Correct me if I’m wrong – with tons of work lying around, you have turned an oblivious back and start watching some random videos on YouTube, which though you started with some cool tech videos and but landed in the 5th or 6th strata of obscurity.
Well you’re not the only one and it’s not completely your fault either.
So here I was, getting myself into the parade of procrastinators, flinging through the numerous books which didn’t have any correlation with my subject whatsoever. Yet I was giving them a read for satisfying my hunger for reading. Then it struck me suddenly as why am I doing this?
While I was supposed to be integrating Google Cloud Messaging service in my app, I got tempted by a flashy button announcing the live stream Google I/O 2016 and started watching the keynote session instead which showcased the all new Google Assistant and I ended up searching for Picasso’s full name which was shown for the demonstration purpose.
Do you see the level of deviation here?
Why couldn’t I help myself abandoning these futile things that comfortably keep me in my comfort zone. Why not get along the task that needs to be done instead?
Believe me if I can write this, knowing that I was procrastinating myself, then I know what I was doing and so do most of the people.
I pushed myself up from the lying position and did a little research on the procrastinator’s mindset and here’s what I have to write –
The story of ‘instant gratification monkey’ and ‘the panic monster’
Deadlines! One of the most comprehensive factors that pushes us to work our asses off towards the end of it. Unless the back is ablaze on fire, there isn’t enough heat push ourselves up.
Everyone starts with a rational mind as decision-maker, capable of taking certain decisions that are in the best of interests. But as soon as we set our eyes for the destination island and start to sail off the ship, the instant gratification monkey pops up.
And here’s how the conversation goes (RM : Rational Mind; IGM : Instant Gratification Monkey) –
RM (whistling) : Ah! What a nice day it is. I’ve started on time, considering all parameters to be suitable, I’ll be able to reach, WELL AHEAD OF THE DEADLINE.
IGM (poping up with a whooshing sound): Dude, dude, dude! What are you doing? Didn’t you see that nice island around? That one glittering like starry night sky. And what about that one – they’re playing the party rock anthem. Besides that there’s another one which scientists has made a home for biological research, don’t you want to know what are they upto?
RM (contemplating): Hmm! That seems nice. Anyway it won’t affect my schedule much if I just check them out. Sailing would be much fun with refreshed mind. Anyway I’ve sufficient days to reach there. PLUS I’m having a new experience. There is something new to be known.
IGM (Excitedly): We gonna party hard! YOLO!
After executing numerous such suggestions from the monkey, when the rational mind wakes up from its hangover. Suddenly it realizes that if it doesn’t speed up beyond the speed limit, it is certainly going to miss the deadline.
And then rises the panic monster.
The panic monster creeps the hell out of both of them and the instant gratification monkey instantly speed off. And you’re left with your fear. A fire beneath constantly heating the ignited fuel.
Were the words too much for you? Oh! of-course you’re one of those. Anyway here’s the video reference for the same –
No, you don’t need to take it literally and feel disgusted. What I meant to say is to do the task of highest priority (so called “the worst” or “the most important” task). I would directly quote the gist from the source I read it from –
Do your worst task first. By “worst” I mean “most important” and by “most important” I mean the task you’re most likely to procrastinate on. The deadline you’re dreading, the slides for the presentation you’re terrified of giving, the research you’re sure will turn up information you don’t want to know. Do it, before you do anything else, before you have time to think about it too much.
Things that might build your “get up and do it” attitude
When I was reading the transcript for Sheryl Sandberg commencement speech which she gave recently at UC Berkeley, she pointed out one particular habit that brought a positive change in her life of grief – “to write down three moments of joy before going to bed each night”. Think about the things you’re grateful for and respect that you’ve been privileged to get them.
One of the funnest TED talks tells about this thing too –
Don’t do the things because you have to, do it because you want to.
If you think it’s easier said than done, I can quote umpteenth number of examples of people who came out of giving excuses for their circumstances and did it. Wake up every morning feeling there is something exciting waiting out there for you. Feel the unbounded joy of exhilaration.
When you step out of your comfort zone and explore the realm of unknown, realizing the comfort that lies beyond the effort zone is much more satisfying than relaxing in your comfort zone. Just get started. I hope you have heard of ‘2 minutes rule’.
So why did I write this post? The information I presented here is just the compilation of things I came across, sugar-quoted with some personal experiences.
Because I wanted to. I was being sucked by the ‘mighty procrastination vacuum‘. My last blog post was posted on 12th May and this one was drafted the very next day to it.
It isn’t that I didn’t do anything in between. The period was full of researches, readings and of course bit of writing (which I soon be composing as blog posts) but I just didn’t feel like I was pushing myself up. It didn’t require any physical or even considerable mental effort of mine. Well being alone in hostel during vacation added much to it but that’s a different portion altogether.
Sometimes it’s ok to keep yourself relaxed. In fact, do bore yourself to death for some fantastic ideas would come out of your boredom. Anyway after a hectic phase of the year like the exhaustive semester we had, break is important but make you sure you don’t gradually slip into procrastinators peak (ironic, isn’t it?).
Experiment, Experience & Enjoy!