What if I told you that there is an easy and rewarding way to stop procrastinating? And it goes beyond the “Pomodoro” technique. Here is a three-step process that can help you overcome the habit of delaying important tasks.
This is not a story about the time when I was the biggest procrastinator on the face of the planet and then all of a sudden turned into a massive productivity ninja. Even now, as I’m writing this article – I’m still figuring things out and cannot help but wonder: How can we be productive in a world where everything is designed for us to be constantly distracted?
Let me share a story.
It was at about 6 pm. A cup of a “used to be hot” oat milk latte was waiting for me to enjoy it cold. I just stopped reading an article about how one 20 something built her 8 figure business in under 8 months. Forgot to mention, right before that I watched two TED talks and an interview with climate change activists.
Then I looked at my to-do list. Two out of six tasks have been completed (one included – to answer important emails and another one to help my brother with his application process).
Then I was swallowed by this overwhelming sense of guilt; feeling like I was incapable, feeling like everybody else is killing it posting on Instagram about their super productive days.
Then I got curious and started to deconstruct what type of tasks I procrastinate on the most.
It turned out that almost everything that was connected to writing had the most amount of unchecked boxes.
Then I came to a realization that expressing my ideas through writing in English still feels a bit scary to me as this is not my native language. It’s so uncomfortable that I feel exhausted even after doing it for 30 minutes. I dug deeper and realized that the major underlying cause of my resistance towards completing those writing-related tasks was fear.
If you are fed up with procrastination derailing your life, here are three steps you can take in order to beat it.
1. What’s the MAIN Thing You Procrastinate On? Figure Out The Real Fear That Stands Behind it
The natural function of our brain is to freeze when it faces fear; it blocks our system from acting and tries to find as many distractions as it can. So no wonder that my writing task had been left untouched for a while.
But it was at this moment when I recognized my fear; I started to feel hopeful and enthusiastic that I can to create change. Because I realized that it’s just my fear and not who I am.
Then I started to notice the signs that were telling me that I’m on the right path:
I’ve chanced upon this short paragraph from the War of Art:
“Are you paralyzed with fear? That’s a good sign. Fear is good. Like self-doubt, fear is an indicator. Fear tells us what we have to do.
Remember our rule of thumb: The more scared we are of a work or calling, the surer we can be that we have to do it.”
2. Journal. Write Down ALL Thoughts That Arise While You Are Delaying Important Tasks
I kept digging deeper and became even more conscious about what kind of thoughts my mind spews out when it wouldn’t let me sit down and write.
I started journaling. This what I wrote down:
“It’s so boring to write. Who will even read it? You know how exhausted you feel afterwards. Why bother? It’s so tiring. How about YouTube? There’s that funny video from your favorite women’s comedy show you always watch.”
How on Earth I would be excited to write if I’m telling my brain that it’s boring?
Our brain blindly believes everything that we think. Moreover, it always adds up information that supports your inner chatter.
3. Create a Brand New Narrative: Convince Your Mind That You’re INTERESTED in Being Productive
I flipped the script and wrote down the new brand new narrative that I’m learning to believe.
“I’m interested in writing more, as I can influence many people who follow my journey. I’m capable of producing high-quality helpful stories and it’s rewarding for me. I feel good while putting my thoughts on paper. I’m excited to do this!”
With this exercise, it’s important for you to believe in what you’re saying. So don’t start by “I’m wildly excited … ”, but something small but positive as “I’m interested, I’m willing ….” would work the best.
After implementing this technique I noticed how gradually I became more efficient (aka creating 4-5 long Instagram posts a week), and I’m on a journey to become an efficient and consistent writer for amazing online platforms like HavingTime.com!
These Three Steps are Great Start Towards The New More Productive You
We are all on a journey to be more productive and to live the life of our dreams. Remember, that all external change comes from an internal shift.
These tools are simple but they work only if you use them. I hope you can take 5 minutes right now to start this process.
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