Whether you planning to go to the gym, starting a new business venture, finishing that important project or undertaking any sort of “strenous task”, you usually just keep it on hold for some other time. This is the habit of procrastination and it would spiral you down to the bottom and you regret wasting opportunities after opportunitites.
According to Mel Robbins, the motivational speaker and the author of the “5 seconds rule”, there’s a difference in being a procrastinator and dealing with a habit of procrastination. When it’s a habit, then it can be changed and made favourable for your own benefit. She also mentioned in one of her speeches, that you’re not a procrastinator, but dealing with a habit of one.
We’re here to help you break this daunting habit that’s destroying your life. Since everybody’s not the same, so for this, we’ll mention different ways you can try and cope with it. Try and find out which works best for you.
Simple yet effective, this method is a 4 step process.
- First, pick up a task that makes you think twice.
- Start counting down from 3..2..1
- Stop whatever you were doing
- And now, go & finish this specific task
It is often said that, it takes 21 days to build a habit. But this method can be developed within just a few days to weeks. Let’s say you see that the dishes are dirty, 3..2..1 go wash it. This will serve as a countdown for you and will force yourself to act without giving it a second thought. Use this to do little things at first, like brushing your teeth at night.
The true potential of this method is that it will form positive new habits in you. By doing this trick again and again, this method will be ingrained in your mind and you start acting within a few seconds. Take the first step now!
Get smart method
According to a survey it is said that 20% of all surveyed are chronic procrastinators. So, for them and all the other procrastinators we present you with this next method, which is a 3 step program. First, you need to understand that procrastinators are liers. Lying to themselves. “Oh, I’ve got plenty of time to do this act”, sound familiar?
There was a study that was conducted between 2 groups.
- 1st group was to submit the paper anytime within the 3 weeks period.
- 2nd group was constantly checked and was given strict deadlines for each week.
Surprise-surprise the 2nd group faired better than the first, all acing in their projects.
Step wise process of this method follows:
- Step 1: Eat an elephant. You heard it right. That’s what you’re supposed to do. But where will you start? Step by step or the whole elephant? Unless you’re a giant monster, which i hope you’re not (for the sake of humanity), you’d divide the task within chunks. That’s the same methodolgy you should use to complete any major project. Try and sort things out in chunks and bits. Easier to chew and easier to complete right?
- Step 2: Pick off the goblins. In the game of Zelda, fighting the goblins was the easy and the fun part. Hence, you’d start doing the same at first. So, for the project you want to complete, start with the easy part at first. This way, your brain would release dopamine, a reward hormone (more on this on later articles), and you feel genuinely good about the project.
- Step 3: Ignore the siren’s song. Let’s not get too much into the story of the title, but understand that you should aim at avoiding all the distractions along the way. Switch off your phone, let someone change the password to your computer, etc. Also, change the environment all together. This will help you significantly.
Mel Robbin’s method
The pressure of work makes you believe you need to find a way out. Moreover, habits are formed in 3 steps.
- Trigger: In case of procrastination, stress is the trigger.
- Pattern: So due to stress, you avoid doing something.
- Reward: Hence, the stress relief.
Now, this stress relief is actually an escape from that act. Hours and hours on social media, playing video games and so on. The first part is what we can’t change the stress, as it will always be there, so we should focus on the 2nd part.
- Acknowledge the stress at first.
- Take deep breaths, interrupting the habit of procrastination.
- Do that thing for just 5 minutes, stopping the habit of avoiding stress.
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You chooses short term gains over long term benefits. That’s the human brain analogy for you. The only cure for this to work, is for you to work. Yes, act on the decision.
There’s always some resistance for you to cope with. Act inspite of resistance. Resistance is the fear, the doubts, the negative feelings you feel towards an act. Once, you break the resistance cycle, things start to go sailing.
Resistance have the following vocabulary attached with it:
- I should
- I must
- I have to
- I need to
Instead, change it to
- I could
- I want to
These are basic pschology tricks that will create a shift in mindset. Life’s all about making choices, so at first when you say I could, you’re basically giving your mind a fake choice. And then, slowly saying I want to, will shift the mindset into postive towards the action.
You should at first, feel the resistance before going for this. After properly observing this, you can try and shift this feeling around. How to go for it? Consider our next method.
Sedona Method/Positive sedona method
First let’s go for a quick overview in sedona method.
- Allow yourself to feel the negative feelings towards any task. Feel it in your body.
- The next step is to ask yourself: “Could I let this feeling go?”
- If yes (which is usual), again ask “Would it let it go?”
- Positive response from both the questions mentioned above will bring you to ask yourself the final question “When would I let it go?”
Let’s consider the Positive sedona method
In this method, just ask this question from yourself, “could I get myself excited about this task?” And any form of excitement will do wonders in the long run. Let’s say you’re supposed to do your taxes, fine. Let’s get excited about it as it might enable you to get some return. Or, you want to go to the gym, get excited about the music you’ll listen to while you’re at it.
And just visualize yourself doing this task.
This article is written by Anubhav, who is a Content Writer at Legalraasta.
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