Sunday, July 13, 2014

How to Stop Procrastination

Before the fast-paced job I hold right now, I live in my mom’s spare room, have someone do my laundry, was not given major household chores than just set the table during meals and was only told to clean my room when my mom would feel the need to penalize me for coming home late.
I don’t have a job but to study and go to school yet I’m often faced with the overwhelming feeling of having a lot of things to do with so little time. There’s always this mean monster trying to get me so it felt like I’m running late every time. There’s always a book I planned on reading a long time ago lying around untouched begging for my attention, a school paper I’m cramming on that seems to take forever to conclude, closet that needs organizing – with overflowing carelessly folded clothes as main fixture, trash that needed to go over week ago and an awful string of things I somehow managed to put off without any apparent reason. I could have done these all in one day; to be honest, but my mind is just too crude to always have all the wrong reasons to justify my act of negligence.  I later found that the problem lies on how I value my time. I don’t hold a job, was not given any responsibility in school and was treating myself like the bum that I was. I didn't feel the need to apply urgency in anything that I do. I didn't feel the importance of getting things done right away to get to another task thinking this would not really have significant effect on my daily routine.  My own life, my own pace - I fell into a trap we call procrastination.

Why do we procrastinate?
Overwhelmingly underwhelming - there are more interesting stuff lying around. We view the task at hand as seemingly unimportant or something that do not have any huge impact in our lives that we let a series of tasks pile over it until it’s forgotten. We see things based on how interesting they are for us neglecting its importance. The struggle is on how long something can hold our attention. Homework dulls in comparison to Xbox games or even Facebook or even just lying around doing nothing - there‘s always going to be a ‘more important’ thing to do.

Stop Procrastination
•Manage your time to the last drop
I was never a big believer in doing to-do list until I got hired in a job that includes a lot of multitasking. Suddenly, minutes became precious and all the bumming around seemed like a luxury I can’t afford anymore. I tried going through everything mentally but then I discovered the power of post-its! I write all the things I would need to accomplish daily and arrange them base on priority.  Don’t get intimidated with time pressure and allocate a timeframe to each task. This will help push you in getting with your goals. Aside from the fact that it will help you get to your tasks in an organized manner, you’ll get a huge amount of fulfillment just seeing how productively you were able to manage your time. Believe me, it could be addicting even.

•Ditch that snooze, it’s a TRAP!
Later is not always better and tomorrow should not be an option. Even the most mundane of all my daily tasks – waking up at 3am – wages war between me dragging myself up the first time the alarm hit and that little button of temporary heaven we call snooze. And every time, again EVERY TIME, whenever I let that little devil win, I would always end up in trouble getting late for work or starting the day in a very sour mood. We need to free ourselves from that lie of temporary relief from the truth – truth being that whether we delay or not, that something needs to be done and the longer you delay the harder it gets for it to be completed.

•Live for the reward
Love yourself. Love yourself more when you manage to overcome the temptation of more interesting but useless things and were able to set your priorities straight. Go right ahead and buy yourself that cup of coffee for a job well-done. Promise yourself that salon trip when all the writings on the post-its have been crashed out. This will give you something fun to look forward to at the end of every completed task.

•Manage your thoughts
Give it a thorough filter – get those that are not related to your task off, close all unnecessary brain tabs. Sometimes, we need to say no to entertaining unnecessary thoughts to give bigger room to whatever task is at hand. Say no to crowded thoughts. Close your social networks, stay away from the television, get to your own private place and obliterate the distraction. This way your train of thought works smoothly and uninterrupted.

On top of these, COMMIT.
Commit on being better at getting things done. Commit on forgetting about tomorrow and what you can . Commit on an unfazed focus under pressure. Commit on  mastering evading procrastination.

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