Break the procrastination never-ending-loop
So you’ve gotten into a procrastination loop. It could be your studies, your work or your personal projects.
You have been putting it off for tomorrow for the past two weeks.
Procrastination, just like a small ball of snow, can snowball.
You are lazy on Monday then Tuesday and then the week is over. Realizing you’ve wasted 7 days makes the procrastination loop even stronger and you keep going in that never-ending loop.
Meditation won’t work
You are already stuck in your head, so just sitting down and trying to clear your head will only lead to more procrastination. You are still just sitting there.
Meditation is a great tool for inner wellbeing for the long term, but right now you need to take action.
The good news
It only takes one morning to break it.
Good news is that this loop or baggage of procrastination is only in your head.
Don’t think about being productive or about your whole project, or the 20 lectures you need to study. Start by planning and thinking about the smallest productive actions you can take. I will give you some examples.
Clean your room, make your bead, respond to emails, go for a walk, exercise, organize your desk. There is something about bringing order to chaos like cleaning and organizing that just puts you in productive mood.
Now if procrastination has a strong hold of you, then you need to plan ahead of time and try to break it when your willpower is strongest.
The Action plan for breaking up with procrastination
You’re going to do some planning just before going to bed.
Pick one general productive task like: organizing your desk, cleaning your room, making your bed, washing dishes. Something mindless but productive.
Then pick one specific productive task about the thing you are procrastinating on. One task from your studies, from your project or your work, whatever that is. Pick a small task that can be done in less than 30 minutes.
If all tasks are big, pick the easiest and split it into smaller independent subtasks. Then pick only one subtask.
For that one subtask, define how you’re going to start working on it, the first actual action step. Then think about possible blockers you might face and how you can overcome them.
At this point you have these two tasks, one general and one specific. Write them down by hand in a notepad.
The final step is to visualize performing these tasks, being great at it and enjoying it. It might sound woo-woo but just try it for 10 seconds.
Visualize waking up energized, then doing task #1, feeling great, then sitting on your desk and working on task #2. While working on task #2 you have everything under control, you are a pro at this and you don’t even break a sweat. After you’re finished your brain is activated, rejuvenated and you have already won the day.
No don’t dwell on this too much, just spend 10-20 seconds and then go to sleep. Let you mind sleep on it.
Another bonus tip you can do is to wake up earlier than usual, doesn’t have to be 5am or 6am or 7am. It just needs to be earlier than you usually wake up. This way you have a win just by waking up.
The next morning
Wake up and follow the plan.
I guarantee that you will break the procrastination cycle and get these two things done.
On this first day, you might not feel exactly as you envisioned yourself the night before. But after a week of doing this, you will.
Keep doing this until it becomes automatic, then you can start adding more tasks to your list the night before.
But keep in mind, even the most productive people have about 3-5 important things on their to-do list, no more. So don’t go overboard with the tasks.
And that is it, easy peasy, try it out and let me know how it goes.
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Until next time,
Lead image by Tine Ivanič on Unsplash
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