Procrastination is a common issue most people struggle with. But the more we delay action towards what we want to do, the more depressed, anxious, and stressed we feel. As always, the best solution is to find ways to push back and become your best self.
Today, I discuss why you should start working on your goals now, not later. Then, we explore developing the persistence and zeal necessary to fight against procrastination.
Table Of Contents
- The Dangers Of Procrastination
- Why Action And Persistence Are Crucial To Your Self-Improvement
- 1) Recognize why you’re opposing action
- 2) Take care of your responsibilities
- 3) Dream big, work small, and make play out of work
- Overcome Procrastination; Become An Individual
The Dangers Of Procrastination
“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” – Mark Twain
Procrastination is “the action of delaying or postponing something.”
We procrastinate because our lives are full of obligations that don’t serve our virtuous ends. As children, we were forced to learn in environments that taught us nothing of use or value.
As we’ve aged, this has not changed. We may have escaped school, but now we deal with a multitude of responsibilities that do not serve our virtuous ends:
- Most families are full of abuse and scandal. Being around family is an obligation based on guilt, not the pleasure of being around thoughtful people.
- We work hard to pay taxes to a government that will squander that money to buy votes or pay corrupt individuals. We do not pay taxes to improve the lives of good people. We pay taxes to keep evil flourishing and to avoid jail time.
- We are stuck with busy work or forced into meaningless activities like diversity training.
Overall, life feels like a trap. This trapping makes us unmotivated, causing procrastination. However, when we procrastinate, we stagnate, and life passes us by. Many of us have lofty dreams and want to accomplish great things. Such impressive feats will never come to pass if we procrastinate.
Why Action And Persistence Are Crucial To Your Self-Improvement
Opportunities fade quickly, blown away like dust in the wind. When we launch ourselves toward the desires that matter most, we can accomplish them more quickly. Such accomplishments will invigorate and inspire us, serving as the foundation for future growth and success.
Today, I cover the three mental hacks you need to push yourself towards accomplishing your goals right now.
1) Recognize why you’re opposing action
Firstly, you must seek to understand why you are pushing back against your desire for greatness. Here are common reasons:
- Often, we procrastinate because we were commanded so often when we were younger. We’ve grown resentful of anyone “telling us what to do,” including ourselves.
- Additionally, the more we seek to improve ourselves, the more family, friends, and society oppose self-growth. Therefore, why improve if it will only invite more trouble?
- We fear the new responsibilities arising from achieving our goals and personal greatness.
- You may not be motivated to accomplish the task you’ve set for yourself and would prefer to do something else.
The purpose of this step is not to have an immediate plan. We’re not seeking to resolve hesitation right now. Sometimes, just knowing why you’re doing something and how it makes you feel will give you enough wisdom to overcome procrastination.
2) Take care of your responsibilities
“My advice is, never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time. Collar him!” – Charles Dickens
We can reduce our desire to procrastinate by attending to what matters most. How does this work? When we attend to our responsibilities, be it our family or job, we move the needle in a better direction. We have accounted for our relationships or earned the money we need. When we account for our obligations, we have fulfilled what we must do, so we can now focus more on what we want to do.
Additionally, the fulfillment of our responsibilities removes undue stress from us. If we know we have been loyal, we can relax. A relaxed mind is a clear one, and this clarity gives us easy access to our inner thoughts and potential hangups. You can’t have a reasonable discussion with yourself about procrastination if you are worried about money.
For example, if your health fails, you’re more likely to procrastinate because you feel unwell and worry about your health. However, if you are in great shape and regularly care for yourself, you know you have the mental fortitude to pursue your goals.
Using your energy to tackle what needs to be done will give you the best mindset to prevent procrastination.
3) Dream big, work small, and make play out of work
Procrastination also arises from pursuing dreams that are too large. We can become stiff and lock up when faced with our grand visions. Conversely, we can take those visions and make them edible by focusing on smaller goals. Smaller goals are easier to visualize and achieve.
Let me walk you through this process:
- I want to be a great writer. That’s a lifetime commitment I can’t do in an afternoon. This goal’s weight is staggering, which can cause me to stagnate.
- So, I take it into bite-sized pieces. I focus on daily routines, such as writing 5,000 words a day. This routine becomes my benchmark.
- When I hit that daily goal, I put my success in my “cookie jar” for when I want to relax. If I have enough wins and have stuck to this habit, I can get a treat or a “cookie,” be it time with video games, an actual cookie, or something else.
The focus here is to take your vision and then reduce it to what is within your reach. Once you’ve reached that goal, reward your success. A reward makes the work more enjoyable and easier to engage.
Overcome Procrastination; Become An Individual
Procrastination is not easy to fix. You will have to push yourself to overcome it. However, there are many ways to “hack” your brain to give you the best shot at overcoming this problem
Remember that procrastination can be defeated. You are not eternally stuck to waste time and avoid your goals. You can achieve the focus that delivers greatness at your doorstep.
- What’s one thing you always put off doing? For me, it is taxes 0r dealing with my 401k. Why do you avoid handling the thing you avoid? What do you dread about doing it?
- What happened when you accomplished a thing you had been putting off for some time? Did you feel relieved? Accomplished? How did you celebrate?
- What are some rewards you can give yourself for overcoming your procrastination?
Please remember it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.