Procrastination – According to Wikipedia, Procrastination is is the practice of carrying out less urgent tasks in preference to more urgent ones, or doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones, and thus putting off impending tasks to a later time, sometimes to the “last minute” before a deadline. If you are going to ask me, I would prefer the first definition of Procrastination. It gives me a sense of justification why I procrastinate.
But, as all of us, I am also trying to kill it, stop it, do something about it (I might do it tomorrow, just kidding) As a normal human being, a woman of 26 years old, I am faced with a lot of to do list, not just for work but also for other areas of my life, like my health, my finances, lovelife. Well, most of us would like to be more productive right? So how can I write a chapter of a book, write atleast two blog posts, do my job (though I am working as a homebased accounts specialist), do my exercise, read a book, call up clients, talk to some men (I am searching you know), and take care of my personal needs? Here’s the three things I tell myself every time procrastination knocks on my door.
1. What is my purpose? I know this might sound corny or something but when you really ask yourself why you do things you do, you will get a clear reason to do it.
Yes, there are cases where I even justify my actions even though I know my purpose. Like, when I am supposed to write a chapter for my book, I would tell myself that I can do it some other time, besides my deadline is on November this year. I still have plenty of time. Just like my old excuse when I was in college. Though I would cram before the deadline and promise myself not to postpone my tasks, I still do it. I never thought that I would still have it now that I am already working.
See how powerful habits are. Now, I am creating a new habit in writing. Yes, I am still struggling to make it work but I am confident that as I continue to follow through it will be a lot easier.
2. Do it Now – With my type of work, I have plenty of time to use to whatever I wanted to do. I am working as a homebased accounts specialist for a company. I am working at the comfort of my home and I don’t need to go to the office. Imagine that freedom! I can just sleep, eat, watch TV anytime I want. I remember the first month that I began working homebased, I asked myself what should I do now? You see, before this job, I am a regular school teacher. I am accustomed to waking up around 5am, be in school before 7am, teach until 4pm and go home by 5pm. I had this routine, now that I can just use my time to anything I want! Wow, that’s freedom!
Though there are downside of it. Remember the habit thing I told you earlier? It eats me. But because I don’t teach on times, I am teaching before, I have to fill in that time with something. Can you guess what that something is? Well, I am bigger now than I am before, so you can tell what it is. My resolution to my problem? Write my To Do List. What’s interesting fact I learned about To Do List is this, you can still choose to ignore your To Do List. The list will not complain, though i finished some of them.
So now, what I am doing? I do the task NOW. If I remember I have to do something, I immediately write it down on my virtual sticky note. Because I am always working with my computer, this is very helpful to me. I would include my deadline on the note. And start doing it.
3. Rewards – I identify the rewards I will get once the task is done. Some of these rewards are: the sense of accomplishment every time I delete the task, the peace of mind I had every night knowing that I finished a lot of things that day, the free time to do other fun things like meeting up with friends, play badminton, jog and play some FB games. My rewards sometimes came from outside sources but I learned to give rewards to myself every time I do things now. This makes my day a lot more exciting, productive and fun.
Again, when I am tempted to procrastinate, your put the things I have to do now for later, I told myself these three things: What is my purpose of doing this task? Why would I do it? Do It Now because I don’t know what will happen later. I might have other important things I have to do later. And lastly, I asked myself, what will I get in doing this task. Sometimes, I have to trick myself with doing that. It might be weird but I have been doing it for the wrong reasons why should I not use it on my own advantage.
Now, I still delay things. But I delay gratification. I now look on the kind of future I want to have. A future that will not be possible if I don’t stop procrastination.