Procrastination is the biggest thief of your dreams and unless you do something about it, you’ll get to the end of you life with a heart full of regret.
Why Do People Procrastinate?
Simply put, people procrastinate simply because they don’t feel like doing the tasks that they want accomplished.
They would rather let their emotions dictate their motivations. They want to wait until they feel like doing it before they get started.
The thing about procrastination is that you only have to overcome it for just a moment. Once you get started, the action of momentum will often keep your activity going and you’ll start getting stuff done.
Doing doesn’t always have to start with motivation, motivation can start from doing.
Make Yourself Do It For A Small Amount of Time
Even if you don’t want to do something like clean the garage, just tell yourself that you’ll take 10 minutes to sweep the floor. Your first thought might be that 10 minutes won’t make much of a difference and you are right. 10 minutes won’t make much of a difference but it might be enough to get you motivated to do more. Once you are done with sweeping the floor, you might stop but often you might keep going and start organizing “just one shelf”. But “just one shelf” could turn into all the shelves and then another task and all of sudden, the garage is cleaned! This all started because you tried overcoming procrastination by sweeping the floor for 10 minutes.
The Ninja Approach To Overcoming Procrastination
Even if they know that they need to overcome procrastination for just a moment, most people still don’t exercise their will power to do so. So, make it easier on yourself and try to leave tasks unfinished.
Some of you are thinking, “Huh? Leave tasks unfinished? How is that going to help?”
This is very counterintuitive but it’s so powerful.
There’s a secret that real writers know that wannabe writers don’t, and the secret is this: “It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.”
The great american novelist Ernest Hemingway knew this and he had a hard time getting his writing started. So what did he do to help him overcome this? He left his writing unfinished when stopped for the day. He was rumored to not finish up his ideas by not finishing a paragraph or even a sentence. He knew what the ending of the sentence or the paragraph was going to be but he left it unfinished. He knew that it would be easier to go back the next day and get started. Often he would be excited to get started the next day so that he could finish the sentence that he wrote the night before. Once he finished the sentence the next day, he had already gotten started for the day (which if you remember is the hardest part of writing) and he could go on and write for the day. He would then make sure to end the day with one of his ideas started but also unfinished on paper so that he could easily get started again the next time.
I often want to finish up the chapter when I’m reading or finish writing my blog post when I complete my tasks however this behavior makes it more difficult to overcome procrastination when I decide to restart the next day. Now I leave some tasks unfinished and it’s so much easier to get started (which is the hardest part) and keep the momentum going.
Pretty ingenious isn’t it?
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