How To Save Your Dog From Being Kidnapped — A Procrastinator’s Manifesto
Let’s face it. 90% of the human population is intuitively gifted with the magical power of procrastination. This is a scientific fact**.
I am one of those humans.
Science has come up with many theories of how and why people procrastinate, as well as a myriad of solutions. Putting it frankly, we can call it the fear of failure, or success, or not being quite good enough. We start off with the great dreams and aspirations of all the wonderful things we will do, catch some kind of doubt/fear/ random thought that encourages us to postpone it until it becomes super-awesome-incredibly urgent, at which point we work manically /freak out/have panic attacks/beat up on ourselves for being lame and unreliable. Sometimes all of the above happen at once, until the project is done and we catch a new wave of inspiration or project to start.It’s an emotional rollercoaster.
The solution — get a partner. A serious one. One that will kidnap your (proverbial )dog. An accountability partner really helps in making sure you keep the promises that you make to yourself, and that is supremely important. The inability to keep promises to yourself — be it deadlines on goals, habits that you have wanted to pick up (or quit) or just little things that make you a better person has a serious impact on your relationship with yourself, amongst other things.
My accountability partner and I have a pretty sweet arrangement: threaten each others pets and loved ones until the respective partner does the things that they said they would do. Ok, so it’s not as brutal as that (we’re both pretty amicable people most of the time), but it works. It may not solve the fear of change/failure/success/ exposure that we will probably have to deal with while producing work, but it does help get it done, and that’s the first step.
The primary topic of this blog is about procrastination and productivity, but that has a lot to do with self belief and self trust. The truth is,we procrastinate because we don’t think that we will be able to accomplish the task at hand well enough. Luckily, that is something that can be changed. Probably not as quickly or painlessly as we would like, but it can be changed.
The point is — fear and doubt are directly linked to your level of procrastination. The more negative feelings you associate with your desire or ability to accomplish something, the more painful the thought of doing that something becomes. The good news is, you can also flip the script and associate that something with the positive reinforcement of all the good things you would feel once you have reached your goal. You are badass! You can do it.
This is as much a reminder to myself as it is an open letter to people like me who are serial procrastinators. It’s okay to call in reinforcement if you need help getting things done — just as long as you are taking some sort of action.
Get started, get help, get going.
** This may or may not be actual science. The magic power of Procrastination is a real thing, though.