I never procrastinate. anything.
Not because I am a better person or something- simply because procrastinating makes me very anxious.
I mean very anxious.
Like losing sleep kind of anxious.
So I developed full proof -easy-just listen -methods to help me overcome those known to everybody moments when you just can’t think of anything but your pillow and a good book.
And I will share my top-notch tips with you because, you know, that’s the kind person that I happen to be.
#1: Listen to Nike.
Just do it!
In my experience, the time I spend hesitating whether or not I should postpone doing something I decided on doing- is equal to the time needed to finish doing the da** thing!!!
This happens every time- and frankly- at some point, I could see how utterly stupid and time-wasting the whole “maybe in 10 minutes I won’t be as tired, maybe tomorrow I will have more free time, maybe next month I will have more money, maybe next year I will grow rabbit ears”, (etc) is.
Even little hesitations fall into this category:
Should I or shouldn’t I go back to the house to get a bottle of water? it’s a hot day on the one hand-
But then, on the other hand, it’s only a 10 minutes walk
But what if something prolongs this errand?
But what if I run late because of going back in?
But what if I get really thirsty and there’s no water there and everybody will run late anyway so I’ll regret not getting my water?
(clearly, this is a totally made-up conversation I didn’t have with myself. ever. wonder how I managed to make it sound so realistic though.)
You get the point.
Go get that bottle of water- no matter what will happen during your 10-minute walk afterward, I can assure you that you will suffer from a terrible thirst.
But don’t spend that time weighing the pros and cons of going back.
Just do it.
You have done the laundry on your to-do list?
Just go put the machine on. I mean it’s not like you need to wash your sheets in the river now.
#2: Don’t be shy- use kitchen hacks to help out!
Your kitchen sink is overcrowded with dishes? I mean nasty pots and pans with sticky sauce on them?
boil a pot of hot water, make pasta or brown rice for lunch, and pour the excess cooking boiling water into the sticky pans .add a little dish soap.., and start the scrubbing with the largest pans.
Now the hot water will dissolve the sticky sauce, and psychologically, once you get 2 large pans out of the way- it looks much more achievable to finish with the rest.
#3: “life would be a mistake without music”- Friedrich Nietzche
Music can lift you up, get you moving, and even get you dancing while washing the floor! yes, it can! I mean- the right music.
Put up the volume and put your gloves on. the to-do list will get done before you notice.
Cooking pasta or baking pizza? put on some Andrea Bocchely or Pavarotti on Spotify. it’s free. and it gets you in the right mood for tomato sauce and Carmela soprano.
Need to clean the sofas? put Sia on. or Deep purple.
#4: get into the proper outfit.
When I need to clean the house or get some heavy-duty work in the garden, I get into my “I don’t care what happens to these old rags anyway” outfit.
This is part of a mental game I play against my procrastinating alter ego.
If I get into those clothes, I get into the mindset of “oh what the ****, might as well get those clothes dirty !” -and then I’m on it.
on the other hand, when I wear my regular everyday apparel, there is always that:” I don’t want to get stains on this shirt, I really like it, I think I’ll postpone cleaning for another day” kind of thing.
And while you are on it- get your cleaning-working gloves on, same effect, promise.
#5: polish your math skills.
Some tasks are just too big.
It’s not anybody’s fault, they just are.
A dirty house, a sink full of dishes, 60 laps in the pool on your schedule for this morning at 5:45 Am, a big case at work, a dinner party you decided to host – this kind of too big.
What I learned at my mature age, after many years of trying to beat this challenge, is that if a task is too big- or even just appears to be too big- when in fact it is the medium size at best- the chances of me starting it -let alone finishing it, are very, very slim.
On the other hand, small tasks are fun to cross off your to-do list, and let’s not forget they take up the same space on the list as heavy tasks do, so –
Back to 1st-grade math- divide every task into 4 equal parts.
Why 4? why not 3?
This is the method that works best for me- and I think it has something to do with the fact that dividing to 2 parts does not help with the “too big for me” scare, and 3 parts do not help achieve that psychological effect of “wow, I’ve finished more than half of this sh**! I’m close to finishing!”
now 5 parts are too many parts + you don’t get to enjoy that half done is almost done effect I mentioned a second ago.
I am aware this may take some adjusting- how do you divide washing the dishes into 4 parts? and cleaning the house?
But you are intelligent people, you can do it.
Plus the sink conquering method is a unique one- and was mentioned specifically on tip # 2. go check.
Getting through 2 mikes of running at 5 am is easy, whereas thinking of going for an 8-mile run is a whole different mental game to tackle.
so finish the first 2, then you warm up enough to get through the next 2, and then you tell yourself you are almost done- since most of it is over (yes, 50% is the most of 100% in case you didn’t know), and by the time you get to the last 2 miles- you start to regret that it’s over so soon. or not. anyway, its easier than 8 miles.
#6: Yep, can’t get away from the to-do list!
If you want to get anything done, you have to write it down on your to-do list, both because of the commitment you make when writing it down (like a mini contract you make with yourself), but mainly because it is so much fun to cross it off that list.
So write to-do lists on (recycled) paper if you are old school like me, or on your phone, or both (if -like me- you have a strange tendency to “forget” those tasks unless reminded time and again)-
but this is effective. and free, so.
#7: stop watching tv. I mean it.
I stopped watching television a few years ago, and I still manage not to get everything I want done, so I have no idea how people manage watching tv + doing everything else.
And while you’re on it- limit your facebook+Instagram time too.
yes. I am ware how old I sound.
And yet- I don’t give a dam*.
#8: Polly wants a cracker
Ok, you might think this is stupid, but I don’t care because it is both stupid +highy effective so here you go.
Promise yourself a treat when you finish a massive task (divided into 4 parts -remember?).
But remember you must keep your promise- otherwise, you will develop a general disbelieve in yourself which is dangerous to your wellbeing, so prepare the treat ahead.
This way you get to both make sure the treat is there and no one will bail on you in the last moment, plus you get to enjoy the anticipating part, which many times is much better than the treat itself since our mind has this wonderful imagination that helps us get through this life .
What can be considered a treat?
a healthy snack
A much-needed rest
Whatever is considered fun for you- and I am keeping it clean here so.
I am sorry but the evil notion of “cheat meals” is not considered a legit treat in my opinion, because I could never understand the concept of this “cheating yourself “idea.
If you don’t learn to indulge yourself in healthy nutritious simple food as part of your legit everyday diet, and you get the feeling you are in any way restricted and need to “cheat” in order to remain sain and on track, then I’m not sure this is the way to go for you, because no one can live intentionally in his self made prison -for long, and everybody knows who crash diets are for. (the answer- for no one, ever).
Also, I am contemplating whether promising yourself to buy something you’ve been wanting to buy for some time, is a legit treat.
On the one hand- it is an effective tool, and if you are only buying something you have contemplated buying anyway, and not getting a “card Blanche” to a shopping feast with no limits, then this won’t undermine your minimalistic frugal strive,
On the other hand- the concept of buying something as a treat undermines the whole idea of disconnecting shopping from “want“, and concentrating only on what you truly need.
I would love to hear your opinion on this =please share your tip to avoid procrastination.
Remember- sharing is caring.
enjoy- the cooliflower.