by: Safiel Vonay
“I’ll do it later”
“I don’t have enough time”
“After this episode…”
“It’s still gonna get done”
…You know exactly who you are. You have these big dreams and these big goals, but something seems to be getting in your way. And when the tasks that will get you closer to reaching those goals are waiting to be checked off, there always seems to be something new to do. A show you want to watch. A person to hang out with. Another task that is irrelevant pops up and you leave your work for another day.
And you know it. We’ve all gone through this. It is human to want to do something other than your responsibilities, but what many may not be aware of, is the habitual patterns that procrastinating consistently, does to you. Look at it like this: when you procrastinate one day, it leads into a permission mindset… that makes it okay and easier to procrastinate the next day too. And then that leads to another day and another, and in some sense, without you even knowing, you become a master procrastinator!
So how do we cure this terrible blockage?
BECOME AWARE: Be aware of the fact that you actually are procrastinating. Many times we lie to ourselves and start saying that the act of procrastinating is more important than doing what you need to do. If you are not aware that you are becoming a procrastinator, you will never be able to climb out of it.
WRITE DOWN WHAT YOUR EXCUSES AND TRIGGERS ARE: so for example, if you need to get that painting done, or you need to finish recording and editing that song… but every time you’re about to get started your mind comes up with a certain excuse, write it down! What are the biggest reasons as to why you’re procrastinating. What is happening in your brain? What are you saying to yourself? Note all of them down so you can become aware and gain power over your own unconscious excuses.
MAKE BEGINNING WORK EASIER: Put your paintbrushes where you can see them. Leave your mic set up. Have a word document open already when you open your laptop. Have your workout clothes and bag near your bedside all ready to put on. Setting yourself up to work and grind makes it easier to actually start and harder to not be aware of what you need to do.
HAVE YOUR GOAL IN FRONT OF YOU AT ALL TIMES: What ever that big goal is you have, force it in your face 24/7. Make it a wallpaper on your phone. Print out a poster and frame it in your room. Have it hanging in your fridge! Frame it up in your bathroom. Tape it on your school notebooks. Write it on your favorite coffee mug. The possibilities are endless, but seeing what you want to accomplish puts a fire on your brain and your ass to get your grind on towards that goal. It sparks up the wanting of the end result and in return puts you into action.
WRITE AN “I WILL LIST” EVERY NIGHT: On an index card, write out your biggest goals in list form, and smaller milestones starting with the sentence “I will…”. (I will write a 10 chapter book. I will sell a painting. I will perform for etc) Read them to yourself every night before you go to sleep. The more you read it, the more those goals will begin to overpower that lazy voice in your head. It’ll set you forward before the next day even begins and it will clarify exactly what you need to do to achieve those goals. Read them at night and in the morning and you’ll see how your mind starts to shift.
THE 5 SECOND RULE: This one is from the amazing Mel Robbins. In her awesome teachings on the 5 second rule, she instructs that whenever you are facing that task that you don’t want to do (whatever it may be) count down from 5. 5..4..3..2..1.. when you reach zero, if you are not up and doing what you need to do (get out of bed, heading out the door and to the gym, picking up the paint brush, writing your book, practicing your performance etc…) your excuse has won and you have lost. You may not get it in the first try, but the more you count down, the more your body will begin to react to the act of counting down.
REALIZE WHAT YOUR PASS TIME IS: Is it watching tv? Netflix? Youtube? Going out with friends? Eating? Whatever activity you usually end up doing to procrastinate, figure it out and then make it IMPOSSIBLE to do that. Disconnect your TV. Turn off your Wi-Fi. Tell your friends to reject you on your advances of going out to procrastinate. Just make sure you make it harder to do those activities that take you away from what you should be doing.
GET A TO-DO BOOK: I recently just started doing this, and it’s working AMAZING for me. I have a pocketsized moleskin book that I carry everywhere. Every night before going to sleep, I write out my To-Do Lists on this little book. When I wake up, the first thing I look at is the list. Now my entire day is already set up, checkboxes and all, and I get to go through the list once I start my work. I also write small thoughts, my goals, obstacles, set backs and more in the book, but the point is to have one place where you have easy access to all of the things you need to do.
Procrastination is the act of postponing something (usually important) for another time. The more you postpone one thing, the more you begin to postpone everything. If you have big dreams and goals, it is so important to become aware of this habit. Become committed to figuring out WHY you are procrastinating and tackle each and everyone of those excuses head on. Don’t let procrastinating keep you from going after what you want.
You don’t want to look back later on, and regret the fact that you could have been much further but you aren’t because of a heap of excuses. Try out the tips, find one that works and go in on it!
Let us know what your biggest excuse and pass time is when your procrastinating below! We’d love to hear from you!
The Grind continues.