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3 Ways to stop Procrastination

Originally published on my blog.

The best Procrastinator would even procrastinate to write down this article, which proves that I have crossed that milestone, and there are many, more to go. Procrastination, i feel like I am the king of it. From all those years of education to being 2+ years into software development, i still face the same kind of obstacles in my daily life. However i have completed my education, secured a good job, still i feel if i would not have procrastinated back then, i might be in a better position than I am now. However, time is always there. Even if i try now, i can achieve the same things that i lost on the might be late but i will reach there, only if i control the procrastination now.

There is not a day i tried finding ways to stop procrastination. So, making it to one simple sentence, "postponing the things that bring me happiness in the long run by doing the things that fetch the happiness now”. This definition of procrastination will always inspire me, but only for some time. We need to find the best ways that work for us to stop it. we procrastinate mainly on the fear of incompletion, i.e.; when the task looks so huge to be completed, we just assume that however it can't be done in 15 minutes and switch to things that can be completed in less time like watching a short video or listening a song or just talking to someone.

Our mind needs accomplishments, only when we complete something it will feel happy. so it hypnotizes us to do the small achievable stupid things, than doing important things that might not be completed in a can stop falling victim for this only when they are completely dedicated and disciplined towards their goal.

Being a student out there some might think only, they have this habit of procrastinating. However, in reality, everyone have this habit of procrastinating and all the great people u knew faced the same problem. It is not that they have overcome it now due to work, but they have made up some or other tactics to overcome one in this world is same. Everyone have their own thoughts, desires and understanding of the world around them. Hence, one formula does not work for all, thought it might work for many.

We need to understand ourselves first, before understanding the world. A series of trial and errors is the only best way one can experiment on themselves. Everyone should Try out all the possible things, that they feel it works and finally figuring out the best way that works for a human being we need to be adaptable forever.

Best Practices i have encountered to tackle procrastination:

1) Exercise

Yes, you might have heard it will help you in number of ways, but only when you are physically fit, you will be able to control your mind. Laziness is the main culprit for procrastination. When you exercise, the body releases feel-good hormones, which makes you do the impossible things in life. Exercise does not mean hitting the gym or a one-hour stretch of hard things that drain your energy. You can just start with a 10 minutes of stretching all the joints. However, remember to increase the pace, once you are good with it.

2) Understanding Zeigner Effect

There are many theories by great scientists of how a human mind works, and one of them is the Zeigner Effect. I first read this in an article excerpted from speech of Instagram co-founder, Kevin systrom. According to it, the human mind remembers the incomplete tasks better than completed ones and are more willing to complete those, rather than to starting a new task. This is because our mind understands that it can be done, once we start it and hence there is a greater chance of completing something, when we just start it.

Therefore, the take away of the zeigner effect is to “convince the mind to do those hard things for only 5 minutes, and it is said that we will be sticking to completing it after those initial 5 minutes."

3) setting achievable goals per day

Here comes the main reason for procrastination, seeing the things so huge. Yes, this thing takes all the credit for procrastination in my case. Many times, i was very disappointed to know that the things i wanted to learn needs very long hours of my precious time, and you know what i did; i switched to a web-series instead of a course to be completed. I know that watching a web series does not help me in any way, but my brain forces me to take it, as it knows that i will be able to complete this one better than my learning courses.

Therefore, to trick the brain, what can be done is never set a goal, which cannot be completed in a day (or less).

If something takes 30 days to learn, just make it to 30(or more) parts and be focused only on the part for the day. This helps a lot, by cheating our brain that it is not so big thing and we can complete it.

we need to understand that tackling procrastination, comes with practice and there can be days when we feel totally lost, but the key is to get going.

This article is nothing but a reminder to myself, whenever I am lost again. If you found it useful, i would be more than happy to have written this.

Thanks for reading.

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