The Sin Of The Modern World
Let’s talk about one bad habit we’re all guilty of doing to some extent. The one that makes us feel guilty, betrayed and ashamed of ourselves. But at the same time, it gives us temporary relief of the pain of hard work. Yes, I’m talking about procrastination. This seemingly harmless but in reality quite dangerous habit is a real dream killer. And I think we can all agree on that. So even if it’s not included in the New Seven Deadly Sins for the modern world, it is certainly nothing to be proud of. Not to mention that procrastination is a major threat to self-esteem, self-worth, progress and success. Therefore everyone who wants to succeed in life needs to quit (or drastically reduce) this bad habit right away. And what better way to get rid of a bad habit than by replacing it with a good one, right? That’s what I’ll be doing today. So without further ado, let’s dive in!
Now, before we get down to business, I have a couple of questions for you:
- What is the thing you should be doing right now, but instead, you’re reading this post?
- What should you be focusing on?
- How much time do you actually waste in a day?
- Have you done something today that moved you closer to your goals?
- Do you take actions on a daily basis that will support you moving closer to your dreams?
- Have you done something today that moved you closer to your goals?
- Are you in control of your time, day and life?
- Would you like to improve the quality of your life?
Before you answer these questions pause and allow yourself to think. Then take out a piece of paper and write down your answers, your honest answers.
The Art Of Putting Things Off
Often, people mistakenly assume that procrastination is just another word for laziness. But that’s not the case. While these two concepts are obviously related to the broadly understood “act of not being productive”, they actually have different meanings.
Laziness means having zero motivation to do anything even the things that you love doing.
Procrastination means putting off important things that require time and effort in order to do something less difficult and much more pleasurable. So as you can see, procrastination is not about doing nothing but about doing something a lot less strenuous than you’ve planned.
12 (Main) Causes Of Procrastination
What We Practice, We Become
Well, there are many different reasons why people procrastinate but probably the most obvious one is that putting things off helps us to avoid unpleasant tasks, decisions or situations. We procrastinate do avoid discomfort, pain and hard work. In other words, we use procrastination as a defence mechanism. As strange as it may seem, it’s actually true.
We know what we should be doing, we have planned everything out, we set our priorities straight but instead of getting things done, we’re looking for a reason to postpone it as long as possible. And I don’t know about you but I can be really creative with making a bazillion excuses for putting things off.
I will give you an example: remember when you were in high school and every time when you were supposed to be studying for an exam you couldn’t because cleaning up your room was much more important? That’s’ procrastination in it’s purest form!
Procrastination gives us an illusion of being productive because we’re doing something, we’re just not doing the things that we’re supposed to be doing. So technically we’re not unproductive… But does it really? What are the benefits of procrastinating? Is there any way that procrastination could improve the quality of life? That’s what I thought… it’s not possible…
Procrastination is easy, wasting the biggest opportunity of your life is even easier…
The Hidden Cost Of Procrastination
Most people don’t see anything wrong with procrastination. For them is just a simple act of delaying or postponing situations or activities on their to-do list in order to do something more enjoyable and less difficult. What they don’t realize is that, in doing so, they are training to become professional procrastinators. Trust me, I know how it sounds. But it’s actually true.
Procrastination is only seemingly harmless but in reality is quite dangerous, addictive and harmful. It may not be a deadly sin but it’s definitely a dream killer. Not to mention that it produces ZERO results. So the question you need to ask yourself is what do you want to do with your life? Are you willing to sacrifice instant gratification for a long-term reward or you’re satisfied with what you have already and you’re not interested in making progress in meaningful work? The choice is yours. But before you make this decision you need to consider one thing: do you really want to give up on your goals and dreams? Are you ready to trade an opportunity to succeed for short-time pleasure? And finally, do you really want impulse, emotions and fear of hard work to control your life? Because this is the real cost of procrastination. Are you ready to pay this price?
Never Trade Future Blessings For Temporary Pleasures
We live in an era that supports impulsive choices and actively promotes instant gratification. Everything we want or need seems to be available immediately via smartphone or the internet. Instant reward, immediate results, quick fix, short answers – right at your fingertips. Everything you want you can have right now. Well, everything except success, life satisfaction and long-term happiness.
