Sometimes i struggle with procrastination , but recently I have been learning more about it and I had come to realize that the only reason I was never able to unlearn procrastination is because I was dealing with it as an action when it’s actually a reaction .
Given an important task , some might break it into small pieces and shove some breaks into their daily routine every now and then. The first hour of work is great but then you hit the first bump on the road , the first real challenge in your project . It takes you a few hours before you decide you need a break to clear your mind and find a solution and all it takes is you to open one browser tab to get sucked in . For me , all I needed was to open my email to waste at least one hour .
Procrastination could come in other forms and when you are not moving forward on your project you would sometimes do anything to move forward on pretty much anything . You might start cleaning up your desk , cleaning up your inbox and in my case it would be organizing (reorganizing and re-reorganizing) the files on my hard disk . Most of these things are things we actually have to do but why are we doing them ? and what purpose do they serve in our bigger plan ?
Procrastination is not a character trait and more of a coping mechanism , it’s something we do when we don’t want to do something else and it usually arouses from fear of failure . Procrastination allows us to feel like we are moving when we feel paralyzed by requirements of our job or task at hand . It mixes up our priorities and makes sending an email just as important as meeting a deadline . The bigger problem is that most of the times we meet the deadline but only because we are more afraid of the consequences of missing the deadline than we are of actually doing a job less than perfect and then the cycle starts over again.
Some of the hacks I have tried that are helping me make better use of my hours is trying to get on with work as early as possible (even before most of the others come in) because I tend to get sucked into projects that is why if I start earlier on the project I could spend more time on it but not late . Postpone opening your browser as much as possible (specially your email) .. Write down as much as you can of what you do everyday , try and keep a log of your daily routine to figure out how you are spending your days . Try not to take your work too personally and don’t be too attached to anything you do so that you can have more fun with it and thus eliminating the fear (of failure) factor from your equation so that you enjoy your work more and simplify as much as possible .
The more you know about procrastination the more you realize most of us have to deal with it and there are a lot of valuable tips and hacks into how we can work with it . Have you ever had hard time with procrastination ? How did you overcome it ?
Disclaimer : I have been reading Neil Fiore’s The Now habit so some of the material might have made its’ way into the post , I would suggest giving the book a read or a listen if you are into audio books , it’s more than worth it