Guilty of procrastination? Do this…

Let me ask you if this sounds familiar?

  • Wake up with all my plans in place, my to-do list, exactly what needs to be done
  • One hour into the process and I get a Notification in cell phone / laptop – an exciting email, a whatsapp message, an interesting instagram story, a facebook post, a youtube video recommendation so on and so forth
  • Two hours into the process and I realize, that I spent 45-60 minutes scrolling through those posts and messages that are irrelevant to the task in my hand. So I get back to my work once again with full focus
  • By the end of the day, this cycle of working, checking messages and getting back to work repeats itself about 8-10 times
  • Some ad-hoc work, a call, a family intrusion once in a while keeps happening and by the end of the day I open my to-do list again just to realize that I had 10 things planned but was able to complete 4 of them
  • On an average 60% of my “planned work” stays in “WIP” (Work in Progress) or “TBS” (To Be Started) status
  • So, I beat myself up, feel guilty, get into a bad mood, eat my food with a bad mood that creates indigestion and sleep to an extrinsic motivational video in YouTube just to make sure that tomorrow I will be better
  • However before watching the actual YouTube video of my interest, I am recommended 5 other exciting videos and I skim through each of them. As I am skimming through I get more recommendations and I keep watching some more
  • I don’t realize I have spent 2 hours in YouTube without watching the video I initially intended to!
  • This post-dinner activity makes me sleep at 2 in the night, so I wake up with a heavy head at 8 next morning just to beat myself up again that I didn’t wake up at 5!
  • Days, Weeks and Months pass by, my business doesn’t grow, my productivity doesn’t improve, all I have is Regret and Guilt
  • I watch my competitors grow exponentially and start hating them, start blaming my “luck”, start telling myself that they got lucky but I am stuck in a bad environment

Has this been your story too?

If Yes, then let me tell you what has happened, our brain associates watching videos, reading messages and scrolling through social media pages as the behavior to feel relaxed every time we feel bored or worked up and it makes it a habit since it has found a way to comfort us! And Wallah! We’ve got ourselves into the behavior-habit loop of procrastination. About 8 in 10 people globally have the exact same issue. One of the most worrying outcome of this digital-era!

So what exactly the rest 20% “productive” dudes do differently?

Well, they do at least a little bit every single day and they do NOT beat themselves up if they can’t complete something fully. They wake up every single day to attempt 100% but they are subconsciously realistic that a 70% is job well done!

When you aim for the stars you land in the moon – it always works that way, unless you get super lucky!

Every single day you must have the intention of 100% of your task completion however, in order to reach the target you need to change your behavior and actions. You let your brain associate with habits that are productive and not counter productive.

Here are my top five, very simple yet extremely effective steps that can help you create a positive behavior-habit loop of consistency:

  1. Mindfulness meditation of at least 5 mins each morning increases your capacity to focus on a planned task by 37%. This means if you have been able to complete 4 of 10 tasks that you had planned, now you will be able to complete 7 of 10 tasks within the first 3 days of practicing mindfulness meditation (check this out to know one example of mindfulness meditation)
  2. Disabling all cell phone notifications that are irrelevant to your immediate work / business increases your chances of getting things done by a whooping 62%! Mute those WhatsApp / telegram chats, disable social media notifications in your cell phone / laptop.
  3. Limiting your screen time / watch time in YouTube, Instagram, Facebook to 30 mins a day in total (unless you are a social media marketer or youtuber). Explore the notification setting in each app to enable this feature; most of us don’t even know about this fantastic feature! Each time you browse them, you will get an inbuilt app notification to log out if you exceed your activity by a certain time limit that you set. You can also install “screen timer” apps in your cell phone and make sure you are NOT spending more than 30 minutes a day on any of the social media, YouTube or Netflix apps. If you spend more than 30 mins it will give you a pop-up to logout! You will dismiss the pop up for few days but eventually you will start logging out before time; exactly what happened with me!
  4. Download a to-do list app in your laptop (assuming that you do most of your work in a laptop), for example I have Microsoft To-Do list that is not a boring static list of tasks or sticky notes but an interactive way by clicking, managing the tasks with cool sound effects, subtle animations, reminders and quick notes. Check the list each day. If you get an ad-hoc task or recall something to do, quickly note it down as a task with a date to complete; it’s super effective. No need of any other fancy apps or excel sheets!
  5. Have a strong morning and night ritual that involves zero negativity. No phone calls, no negative videos, no news channels, no messages, no checking notifications for at least 1 hour after you wake up and 1 hour before you sleep. So what you do in that 1 hour? Listen and Write. Listen to a podcast that motivates you, for example a guided mindfulness meditation chapter, and remind yourself every single day of your better version by writing down your goals, your thoughts and feelings. But in any case, do not watch a screen or speak to anyone in those 1 hour slots! There is a solid psychology behind strictly NOT speaking and watching any screen; I’ll explain it in my upcoming contents

I am 100% sure that if you follow only these 5 simple steps to start with you feel positive, confident and focused to complete more planned tasks than ever!

By the way, for the rest of the Mindfulness Techniques to level up your mid-career growth check out the button below or top right corner!

Do leave a reply below if this post made sense to you.

Try them out and let me know if you got benefitted.

Best Wishes as always.

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