, then I’d suggest you should perhaps print out the research material ahead of time, or do whatever it takes so to not even take the chance of falling victim to the Internet and its cruel intentions.
The Internet is a major factor in why we all procrastinate, but there are other smaller distractions which may impede us from finishing our tasks–from a text message from that girl you snagged at the bar last week to having to eat and go to the bathroom. These are all dangerous in determining how we will get over the hurdle of forging ahead.
My advice to you before you jump into that session would be to satisfy all your basic needs–eat, drink, crap, and of course, turning your cell phone on silent. Yea, you may want to respond to that text, but it can wait–you’ve got more important things to do
#3) Reward Yourself
Congratulations! You secluded yourself in your walk in closet for a few hours; you resisted the desperate urge to spark a conversation with that sexy brunette from the bar; and now you’re all done! Feels good doesn’t it? You now deserve a few pats on the back. Not enough? Okay maybe invite that sexy chick out to eat for ice-cream.
The reason you want to reward yourself may be seen as primitive, but it’s also effective nonetheless. Remember when you were a kid and your parents would let you play video games only after you did all your chores? Yea, I know, those were tough times, but they’re not over yet.
You now have new “adult chores” to tend to, but the concept stays the same as when you were a child–business first, pleasure later. Think about that before you take that spontaneous nap or crack open the Netflix, and it just may compel you to finish up that grueling task.
Are you a hopeless procrastinator and hope to change your ways in the near future? Don’t worry, there are tons of us in existence—you’re not alone, pal. Share your own personal theory as to how you can overcome this pain!