Like I wrote in my “about” page, I love to write about things that I’ve experienced or things I’ve learnt, but most especially things that have worked for me. Someone once said that “The things you were delivered from are the things you are called to teach others so that they also can be delivered.” The topic I picked for this post is no doubt something that has been and is still affecting lives in numerous ways, and the only way we can work around it is by taking deliberate steps.
Before now, I used to be a chronic procrastinator. The first time I heard the word “procrastination” was in secondary school. I knew I had the problem, but I couldn’t put a name on it, and after it was mentioned and critically explained, I realized it was a general problem and it will take a lot of mental and physical exertion to deal with it. I was a little bit mentally and physically lazy, my best state was the state of inactivity (now that I look at it, it seemed really laughable) I just loved staying put.
Few years ago, shortly after my degree, I decided that it was time for things to change. I had gone through a 4-year course that required the chronic use of my mental and physical energy and I almost gave in to pressure but one way or the other I scaled through.
Procrastination wasn’t my only problem, there was laziness, lack of motivation and lack of energy. To get rid of Procrastination, I knew I had to first deal with these other problems, especially laziness. So with a strong conviction and through God’s help, I got rid of laziness and by starting an effective reading habit, I got rid of lack of motivation.
Procrastination is a time waster and time killer, it’s also a dream killer. Putting till tomorrow what could be done today is like pushing back your success 10 miles each day. Through determination and conviction, I finally got around it, and dealt with it as it comes using these few techniques
#Step 1 I slept earlier and woke up earlier than usual- I am a major nocturnal individual. Sleeping early isn’t just my thing. Even when my work required that I wake up early, I still slept late. But when I looked at it deeply, I found out that it was the unimportant things that kept me up late. Things like late night movies, TV shows, gisting with my siblings etc. Just because I was determined to kill procrastination, I decided to let go of all those things and I started to go to bed early. It was difficult at first, at times I forgot that I was on an assignment to change things for myself and I chatted away excitedly into the night. But after few days, it worked. I began to sleep early and woke up early. This made me feel refreshed in the mornings and ready to do work. My muscles were well relaxed and my body had a good rest.
#Step 2- I wrote out my work list-Sometimes, the task seemed to be colossal and unattainable, what I did instead was to write them down (for example, wake up, wash the dishes, dry clean some clothes, cook, write, finish reading, clean my room). By so doing, that plethora of task that seemed to be the size of a mountain wasn’t even up to the 10 points when I wrote them down.
#Step 3- I stopped planning and took action- it’s true that one thousand good intentions aren’t as important as one good action. Rigorous planning only made the work I was about to do look unattainable, instead I lept out of bed and ran to the kitchen to do the dishes, once the first mountain came down, the rest was easy.
#Step 4- I arranged the tools for the work the night before – the dishes were in the zinc, the clothes were in the washer, the food ingredients were available, my laptop and books slept on my bed throughout the night. So as I got up in the morning, I just went straight to get them done.
#Step 5- I stayed off social media for a while- there’s a way social media effortless messes up your life. In fact It does so on a daily basis, (except you are the type that has found a way to make money from it, a lot of people have) but you’re unaware, your phone is just glued to your hands. So I kept my phone(this is hilarious) under my bed. After my morning prayer, it’s straight to do the first thing on that list. But before, I used to open my phone and surf the Internet hungrily first thing in the morning while there’s a truckload of dishes waiting for me in the zinc.
#Step 6- I made it a habit – it became a habit. Wake up, wash dishes, cook, clean, write, read etc. Habits can be consciously or unconsciously formed. They are the things we do on a daily basis, so I deliberately made my daily routine my habit. So once I got them out of the way, doing the remaining things became really easy.
#Step 7- I listened to music- music is food for the soul, yes true, but I will tell you what is the medicine for the soul, it’s listening to audio tapes (mp3) of topics you love. I have nothing less than 80 mp3 messages on my phone and a very good ear piece. Whenever I want to do a chore, I listen to them. In fact, ever since I got those messages, I’ve always been eager to take on huge tasks. I have messages on personal development, entrepreneurship, customer relationship, social media marketing including spiritual messages and so on. I just play them while I’m washing the dishes or cooking, or cleaning, or washing.
#Step 8- I envisioned the future and thought of reward- as a blogger, I have to constantly post contents on my blog, quality contents. So instead of procrastinating my life away, I think of what I will write in my next post, I think of the many books in my closet that needs to be reviewed. So I think of what it will be like if I end up not posting on my blog or not finishing the book I want to review, it’s catastrophic. This has made me realize that Procrastination does no good, so I just do it. Also, I think of how clean the house will be when I get back, how quickly I will eat breakfast and get to work and how smooth my life will be (laughing out loud).
#Step 9- I realized that I’m not a perfectionist- someone once said that “A piece of good art work on the wall is more appreciated than a perfect work which was never finished” You don’t have to be a perfectionist, just get the work done.
#Step 10- Finally, but not least, I ask for help- I like to bring in people to help me do work, especially things that can be done by anyone. I do the ones I need to do myself and I get help on others. No man is an island, and like I said, I’m not a perfectionist. Sometimes, when you get other people to look at your work, they see it from a different angle and a different perspective from yours, they help to spice up your work and give it a good look.
These are all my tips of getting rid of Procrastination. Although they are not limited to these, there are thousands of ways to shut it out. It’s your job to find out those ways, remember, what works for me might not work for you, so be careful and be deliberate. And remember that you can’t afford to relax, it’s a continual effort, always fight it as it comes.
I love feed backs, kindly share how you deal with Procrastination in the comment section below. Thanks and kisses.