You might be procrastinating right now by reading this post. Well, all I can say is that it happens to the best of us. But thanks for choosing this post as your means of procrastination!
Whatever we do that derives from our higher nature – writing, painting, dieting, spirituality, education, commitment, etc. – will, at some point, elicit resistance within ourselves.
I love to write. But there are days when I have to shut my internet off in order to crank out an article. If Facebook is open, I’ll get on it. If Twitter is open, I’ll get on it. If I need to write and my phone is sitting within arm’s reach I’ll be on Instagram faster than you can say selfie. It happens to everyone. Even the most go-getting go-getter faces procrastination at one point or another.
So how do you beat down the raging b***h that is procrastination? Well, I don’t think there is one right answer for everyone. We all work differently. But here are a few things I do to push through and just get things done.
1. Sit In Your Resisting-Ness
We’ve established that you’re going to feel the desire to resist things from time to time. It’s okay! Resisting resistance is just exhausting. So don’t do it! Sit in your resisting for a little while, recognize that you’re feeling this way. Then move on.
2. Create Momentum
In order to get up and get moving, we need some momentum. If I know that I have a big project to do on a particular day, I start with a few small tasks. I’ll empty the dishwasher or put a load of laundry in the washing machine. Starting with something small and then moving on to larger tasks is much easier than just rolling out of bed and starting to conquer the world.
3. Tell Everyone What You’re Doing
I don’t mean rambling status updates on Facebook about how you’re about to eat some yummy food with your besties. I mean telling your roommate that you’re going to clean out the fridge today, telling your mom that you’re writing those cover letters tonight. Tell people close to you all of the things you have to get done so that if you fail, they will hold you accountable. It’s not harsh; it’s accountability.
4. Schedule It
Try getting in the habit of scheduling everything. Make a list of things you want to accomplish this month and set specific dates to finish them by. If you don’t want to put it on the calendar, you probably don’t really want to do it in the first place. If you don’t schedule it, it doesn’t exist.
That’s all I’ve got. Did I miss anything? How do you conquer procrastination?
And now, I’m going to go do some laundry.
If you’re interested, Steven Pressfield’s book, The War Of Art is all about conquering resistance and succeeding creatively. I highly recommend it.