Each day, most of us wake up and come to the dreadful realization that we will have to get a number of tasks (that others have planned for us) done. If our ideal world were to exist, we would wake up every day and chase the dreams that we feel we are meant to pursue. Yet, the powers that be have confined us to a much grimmer reality where our dreams play second fiddle to the demands of the “real world.”
If you’re like me, you probably try to allocate some of your free time to the pursuit of your passions, be they hobbies or desired professional goals. Yet, the bad news for men is that, where gender is concerned, we are much more likely to procrastinate in achieving our goals than our female counterparts. While it may not make a difference to how successful we are in achieving our fixed routines, it can be absolutely devastating to the personal growth that we seek to define us, both internally and socially. If you’re looking to break the habit of personal procrastination, here are a few tips to get you on your way to work!
1. Give Yourself an Incentive
I recently had a meeting with a television personality who was talking about creating a telephone meet up among a group of entrepreneurial artists across the country, who would hold each other accountable to the goals they shared on the call. One of his most endearing lines to me that day was, when the desire to procrastinate hits, to tell yourself to “procrastinate procrastinating.”
While this little mantra has come in handy on several occasions, research shows that attaching a personal reward to our efforts makes it more than 75 percent like that you will see that effort through. Whether it’s a small project or one that you have a lot riding on, you will generally be more effective at achieving your efforts if you treat yourself.
2. Give Yourself a Hard Deadline
As a lawyer, my client work is, more often than not, predicated upon filing deadlines that must be statutorily met, lest I risk the wrath of an angry client (or worse, an ethics committee). Nevertheless, where my creative work is concerned, I have often been guilty of allowing the process to take as long as it must, in order to produce the work I am seeking to achieve. In other words, I never usually give myself an actual deadline when work must be done in order to meet a specific objective.
This is a type of procrastination that is best avoided for several reasons. Yet mainly, our personal ambitions are more likely to be of greater significance to our well-being that the obligations placed on us by external pressures. When we reflect on this reality, how much more seriously ought we to create as much structure around our personal goals as the ones we don’t necessarily even care about? If we truly seek the path towards succeeding on our personal projects, we should set equally meaningful deadlines to the realization of these objectives.
3. Give Yourself the Right to Procrastinate
While the modern world has given us countless possibilities to take on goals that, for most of history, would have been impossible for the common man, it has also burdened us with the illusion that we are never meant to take time for ourselves to just … be.
While we can get wrapped up in the pressure to perform at every waking moment, it is beneficial to fight our tendency to procrastinate if we allot some time, after tackling our obligations, to actually disconnect and procrastinate at will.
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