How to Beat Procrastination

Do you ever feel as if you’re mentally and emotionally slogging through a field of molasses on a hot day?

It’s a feeling that pops up insidiously whenever you’re given the choice between doing something to better yourself… or doing something that requires a lot less effort. How many times in your life have you thought “I don’t feel like doing that right now,” or “I’m still young, plenty of time to start that project up in the future?”. Just take a moment to think about it and gather some of that juicy historical data. The answer is probably a lot more than you’d like.

It’s called procrastination and everyone deals with it. It’s the thing that has more than likely plagued your life throughout school and now work. It’s laziness, stalling, and watching Netflix instead of working on your resume. It’s sleeping in instead of going jogging like you’d planned. You know what I’m talking about. If you personally haven’t experienced it (who ARE you?), you’ve at least seen it in your friends. Now, I wish I could tell you how I did this one crazy thing and became a huge overnight success, but unfortunately life isn’t that easy.

However, I can tell you that you can actually use that overwhelming impulse to marathon Scrubs instead of mastering the guitar. It’s the first step to conquering resistance and becoming the kickass person you know you can be. Are you ready? The most important change you need to make is to adjust your perception of those feelings because the less you feel like doing something, the more you need to do it. Try thinking of resistance as a direct line from your subconscious to you, and also as a measuring stick for prioritization of goals. The more resistance you feel towards doing something, such as a personal project or working out, the more your subconscious is telling you that you really need to get it done. Consider this: If you had ignored the voice of procrastination whenever you heard it, where would you be now? Who would you be now? Would you respect that person less, or more?

You can apply this concept to just about anything. Been putting off writing that book or filming that documentary? What about breaking up with that loser boyfriend? Don’t listen to me, listen to your own subconscious. There’s a reason that your intuition and feelings are telling you that you need to do these things, no matter how much you don’t want to do them. Validate your feelings when they come up and transform them into a tool to help you identify your next steps and long-term goals. They are in indicator that you are in fact on the right track and that you are doing the right thing for yourself. After all, who would know you better than your own mind?

Amy Liu is a Digital Marketing Associate at FirstJob and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley. In her free time, she loves exploring San Francisco and trying out tasty new restaurants.

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