A bold personality brings their insight to Kingpin Lifestyle to talk about procrastination. George P.H. is a man who went from “mediocre” to inspirational in a 6 year self-development journey, and now he wants to share his story. George’s blog is a successful avenue that provides free insight to men looking to take their life to the next level.
Enter George P.H.
Procrastination: putting off something we should be doing now until later.
This is, by definition, self-destructive. You win nothing by postponing the things you’re supposed to be doing. Not only is procrastination a waste of time – it’s a breeding ground for stress, guilt and anxiety.
So why do most people do it (even though they know better), and how can you do better?
As with most things, battling procrastination with willpower will only get you so far. You can’t force yourself to do things on time forever; eventually, you’ll cave in and go back to slacking off more often than not. The better, easier solution to ending procrastination is understanding its underlying causes and stopping the self-destructive habit at its source. That’s exactly what I’ll be helping you do in this post.
Procrastination, Cause 1: Reluctance to Invest.
Procrastination isn’t rational: on a logical level, you understand you’re only delaying the inevitable. As a university student, I knew that writing my essays hours before deadlines was counterproductive… but did it anyway (every single time.)
Let’s look at which activities we put off for later, and which we prefer to do now. Here are some things you may procrastinate about:
– Going to the gym
– Confronting someone
– Personal development
– Hobbies that require consistent practice
All these activities are investments. They’re not necessarily fun but they lead to results down the line and that’s why it’s so tempting to choose instant gratification instead.
If you ditched the gym on Saturday, it probably wasn’t to do your homework. More likely, you watched T.V. or ate 2 extra-large pizzas. In other words, you were reluctant to invest and instead, chose to have fun now. Sometimes, this is fine. Personally, I start going insane if I don’t blow off a commitment here and there. We’re all human. The real problems start when instant gratification is picked over long-term investment all the time.
Not only will this stop growth in all aspects of your life, but it also creates guilt, stress and other negative emotions. As your unfinished tasks pile up, it becomes more and more tempting to procrastinate further; not a cycle you want to get stuck in.
Procrastination, Cause 2: Fear
The second cause of procrastination, and the reason having fun now is picked over investment: fear.
It’s scary to do things that aren’t fun. It’s scary to avoid doing what’s warm and comfortable. It’s scary to do stuff that requires effort, mindfulness and discipline when you could be checking your Facebook instead.
The key to destroying procrastination is letting go of your attachment to comfort.
Nothing worth having comes easy. The hardest thing I’ve ever done was work on my social skills (mainly with girls). The journey consisted of hundreds of rejections, doing something nobody else understood, loss of friendships and of course: heartache. It wasn’t always easy. But here’s a little secret: it was nowhere near as hard as I thought it’d be. Once you align your actions with your goals, you’ll find that you enjoy the things you were scared to start doing. This is a concept called validation by process.
In my case, feeling my skills improve gave me the resolve to keep going. The first step is always the hardest. Being able to lett go of your fear for long enough to get started is key. No matter what your goals are, you can stay in your comfort zone forever and be a nobody… or you can let go of your fears, take action and be anything you want to be. It’s not that hard: all you need to do is make the first step.
Easy, Practical Tips to Stop Procrastinating
You now know that fear and a reluctance to invest cause procrastination, so start here. As Jamie Hyatt likes to say: “Approach fear with curiosity.”
To help you along, here are some practical, powerful tips to getting stuff done on time. Add them to your life and you’ll forget you ever procrastinated.
- Set the Right Goals.
Goals are super-important. Knowing what to do and when to do makes it that much easier to do everything on time. There’s a great post about goal-setting here at Kingpin Lifestyle. Here are some of the highlights:
Be Specific – when you know exactly what you have to do, it’s easier to do it.
Have Deadlines – otherwise, it’s too easy to put things off indefinitely.
Be Accountable – share your goals with other people so they can kick your ass if you’re screwing up.
- One Step at a Time
It’s daunting to think about everything you need to do. This fear makes procrastination tempting, especially if chores have been piling up for a while. So don’t focus on the whole journey ahead of you; take 1 step at a time. If you try to do everything at once, you’ll burn out quickly. Focus on doing a little bit every day. Talk to 1 new person; get to the gym, even if your workout ends up being short; sit down and play the piano for 10 minutes daily. It all adds up, and you’ll often do much more than the bare minimum once you get into the right state.
- Just Do It
It’s cliché by now, but sometimes you really do need to just do it. Without taking action, you will never hit your goals. Get off your couch; make the first step; do what it takes. Stop thinking and just do it. Living with the stress and fear that procrastinators experience is far harder than taking action.
Fear and the reluctance to invest make people procrastinate. But when you understand how illogical and counterproductive putting things off for later is, getting motivated to make a change is natural. Start changing your life with the tips in this post today and you’ll see your life improve dramatically in weeks.
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