I was on Twitter yesterday and somebody asked me the following question:
“Hey Tim, I’ve been creating a blog for the past two weeks – even have the cool concept and my material I’ve thought of!
Thing is though, 2 weeks later and I haven’t even opened an account. (its like, yeah I love my content whilst I’m thinking about it etc) but I just think, oh, I’ll wait until tomorrow – constant cycle Why is this? Do you see this behavior a lot?”
I’m a Life Coach and quite honestly if I never saw this kind of thing I think I’d be an out of work Life Coach
I don’t really know Jay who it was that asked me the question so it’s difficult to give a definitive answer.
However, I can have a very good guess as to why he isn’t doing the work, and in all probability it has nothing to do with being lazy or not caring.
What happens in situations like this is people nearly always focus on the wrong thing.
They focus on the immediate grief of doing the work, because that’s what’s staring them in the face.
As a Human Being your brain is pre-programed to avoid pain whenever it can. So in situations like this it takes a look at the pain of doing all that work and thinks “Fuck this, I’m off for a nap, we can do it tomorrow”
Then a whole series of internal justifications kick into play to support the idea that a nap really is the best option. Thus the work never gets done.
In these circumstances you have to take control of your brain by activating your prefrontal cortex which stops it slipping into its preferred mode of automatic pilot.
Presuming the outcome is desirable one, the key is to focus on that and not on the work itself.
- Focus on how great you will feel when you get finished.
- Focus on the great feedback you will receive.
- Focus on the sense of accomplishment.
- Focus on the people that will benefit
If you really want to kick procrastinations ass you can even take it a step further by visualizing the above in as much detail as you can muster.
See yourself finishing the work and looking as pleased as the Gary the Gator after just landing the Night Watchmans job at the chicken farm.
This will get your brain to associate doing the work with pleasure and reward, rather than with pain and misery.
Do you have any great procrastination beating tips?