#424 Discipline – S2 E4 – The Process – On Procrastination

Maybe I am not the best person to write about such a complicated topic like procrastination. Why, you are asking? Because I wouldn’t say that procrastinating is a thing I do. Sure, it might have happened here and there in the past, but come on! I have my life under control!

Well, good for you! But get to the point! I have YouTube videos to watch and social media feeds to scroll through!

All right! Let’s go!

PROCRASTINATION

The moment I see this word, I instantly remember how I have learned its meaning some couple of years back in time.

PRO – CRASTI – NATION

A PRO, the shortcut for professional. CRASTI, a clown and a NATION. Sounds like a widespread clown disease if you are asking me! Something, the whole nation might be infected with? But for sure, that’s not really the official way how this word got invented, right? It must be latin or something like this! Of course! Here it is:

procrastinare
pro- “forward
-crastinus “till next day
from “cras” “tomorrow

Oh, I got it! Sorry guys, but I made a mistake! We can hardly talk about procrastination today! That is not really what we are doing wrong all the time! We are forwarding tasks, sure, but not on tomorrow! We rather forward them into the next week, month, year or even life.

Sadly I never had the pleasure to study latin at school, but I guess someone of you might had it and will be able to create the word we are looking for and write it in the comments down below? Thanks in advance to this translation angel!

“Forward till next life” in latin, please

Well, now that we understand what the word really means, we can try to solve the issues and problems that might come with it! I am sure that each and everyone of us might have at least heard about a friend of a friend, who knew someone that was a procrastinator at some point in his or her life and might have even died from this.

But on a serious note. Is procrastination an inborn thing? Something you have inherited from your parents? Is it an illness? A psychological defect? Well, I don’t know! I am a German, we are always productive and never ever procrastinate! In Germany, the word “procrastination” doesn’t even exist! Or how do you think can a country come up with the idea to try to conquer the world a second time? This can hardly be the decision of a nation of procrastinators!

Mental note: If we would have more procrastinators in our ranks, the world would be a more peaceful place.

Ok, well, sure, even Germans have a word for this.

Zögern, aufschieben, prokrastinieren

But translated back “zögern” into the English language I would rather say “hesitate” and not “procrastinate“, but I guess, that’s just me and my lousy English skills.

God, I hope you haven’t started to procrastinate already, skipping todays post and therefore do not even read until the end? That would be tragic!

Seven years of PROCRASTINATION shall be your punishment!

For me, procrastination is more on the mental side of life than on any other. You win or lose battles in your head, way before you win them on the battlefield. I experience that on my racing simulator practically every single day. The moment I start to hesitate in my head, my actions will follow this new way of living without a single doubt. I lose the momentum to overtake the guy in front. I lose the anxiety I caused in my opponents mind when flashing my headlines like a monkey on cocaine. I literally defeat myself.

If you experience a kind of procrastination in your daily life, or have heard about someone else who is claimed to procrastinate quite a lot, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • When does this particular behavior start?
  • At which projects does it occur?
  • At which point does the procrastination win?
  • How does it end?

Well, sure, you could ask yourself these fancy questions next time you seem to be in the mood for a little bit of procrastination. But you can also procrastinate this task and simply skip it. Why? Because the answer will not be a surprise to you or everyone else anyways. It’s always the same! It’s always the things we don’t particularly enjoy that are causing our struggling.

Or have you ever heard a story about a person which procrastinated on something positive? Like not going to the lottery company to get the 7 million dollar check? I don’t think so!

If you need to write a paper for university, or do a task at work that seems to be boring, I guess we can say the truth! We simply do not want to do this anyways! There are at least one million better things to do! And therefore we do what, the moment MR. Procrastination is showing up? Right! We do nothing! We enjoy the party in our head. Being in the endless YouTube nirvana circle and watch documentaries about the questions if Indian monkeys and dogs might have empathy or not! Sure, these documentaries are really entertaining at this point, but deep down inside our own heads we simply know that we should do something else. Scrolling though our endless social media feeds for example and repress the urge to get going with our projects.

Sure, everything seems to be more interesting than your task at hand. And in fact, it might be really the most boring and annoying thing ever. But well, you gonna do what you have to do! There is no way around this! And you know that!

DEADLINES

The most funny thing about the whole procrastination topic, right? Without them, it would only make half the fun! Procrastinators love their deadlines!

Wow! I have two complete month for doing this task! Looks like I will have a lot of time! But when should I start? The last project wasn’t organized that well, I guess I should start sooner this time! What about today? Today? Oh come on! Today isn’t good! I can’t make today. But tomorrow! Tomorrow seems fine. Oh wait, no! I can’t do tomorrow! But next week, Yeah! Next week after finishing my other project! I will start it next week!

… fast forward to one day before your deadline…

Hey! Shut up man! I need to write this thesis until tomorrow! Leave me alone! As tears running down your cheek, you wonder if you will finish it in time. Life sucks!

But it doesn’t need to be like this! Come on! You know that! You can work on this! You can get back in control! You can win this battle once and for all!

Your lack of willpower comes with a reason, sure, but you can change this! You can stop this behavior and start to make things differently in your life. Change your lifestyle! Step by step! Day by day! Task by task!

How to fight procrastination?

Have fun!

We always start to procrastinate when it comes to the things we don’t particularly enjoy in life. But why don’t you make this thing become a little bit more fun to actually do? A change in your perspective might be the key to success. Maybe you chose a different topic next time that is funny in nature already, or you listen to some awesome music and dance on your chair while writing this thing. There might be endless solutions for how to make the process a bit more fun!

Reward yourself!

It sounds really stupid, I know. But as Murphy’s law says:

If it’s stupid but it works, it ain’t stupid.

Murphy’s law

A reward system works! Try it! Work for a certain amount of time and get some time for the stupid nonsense you do normally all day long in order to recover.

Increase your benefit!

Sure, this project is really boring and you don’t want to do this group project. But why don’t you get in the team with the hottest girl / boy of the course? It doesn’t matter how boring the topic might be, a glimpse at her blonde hair and awesome smile and you can work for the next 10 hours straight!

Life is a game! Go play it!

The mindset you have might be unique and special, but in the end, it got influenced by outside sources. Commercials, influencer, blogger, your family and friends. If they they can control you, why don’t you start controlling them? Break with your routines! Question your doing! Do things differently! Studying in your room? Hell no! Go into the park! Sit in a fancy cafe!

Motivation

Visit places that motivate you! Go into the library and watch the others working hard. You will see, their motivation will spring over to you and make your life easier! What is your reason for doing this in the long run? You need to remind yourself about the fact why you need to push through this thing until the end! Stop by your local Porsche dealership and get your mindset straight! This is what you want? Well, than go and do something in order to get it!

And I guess, that’s all I want to say for today. I will procrastinate the other part until next time, when I will, for the first time ever, try to cooperate with a friend of mine who is an expert in the field of procrastination, in order to write about this topic in a more detailed and everyday life kind of fashion. Therefore, stay tuned if you want to read more.

P.S.: We do not have a deadline, therefore, it might take a while 🙂

See you next time!

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