A lot of valid thought provoking arguments. Time well spent.
Read this today morning, it rings a bell. If your life feels like its running in a loop like mine sometimes, these are the probable reasons.
Big dreams: The goal isn’t consistent impact or meaningful work, it’s a huge hit, the star turn and the ability to change the world. It wouldn’t be enough to have 1000 true fans, the big dreamer wants a stadiumful in every town.
Poor work habits: Flitting from project to project, waiting for inspiration to arrive, stalling, not taking lessons, repeating the same early steps over and over…
Shortcut seeking: Why bother with the long route when you can find a shorter, faster path? Get-rich-quick schemes, insider access and the quest to get it right now.
Lottery thinking: This is a variation of shortcut thinking, but it involves getting picked. One person, one organization, one Wizard of Oz who will magically make it all happen.
Lack of self-awareness: The self-delusion that your stuff is in fact world-class, and that the critics, all of them that you’ve managed to interrupt, are wrong.
A daily walk. For many, a regular daily walk was essential to brain functioning. Soren Kierkegaard found his constitutionals so inspiring that he would often rush back to his desk and resume writing, still wearing his hat and carrying his walking stick or umbrella. Charles Dickens famously took three-hour walks every afternoon — and what he observed on them fed directly into his writing. Tchaikovsky made do with a two-hour walk, but wouldn’t return a moment early, convinced that cheating himself of the full 120 minutes would make him ill. Beethoven took lengthy strolls after lunch, carrying a pencil and paper with him in case inspiration struck. Erik Satie did the same on his long strolls from Paris to the working class suburb where he lived, stopping under streetlamps to jot down notions that arose on his journey; it’s rumored that when those lamps were turned off during the war years, his productivity declined too.
Not just geniuses, most people even half a century ago had routines and they were defined by their daily routines. Just recollect how your grandparents lived their life with routines. Their character and traits were defined by their habits. Its nothing new that our habits define who we are, where we end up. Having some routine that helps us accomplish our long term goals is definitely a no brainer. A Simple habit that adds value to a long term goal is the best way to start with habits if you don’t have a routine.
Earlier this month I posted about the types of procrastination and I came across on Leo Babauta’s post on procrastination. He makes a strong case that procrastination is a mindfulness problem. Agreed, Awareness is the essence of procrastination. Being Unaware is mostly the cause for procrastination, but lack of awareness is the cause of failure at anything, be it procrastination or a simple task of buying vegetables. I don’t say this is to undermine the point Leo makes, but to suggest that improving our awareness and being mindful is easily the best step towards a better life, a more happier and a calmer life. Meditation helps with your awareness and spending 20-30 minutes meditating everyday is totally worth. Sadhguru says if you cant dedicate 30 minutes a day to help yourself, nobody can help you.
It’s a given that I a procrastinate and no matter how hard I try, I haven’t been able to get rid of it ever, I have just learned to live with it. Not the best of the ways to deal with the problem, but trying harder or smarter hasn’t helped either. I just try to find new tools or new methods to keep me away from procrastinating, they do help a bit but haven’t fixed it totally. I am glad I am trying to learn more ways to stop procrastinating. I was so engrossed in getting rid of procrastination that I hardly realized that there are variety of procrastinations and they are classified based on what makes some one procrastinate, I learned from here that I am mostly a fun procrastinator.
The fun procrastinator would rather be doing anything except that one dreaded task. After all, there’s so many fun and exciting things you could be doing instead, how can you bear to start that boring project?
That closely defines the procrastinator that I am, the inner nerd in me is always seeking some thing more fun and more interesting to do, so I can’t blame myself beyond a point for not completing my task. There is a good suggestion on how to combat it, which i think is what I am already using. But I think I wouldn’t just fall under just one type. Fun procrastination is mostly my type, but some times I would procrastinate because, I am a bit anxious to approach some one or some times I just want to do it as perfectly as possible that I never get around to starting it at all. Well that makes me fall under other types of procrastinators.
There are three more types of procrastination such as
- Anxious Procrastination.
- “Plenty of time” procrastination.
- Perfectionist procrastination.
You can read more about them by heading over here.
I think the task itself and its importance also defines how one starts to procrastinate. It also depends on the personality type of the individual. For example an introvert and perfectionist might suffer from both Anxious and Perfectionist type of procrastination.
Trying to follow one of the methods blindly thinking that we belong to a particular category won’t solve the problem. It takes continuous effort to be aware of the circumstances and the reason why we are procrastinating for each particular task and try to combat it accordingly.