They claim he consumes the warrior spirit of his victims. He uses a powerful weapon and steals the desire to fulfill your mission.
Brave warriors are reduced to slaves, hoping to be able to take action but wasting the time in front of the TV, social networks or any other time sucking vortex.
He destroy the willpower of everyone he touches and turns powerful warriors into couch potatoes.
I know you have felt his power, in our modern society it’s easier to leave things unfinished or worse, to never begin your projects. He has consumed an insane amount of your time, leaving you defeated and full of regret.
I come here with a message of hope. You, my fellow warrior, can defeat this enemy. He’s a resistance’s ally. It’s procrastination.
You can live a life without regret. You’re the master of your own time. Now, stand up and fight!
When everything else seems more compelling
Let’s be honest. If I just say Facebook or Twitter, you’re already thinking about checking your social streams and see the latest gossip. That’s how your mind is wired, you want instant results.
In our modern world, you can find an insane amount of time wasters, simple ways to numb the mind and kill some time. As you may already know, one of the things I really dislike is to waste my time, because there’s no way to get it back.
The problem is simple: Everything wants your attention and it’s easy to be seduced by the latest TV series or trending topic in your social networks. On the other hand, it’s not easy at all to be seduced by your work, after all it has a reputation of being difficult to complete.
I already hinted that procrastination is just one of resistance’s allies, it’s the one your fellow warriors struggle with the most. It uses a powerful weapon against you, curiously you carry it around all day long, because it’s so lazy it makes YOU carry your own demise.
Procrastination’s weapon: your own brain
No, it’s not that your brain is something evil. It’s just the way it’s wired.
Think of your brain as the latest and greatest super computer, with the best AI you have seen in the movies. The bad guy only has to change a couple of wires to make it misbehave and try to kill all the crew. In this case, you’re the crew.
If you follow the movie script, you will have to destroy the super computer or find a way to fix it. You must rule number one out. You’re a wonderful warrior, and you’re kind to yourself, so no brain damage is allowed here.
The only route you’ve is to understand what procrastination has done to you.
It uses established patters in your brain, it understands what makes things compelling to you, and simply shows them around. Work usually doesn’t fall in this category, so the big TV in your house always wins.
There are two ways procrastination wins the battle:
- Pleasure: It shows you something you like and it’s easy to enjoy. It’s easy to sit in front of the TV, play some videogames or go out with your friends instead of doing the work that really matters.
- Pain: it reminds you how painful work is, in this way anything else seems easier to accomplish and in turn anything looks like heaven. The reality? It’s actually sending you to hell.
Here is the good news, as you are carrying the enemy’s weapon, you can use it against procrastination.
Turning the tide
Procrastination may be using your brain against you, but that doesn’t mean it stops being yours, and it’s still within your control.
The key to overcoming procrastination isn’t found in all the productivity systems. They aren’t useless, but they assume you’ll get into work. They help by keeping everything organized in a way that reduces resistance, which is awesome. But procrastination happens before you start, so those won’t help you.
As I said before when I talked about resistance, you need to understand yourself in order to win this battle, and the best way to do that is to understand the way you look and feel things.
First, you need to understand the reasons why you want to take the action. Without a compelling reason, you are never going to get up from the coach and definitely that re-run of Grey’s Anatomy will look far more interesting. You need to win something from taking action.
Next, you need to understand what makes you work like your head is on fire. Without this understanding, you can’t bend the rules set by procrastination. It’s a key component in this strategy.
Then, you need to make the task as attractive as possible, this is achieved using the same patterns that procrastination uses to keep you on the couch. The key difference is that you will do it with a sense of purpose. This is like instant motivation.
If this is looking like you need to create an insane amount of planning just to get things done, relax, it’s easier than it sounds and most of the process just takes a couple of minutes to get it up and running.
Using the enemy’s weapon: destroying procrastination
Let’s run a whole exercise together. Pick a task you want to achieve. Something easy that you have been procrastinating on. Ready?
- Find the reason: Ask yourself one simple question, what do you win by taking action? The answer will come in one of two flavors, you’ll win something or avoid some painful situation. Either way is fine. Some examples include: “You win extra money or a stronger relationship” or “You avoid being yelled by your boss or your significant other won’t get angry at you”.
- Remember the times when you worked like crazy: Before I became a self-employed guy, I used to wait to the very last moment to get anything done. For me, being close to the ax is what makes me work so fast. You need to remember a time when you worked like crazy, was the ax coming for you? Was there some prize involved?
- Notice the difference between each answer: If your answer to both comes in the same flavor, you’re good to go. You just discovered the way you need to be motivated. If you answered something like “Avoid being yelled by the boss” and “I worked like crazy on project X because they could fire me”, you need to be stressed to work. On the other hand, if both were positive answers, you need to reward yourself to work. If they came in different flavors, ask yourself what’s more attractive to you.
- Making the task as compelling as possible: With this knowledge, take the time to make the simple task you want to complete as compelling as possible. For example you can reward yourself with some videogame time or a great book for completing the task, or you can think about the bad result you would get if you don’t take action. Take some serious time to visualize either the reward or consequence.
The first time you run this process it may take you a bit longer, but once you know the answers to the first steps, you can just skip them. The process should take you about 5 to 10 minutes to implement and once you’re working you can start building some momentum.
Procrastination is unable to beat this method, it’s way to lazy to even try. It’ll just let one of the other horsemen try to get you. Yes, there are more enemies. You may want to subscribe and get our free course to have all the weapons you need to beat Resistance and all it’s allies.
Do you have problems with procrastination? Do you have a method to overcome this terrible enemy? Let us know in the comments!