Procrastination… We all do it
You can say to yourself that you don’t , but lets face it, we have all put something off and done something else instead. There are those that clean, there are those that play games and there are those that work on something else.
I am a chronic procrastinator. I have put something off by cleaning my room. I have even once opened my text book got half way through it and then turning back to my computer and resumed a video game thinking that I would just do it after this level. But we all know that once that level is complete there is then another level.
To be honest it is not because I do not want to actually not do the work, sometimes I love the work I am doing. I just kinda cannot help not doing it. Some days feel like I have no energy so I say I will do it later, I fall asleep and then when this later comes around I have gotten stuck into something else.
It is almost like something takes control. Can you imagine what I am like when there is a distraction! I am the worst! Funny cat pics, youtube, instagram… I have no will power when it comes to these things. My phone buzzes because someone I follow has posted something… I have to look, I have to like, I must obsess.
But for those procrastinators, those real procrastinators that are saying “yeah, I do that” we all know this is the worst way to live. We never get the outcome we want, it is always done last minute and never the perfect version. We never push ourselves to improve or show that we are improving.
But this is also kinda natural, if the work is boring we want to put it off, if the goal is too far into the future we want some result or reward now. But we can still get things done, we are not useless. Those who procrastinate can still get the desired result its just a little harder.
With planning and few more steps we can get through this! We can beat it!
Here are a few ways to stop procrastination, to see that horrid new project and then actually get it done.
To-Do Lists And Planning
Nothing long, nothing daunting. This is the worst sort of list, for anyone! If you create a long list with all sorts of things to do on it, then you will instantly start procrastinating.
I mean lists that are day to day and with the most important at the top and the least at the bottom, these day to day lists should have a time frame by each to-do. This way once you have completed a task you can actually feel like you have achieved something, instant reward!
If, like me, you plan something but its a bit vague (for instance all of my goals for this year) then you can say you are doing it but really… your not. Put these vague things to one side. You have to see why its vague, for example ‘to learn French’, it is vauge because you can learn french within a year or 10. Instead put ‘want to watch a film in french with no subtitles’ add a time frame and you have your bigger to-do. If something like this is too big, viewed also as something to procrastinate to, then make another list for it.
Watch a film in french with no subtitles:
- look for a course in french
- do the course until the decided time frame
- constantly see which aspects of your french you need to improve on
- test your french
- watch the film
and ta-da, you have a list that looks doable.
another thing to do is something I learnt in a conversation I had with a family member:
its all good said and done when you say you are going to do something, but then you actually have to do it. I, for one, always dream about the outcome of a project, the amazing things I can do. Then I jot the ideas down and say I will do it later… but I never actually do it till the last minute.
Starting any task, big or small, is sort of daunting and we can also put it off till later. But have you ever just thought ‘not today, today I will start this’ and with a sudden rush of motivation you actually start the task? I have, and usually when this happens I don’t want to stop. I think one of the hardest parts is just to actually start anything.
Imagine any task like a marathon, because this is exactly like what it is for me.
The preparation or training is the part just before the start where you mind throws everything at you; the anxiety, the need to play, the need to watch cute videos online, to update Facebook, to clean. But you have to get past that to get to that start line.
Then at that start line you feel pumped, you have that need to continue because you feel good, you actually feel like you can do it and finish it.
But then that first wall hits. maybe you find that your art project is starting to look like it doesn’t make sense, maybe you have to do something you hate. But like any marathon, you have to continue because if you stop then you loose your momentum and then its all over. During a marathon there are usually people on each side cheering you on, making you feel as though you can do it, adding those great feelings back into your system. This is kinda what it feels like when you can get past those bumps. The further you get into a project the better you feel about it.
If you find that you have made a mistake, view it as a mini challenge that you have to complete, learn a way to make it right again or a way to bypass it.
then before you know it you can see that finish flag in the distance, this is the point when you suddenly forget about all those distractions or if one comes about you simply ignore it. You can do it, and then suddenly BOOM you have.
And we all know what happens next, the time to play and watch tv and do the things we want without that horrid worry of an impending deadline.
This kinda comes under the doer part because usually this is that part that stops us from doing something due to the fear of failing. Because we are not ‘talented’ or ‘intelligent’ but the way to get these things are through time, learning from mistakes. We cannot be born with a perfect vocabulary and the ability to recite Shakespeare due to the fact that you have to read before hand.
I for one always seem to put off anything to do with art due to the fact that I see other peoples art and compare it with mine WITHOUT taking in mind the amount of time they have been practising and how many times they have gotten half way through something and make a mistake and need to restart. without this in mind it really cuts your self-confidence and motivation. But learning that this actually takes time and that you can do it, you will be able to continue.
Until next time,
Never change yourself, your perfect.