How I Finally KO-ed Procrastination On My 9999th Attempt
Today, I had this inner urge. Inspired partly by Jenn Mark’s article: How To Get Unstuck, I thought it was time for me to explore my relationship with “Procrastination” in a more intimate manner.
On dictionary.com, it says this: the action of delaying or postponing something.
My First Acquaintance
“Procrastination” was a word first introduced to me about just over a decade ago.
Prior to that, whenever I delayed or postponed an activity I should or ought to be doing, my mom defined that as “laziness”.
So going through most of my life, I was under the impression a streak of laziness existed within my inner core.
Nonetheless, I’ve always met my professional deadlines at work and due dates for school assignments.
“I have to” was always first and foremost in my mind.
I never questioned in depth on why I procrastinated when I did that.
Looking back at the types of homework I used to put off till the last minute.
The English essay about environmental pollution.
A picture of a beach that I had no inkling how to start.
The java programming assignment I didn’t have confidence I could even complete.
The procrastination stemmed from “not knowing how” and lack of interest.
But I had to. Somehow submit a completed piece.
I recalled how I used to excitedly spend hours poring over my math homework.
How I dived straight into writing novel reviews during vacation breaks.
The extra hours I put into training just to score an A for my physical fitness test.
It should have seemed pretty obvious.
The Inner Thoughts Behind Procrastination
How I delayed tasks I wasn’t naturally good in.
Because I perceived them as unpleasant.
And the tremendous extra effort I poured into activities I excelled in.
Considering the gratification I received from the results.
Feeling good about myself.
According to Wikipedia, the pleasure principle may be responsible for procrastination.
So as to satisfy biological and psychological needs.
Avoidance of pain.
That sounded awfully familiar.
Like after I typed the first two lines. There was this strong resistance against my initial urge.
I wasn’t quite sure how my inner exploration and reflection would turn out.
What exact lessons I would be sharing.
Will I get out of point?
After about 300 words, I finally figured it out.
I enjoy writing articles like this.
Motivational. Inspirational. Self-examination.
All leading to growth and self improvement.
However, there are days when I procrastinate because I don’t get the flow in my gut.
When there are just ideas but no endings.
When I don’t have the confidence of nailing it.
And to avoid the pain of feeling lesser, I choose to postpone the tasks.
In his book: The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking, Oliver Burkeman pointed out, having a work routine forces many of the most prolific artists, writers, and innovators to show up everyday.
Regardless of how inspired they are.
How to Beat the Shit out of Procrastination
I know this was going to be hard work.
Real tough shit.
Like what I mentioned in my earlier article: The Most Vital Part of Success that Nobody Ever Talks About.
I know I’m chasing my dream and it’s absolutely crucial to show up.
In this case, to get my fifth quality article up on Medium this week.
I don’t think I’ve seen the last of Procrastination yet.
Nonetheless, I’ve won the 9999th round anyway.
Me vs Procrastination: 1–0.
Here’s my strategy at our next face off.
- Show up everyday.
- Focus on just that one task.
- Just do it.
I’ll somehow KO Procrastination again.