Everyone procrastinates from time to time.
Some people (like me) do it all the damn time and we get very frustrated with ourselves because we feel like we should be able to get over procrastinating.
But every single time we look for help, the advice is usually along the lines of ‘well just stop procrastinating’. It doesn’t work like that, Brenda!
That’s like telling someone that their leg should just quit being broken or that they should quit having depression.
I know I procrastinate a lot because I feel inadequate. I know, I’m the queen of this hell hole and I feel inadequate? But its true. I feel like anything I turn out is substandard to anyone else even as I huff and mutter under my breath that I’m the best damn (insert progression here).
But that’s what’s helping me get through some of my procrastination.
Fake it till you make it
My life motto most days.
All you have to do is pretend that you’re a spy and you have to do this task and it doesn’t matter how bad because you’re undercover.
But seriously, you just have to tell yourself that whathisname is just as good as you so you have to be better. Or that if this guy can do so can I.
This method usually boosts my motivation for a half-second to at least consider getting my shit done.
But this doesn’t help you magically get your shit. There is no answer that I’ve found for waking up and everything being done.
I’m bad about this. Logically, if you can’t complete the whole task you can at least start on something small to get the ball rolling.
Now I’m an all or nothing kind of person and that has bitten me in the ass more times than I can tell. Sometimes from procrastinating and sometimes because I’m just too damn stubborn for my own good.
But this method has helped me get through so stupid ass essays for school.
Everyone will go on and on and on and on and on about their favorite way of breaking down a task into steps. Do this thing first or that thing first.
But you have to find what works for you. This means brainstorming. If that means sitting down and staring at a computer for three hours trying to break down an essay into parts you can handle, or if that means doing the bare minimum at work while trying to figure out how to handle that big project, then do what needs to be done so you have the right plan in place.
Take Your Damn Time
This seems counter-intuitive, but here me out. You know how it feels when you half-ass a project and then feel guilty because you could’ve done better, but you rushed and scrambled to get your shit together.
Well quit rushing around like a headless chicken.
Stop for 15 minutes. Take a deep breath. Take another deep breath. Take another.
Now you’re good to keep going. Make a list of everything to do for the day. Now, what has to get done in 10 minutes? 20 minutes? An hour? By the end of the day?
You’ve got your priorities now. So take your baby steps and get the ball rolling. If it means just taking it a little at a time, it’s better than getting burned out and feeling bad about shitty work.
Now, this does mean that some priorities are going to have to be put aside or even dropped to keep other obligations. Let them go. Don’t feel bad about it.
So you miss a homework assignment. So you have to cancel a dinner with your friends to finish a project at work. So you have to stay late at a study group instead of catching another shift at work.
You have to know when to make those calls. But don’t feel bad, because at the end, you’re work is going to be whole-assed instead of half-assed and you’re going to feel motivated to get onto the next task.
Remember, it’s that whole thing of ‘to make an omelette, you have to break a few eggs’, but this times eggs means obligations and omelettes mean meeting deadlines.
Everyone procrastinates. Just don’t forget to keep moving. And for the love of whatever gods exist, don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re not going to stop procrastinating overnight (if you could, I would have done it already and then summarily conquered the world by now). But you can still make progress.
Image that procrastinating is being stuck in one of those foam pits at a gymnastic gym. Those things are incredibly hard to get out of, but you have to keep moving. Just a little bit will get you closer to the edge of the pit and you can get out. But if you stop moving, you’re going to sink. If you stop moving you’re going to get even more stuck. So take those baby steps and think about how if some stupid grade schooler can get out of a stupid foam pit, so can you.