As Barney would say, "Stop being lazy, be awesome instead".
We all are procrastinators by nature. Well, I am. What's reassuring about it is that all my friends are procrastinators too. Yesterday, I met my old friend and he was rescheduling the timeline to complete his engineering, because he had no mood this season for studying. He had his priorities. Of all the things I have procrastinated, I procrastinated writing some articles for over 6 months now and this time I'm actually on it. Or at least, I started writing it.
Our monkey mind often tries to enjoy the moment than getting some work done. But our human mind tries to makes plans for accomplishing the task in order to move with the human evolution, 'fish to spread-shits'. Well, it's not the monkey that's doing the wrong, nor is the human. I am not judging. But we have our priorities. We cannot monkey dance all our life. The sooner we realize that, the better.
This article is my experience, intended for those who are trying to get some spread-shits done. But monkeys can enjoy it too.
I've a few unfinished projects. For some of them, I blamed others working on those projects and for some solo projects, I blamed ADHD. After long ongoing monkey dances, my human self started thinking of a way to actually get some work done. The dance itself became mundane and my monkey mind did nothing interesting. Then I read a book 'eat the frog' by Brian Tracy. Since my mind was already trying to figure out the ways to overcome the problem, the book added some help to it. I didn't procrastinate reading it. It taught me the routine I could follow, how I can prioritize my tasks, and how I can develop this routine as a habit.
I bought a white board the next day, divided the tasks, wrote them down and started working on my barren projects. The first thing I did was sleep early. Yup folks, tomorrow starts with today. But before sleep, I schedule the tasks for tomorrow. That allowed me to wake up fresh in the morning, knowing what to do. Then some light stretching and bed-making, I was ready to start eating my ugly frogs. Well, not literally.
It was going well, because I gave monkey enough time to 'lay around doing nothing' too, that I term as "being myself". I even used
focus mode on android device, that helped me keep my hands off of reddit during the work hours. So, I had time for my personal work, my office work, and my monkey dances.
There was one problem, the nature of how I was used to do things. As an experienced procrastinator, I had this habit of either not participating in a single task, or learning and doing everything in a smooth linear-time resulting task accomplishment in one sitting. When I started my personal pet projects in the morning, and I was attracted towards working it, I wanted to do this through all day. That mood hindered my day job. A man needs bread and water (makai ra mohi). So when I would switch to tasks of my day job, it made me frustrated. I was trading my own projects that would give me
makai ra mohi, for a job that gave me bread and water. I didn't want to focus solely on my projects unless they matured enough. I had to do both, there was no choice.
I chunked my tasks into further smaller bits and sticking to doing only the planned tasks and noting down further ideas/issues that came during and save it for tomorrow. When you already know what to do, doing things doesn't take up much time either. I even managed my office tasks that way, and it allowed me complete my assigned tasks in less time.
I gave morning 6-9 for my personal projects, 9-10 for news and lunch, and later hours till 5 to office work. I worked from home (am still working), I had plenty of time to myself, saved from all the commute time [roughly an hour]. I left the monkey to dance after my tasks were done. And the routine was moderately strict, that I was fine with. Monkey was happy, human was happy.
Procrastination persisted. I procrastinated going to late night beer meetings, procrastinated late night talks on phone, procrastinated giving time where I didn't belong. There are just some textbook things to stop procrastinating, and it worked. The only thing you have control over in your life is you, so be in control. Stop being lazy. Stop procrastinating. Be awesome instead.