I used to be a very procrastinating person in my private life. Luckily procrastination is not my mindset at work so all I had to do is fix attitude about solving private chores. It was especially present in my depression era (I guess it is generally one of the main characteristics of depressed people).
When you learn to escape obligations, they only get heavier and more problematic in time. I fought with it for years.
Doing chores regularly
Anyone had a toothache and procrastinated going to the dentist (be it because of the fear or plain laziness)? I guess the pain just doesn’t stop and eventually it has to be taken cared of, so better sooner than later, right? That is not what all of us think but it surely is the best way to live a carefree life (i.e. going to the dentist regularly so you don’t even reach a phase of toothache).
Chores cannot be avoided and as soon as you learn to be regular in solving them, life gets so much easier.
I have an encouraging proverb which makes me get up and start doing things immediately and that is: “First business, then pleasure”. There is also that popular “Five seconds rules” where you have to get up and start doing what has to be done within five seconds after a thought has come to your mind. Either way, whatever can make you start and not procrastinate is a great tool.
Benefits of immediate action
To live unburdened by any obligation I like to first make a plan of what I have to do, initiate and complete my tasks (“first business”) and then doing things I love to do (“then pleasure”). I feel light, happy and fulfilled in that case. Procrastinating things not only makes me burdened because delaying action means thinking of what has to be done all the time, but also obligations start accumulating and in time it only gets worse. Think about it, if you don’t solve something that is bothering you, don’t you keep on thinking “I have to solve it, I have to solve it..” over and over again, and then that makes you more and more unhappy which results in ruining your day?
The trick here is to develop a habit to immediately undertake action. If you have no habit or are just generally lazy, you must acknowledge your limits and initiate action process (or better to say train yourself to act), otherwise your undone obligations will only make you drown more and more.
First business, then pleasure (or Five seconds rule)
It took some time for a mindset of immediate action to become a habit for me but I managed to do it. Comparing to my previous self when I constantly procrastinated everything that could be procrastinated and my present self, I can say the difference is awesome. Nothing burdens me anymore. As soon as I see some obligation has occurred, I immediately take actions to solve it because I don’t want to be burdened by it. I want to live a carefree life and the only way to do it is to not procrastinate.
It is our choice – procrastination (which burdens) or immediate action (which liberates).
How I managed to stop procrastinating
As with anything else in life, this action also required changing a mindset and developing a habit. It takes everyday practice. If you want to change yourself, it takes constant work and practice. Day after day I was putting my time and effort to change, and eventually it paid off.
- Making a list
It is OK to not make a list if you have one or two obligations that must be done, but if you feel overwhelmed, a list is a good idea.
Now that you know all your obligations, a little planning what has to be done immediately and what can wait few hours or days is essential because listing obligations and then putting them in a certain order serve as a reminder in case you have a need to get back to procrastinating.
And of course, then comes the action as I’ve already explained.
In the end you will be able to sit in the park enjoying the moment happy and free without thinking what obligations you haven’t done!