If you are, then read on. And welcome to the league.
The story of my life can be summed up in four little words: “I’ll do it later.” I am such a chronic procrastinator that I wished that my wedding be postponed by a month on the eve of my wedding ceremony! (Now you get me, right?) Do you often feel that you are not ‘ready’ to do something ‘now’ even when you were doing practically nothing all day? I have felt this way all my life ever since I left school. I felt that I have all the time in the world to do important things. So, I’ve been on and off the track after I graduated from college. Some of the things that came with a strict deadline had to be dealt with. But there were other ‘less important commitments’ like doing yoga every other day or helping a friend with her DIY projects which always got pushed off to be done on the following weekend. Unfortunately, those weekends never came. To cut to the chase, any work that did not come with a deadline never saw the light of the day. So, I discovered that when I procrastinate, I follow a pattern. I only put those tasks off which I’m not very interested in and those that are not catastrophic in short-term including maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
So, I came up with a simple plan to change things by bits and pieces. Here’s a list of three things that has helped me deal with the my procrastination issues:
1. Target “do-able” goals: We are often tempted to take more on our plates than we can eat. For instance, when I had to choose the level of intensity for a training program on a fitness app, I opted for the most difficult one. After two days of intensive cardio, my brain automatically signalled me to take the rest of the week off and that one week became a month. And instead of working out, I spent more time playing Candy Crush. So, I have learnt the hard way that I need to have realistic goals in order to be motivated to make them a reality.
2. Take baby steps: It’s very important to break a complicated piece of work into segments that can be targeted one at a time. Sometimes the enormity of a task can scare us into not doing it at all. Remember the saying ‘Rome was not built in a day’? So, it’s a good idea to break down something grand into achievable bits and taking steps to complete them. And yes, do not forget to reward yourself after you successfully complete each step. The Candy Crush game can come in handy now.
3. Be consistent: A change that is permanent is the result of consistency. According to the principle of Kaizen (I learnt it in college but started using it only recently), if you perform a task for a few minutes every day without fail, it will become a habit and change your life for the better. That makes sense to me. Had I chosen a moderate intensity workout every single day, I would have achieved my overall health goals by now.
All said and done, the one thing that is most important is to get started. Get set go! I wish you success in your fight with the procrastination monster.