As far as I know the biggest enemy of starting any endeavor is procrastination(in short-the tendency to postpone important things) .In his famous book “The War of Art”, Steven Pressfield outlines why and how Resistance rules our lives and how to eliminate it. He says that procrastination is the biggest manifestation of Resistance. I would solemnly recommend that book to anyone who thinks that procrastination is eating them alive, the book is a bit pricey but I would say it is worth more than the bucks .
Now coming directly to the point, after some mini research (mostly by bitter experiences) I found out that procrastination has 3 main root causes :
- Laziness – Probably the single most dangerous thing that is there in everyone one of us in varied proportions, we tend to postpone things (in maximum number of cases) due to it.
- Fear of Failure – Whenever you fear of failure remember Mark Twain’s timeless words “Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain”.
- Perfectionism – Sometimes we don’t feel like starting until everything is arranged completely and perfectly ordered. We feel that we have to do a task with 100% accuracy which is not possible in real life, just start it anyway and slowly your accuracy will be way more than your wildest dreams.
The biggest problem with procrastination is that it becomes a habit. In fact a vicious habit that after some months and years it would not let you do even the routine things in life like reading a newspaper or eating on time, you get a tendency to post pone anything and everything. So I would like to share some methods that worked for me in eliminating(or say reducing) procrastination that I believe( and hope) can also be a solution to your procrastination problem.
- Don’t rationalize : When you want to get early in the morning don’t use logic, don’t say to yourself 5 more mins, simply just do not reason with it. When you set up an alarm for 5 o clock don’t think anything and get up and go straight to the washroom and wash your face and immediately go for jogging (if at all you planned it earlier) or go to your study room and sit on your study chair and start studying, don’t let a thought enter your mind until you start, once you start -procrastination is half destroyed.
- Don’t worry about plans : Say to yourself continuously everything is in order, all my plans are in order, remember an excellent plan without execution is nothing when compared to a mediocre plan with excellent execution. As I explained in my earlier article “The Truth about Planning “, the more the plan is clear the greater you tend to postpone things.
- Commitment to your goal : Be clear of what you want in life, remove the unnecessary clutter and humbug, your wants are your wants-don’t add new wants seeing others, clarity is important regarding goal setting, close your eyes and honestly ask yourself, what you really want in life and aspire for.
- Maintain a to do list : Have a small journal or notepad in your pocket and write down the things that you have to do the next day, write only the most important and important tasks (don’t allocate any time slots to it), first complete them and 90% work is done.
- Add a little positive pressure to it : Attaching a tinge of ego and emotion to the completion of task works like magic, visualize the consequences of both achieving and not achieving the target in your mental projector.
Finally,think of procrastination as a devil more ghastly than real life ghost and as an enemy more dangerous than you real life enemy, you have a war ahead, have a battle plan, go ahead with your ammunition and destroy it now and here….just say “Do it now is my motto”
– Raviteja Visakoti