In such a world, self-discipline, self-control persistence or patience are not existent. Why they would exist while you can have everything you want without delay or deferment, right? But the problem is, this world of instant gratification offers you things or experiences that have little or absolutely no value. It’s a distraction that takes away your focus, energy and time. But until you participate in this pursuit of fake fulfilment and false perfection you don’t even realize that.
Modern technology, fast information exchange, the fake world of social media, online shopping with delivery at speed of light gives us the illusion that we can achieve greater fulfilment and life satisfaction without much effort. But no matter how tempting or convincing this idea of achieving great things immediately and effortlessly really is, it remains just an illusion.
Procrastination fits perfectly the concept of instant gratification because it soothes anxiety, brings relief and restores comfort. It gives us this illusion of being safe in our comfort zone bubble where there’s no pain, no challenges and, no discomfort, no tough decisions, no difficult choices, and of course, no growth. In other words, it’s a boringly safe zone where nothing, absolutely nothing interesting is happening. But, at least, you can give yourself over to the pleasure of procrastination. So if you want to live a boredom life – that’s a perfect prescription for it. The choice is always yours! But if you want to stop trading an opportunity to grow and succeed for comfort and instant pleasure, it’s time to get out of your “instant pleasure” bubble and take an action.
If you want great results, you need to be committed. There are no shortcuts to success. No quick fixes, no “One size fits all” and definitely not an immediate reward will help you to build a successful, meaningful and fulfilling life. Only hard work, determination, self-discipline, passion for learning and delayed gratification will lead you to success.
Success is not a coincidence but the result of hard work, continuous effort, enormous sacrifice, persistence and unwavering self-belief in one’s ability to achieve their goals.
The Habit Of Taking Action
What’s the opposite of procrastination? It’s an action or more precisely intentional action. So if you want to get rid of a bad procrastination habit you should replace it with the action habit. So start where you can start, but start now. Stop negotiating with yourself and regain control over your life.
Do something every day that moves you one step closer to your goal. Because even the most brilliant idea is worthless unless you act on it. No matter how much you want it, there is no way your thoughts, ideas or goals will magically appear without you moving in the right direction. Only doing what you believe in and pursuing your dreams will result in success. So take intentional action and make progress towards achieving goals. Don’t wait for motivation to spike you. Do wait for an opportunity to happen. Your future is in your hands. So take back control of your time, day and life and start working toward your goals.
The Antidote To Low Motivation
Most people think that they need to find motivation and gain inspiration before they even start working on their goals. That’s a huge mistake. Because motivation is not something you find or something that magically happens to you while you just sit and do nothing.
Motivation is something you create through your actions. Furthermore, the more you do the more self-motivated you become. It happens because the moment you notice your accomplishments your appetite for success grow and you become unstoppable but only if you keep working towards your goals. Because you need to know that motivation is not constant.
Motivation is a feeling and like any other feeling, it is a natural response to a situation. In other words, it has to be triggered by a specific action or event. So if you want to become insanely self-motivated and highly productive you need to take intentional action. You need to put yourself in motion and start creating real results.
There is no magical way your dream will come true only because you think intensively about it. You need to act before you get a dopamine spike that is one of the most powerful motivational triggers. You need to start before you’re ready and announce your project before it’s done!
Steps To Overcome Procrastination
- Create a clear vision for the life you want (You can create a vision board) – Having a clear destination in sigh will not only help you to choose the right path but it will also help you to keep your internal motivation high even on those days when you’re not “feeling it.”
- Create a solid routine
- Master self-discipline
- Set your priorities straight (Use The Eisenhower Box)
- Improve your time management skills
- Set SMART goals (and break big goals into small achievable steps to avoid feeling overwhelmed) – This process of setting clear goals will not only help you to refocus on what’s truly important but it will also help you to regain full control over your life. Not to mention that knowing what you want to achieve in life will drastically increase your willpower and determination so much needed by everyone who wants to achieve success in life.
- Eliminate distractions to improve focus and performance
- Improve your emotional regulation skills (be more proactive and less reactive)
- Overcome perfectionism and start before you’re ready
- Train your brain to like difficult things (perform a dopamine detox here)
- Learn to enter flow state easily (11 Activities and Exercises to Induce a Flow State)
- Use your breaks at work more effectively (boost your brainpower)
- Create powerful morning rituals to make motivation flow effortlessly during the day
- Set tight (but achievable) deadlines
- Set up a reward and consequences system
- Track your progress
- Keep an accomplishment journal
The Eisenhower Box Worksheets
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