Winning the war against procrastination.
When it comes to the subject matter, I undisputedly will own a seat in the league of executives, if there was a council of procrastinators. This piece is a typical example. I had scheduled to have it publish on Monday, 25th of May, but here I am publishing 2 days later - I am proud I finally did though. However, what I’m not proud of is the way I kept on pushing the date farther and farther away, like a wrestler who knew his defeat was imminent. This definitely has affected my productivity, adversely. I’m the type that draws a very good plan with awesome ideas to implement it only to start deferring the date of implementation.
I was trying to organise my PC recently and checked into my essay folder- here’s where I keep my scribbled thoughts for future attention, one that hardly came by - I found dozens of articles and essays I had abandoned due to deadlines. I had a bad feeling.
Some people will find this hard to believe because they look up to me in some areas of career development and the art of writing, but that doesn't change the fact that I procrastinate - a lot.
Soon, missing out on big opportunities came in handy. I either won’t beat the deadline or do so with a poorly edited entry. I had, on several occasions, managed to submit entries at exactly 2 minutes to deadlines. However, I soon ran out of luck as I began to roll in the circle of “better ones will come” whenever I fail to beat the deadline.
One major enzyme that catalyzed this reaction was Laziness. It plays an integral role in Procrastination. You really aren’t doing anything but you just don’t want to do it now. While you’re there, you’ve watched three straight movies on Netflix, played FIFA, strolled aimlessly through Instagram explore page and by the time it rings a bell in your head that you have something important to do, you go by “tomorrow never dies, I’d do it tomorrow” - convenient excuse. Well played. While it’s a fact that tomorrow never dies, what joins tomorrow in not dying is your laziness too. It gains more strength by the day. In fact, if you’ve mastered the art of Procrastination, you’ll easily find justifications for missing out on opportunities. This type of Procrastination is the “I’d do it later type”.
Another catalytic enzyme is the unwillingness to achieve set goals. Here, I'm committed to turning a new leaf and go as far as creating reminders in calendars. Those days will come and go and I'd feel like See, it wasn't meant for me johr. Yes, the easy card to pull you start becoming less ambitious. Sometimes also, I felt the timing wasn't right. Like there is a certain age something has to be achieved.
Well, I've hit the turning point. That brick wall a goat reaches and turns its horn to to face whatever is chasing it. Yeah! That's the point I'm now. I realized I had abandoned amazing projects. Half written reports, unfinished investigations, beautifully captioned articles with empty bodies - they're endless. What changed? I was applying for a position with a firm and I was asked for references to my works, then it dawned on me. The reality of my procrastinating spirit arose the sun to the horizon. It was a big opportunity and I couldn't just start finishing up all my half backed cakes I'd left for many months. So I got challenged.
How I'm battling and winning the war.
Firstly, I write out my tasks for the day and paste them in my sticky notes with a time frame. I try as much as I can to stick to the day's task, no matter what. At the day's end, I review the tasks for the day and tick the ones I was able to achieve. The failed ones become the first for the next day. Working good, so far so good.
Secondly, I'm starting to act deliberate. I do things on the go. Not leaving anything undone on my table - like my mom always wants the dishes washed immediately leaving her kitchen sparkling - this way, I tend to have more time for review the wins for the day.
Amongst other things I'm doing are;
- Minimising distractions.
- Committing certain hours for implementation.
- Setting priorities.
- Promising myself a good treat if I hit big on a target.
In conclusion, it's a fierce war I'm fighting and I hope I don't get carried away by the little conquest I've recorded lately, hence relaxing. However, I've realized that it really isn't about not having the ability to explore creativity. Rather, it's a thing of the mindset. If you're ready to achieve it - just do it.