To all you goody-two-shoes out there: yes, this is a thing. Procrastination is one of those horrible states of mind that carefully tiptoe behind you, grab ahold of your (obviously muscled, since you’re the hottie of the universe) shoulders and don’t let go until you’ve kicked, screamed, bitten, punched, and bitch-slapped the hell out of that thing. Even then Procrastination only left because he got tired of your constant whining (and farting) so he decided to torture someone else. Probably me.
So I have whipped up a little guide on how to look Procrastination in the face and say:
Step One: The bloody Death of Denial.
You have to recognize that those slimy hands on your back belong to Procrastination. You have to aknowledge the fact that you have been forced into that despisable state of mind and you must do everything in your power to get out of it. Do not deny it and keep on watching Between Two Ferns on your laptop. That is not how you recognize Procrastination.
If I ever catch you denying that beast hanging on your back, this is what I’ll do:
You bet I will.
Step Two: The Why.
Now that you know that Procrastination is holding you hostage, and you are ready to get the hell out of there, there is nothing holding you back from freedom (except maybe that monster on your back but that’s what this guide is for).
Here is what you got to do:
Find out why Procrastination has chosen to torture you. You have to know the problem to be able to solve it.
Is it because you are unhappy with what you should be doing? Do you not want to do it?
Are you disgruntled because you aren’t doing so well with whatever you should be doing?
Does the idea of obligation send you running into a hole? Or is the reason something else?
(This step is kind of useless because no matter what your answer to that question was, the solution is the same.)
Step Three: The Fight.
This is the most important step. This is why I even bothered to write this step-by-step guide.
But because Procrastination is my friend (and also, I lost a bet), I’ll show you an example before explaining this crucial step of the process.
Say you are a writer like myself and you can’t get yourself to do just that: write. You have all these great story ideas but for some obscure reason you can’t get yourself to simply sit your ass on a chair and use that funny little thing called a pen.
You have already gone through Step One and you know that you have been teleported to Procrastination Island.
You have also gone through Step Two and realized that you can’t write because you are afraid of hating what you write.
Now you’re on Step Three. What do you do?
You freaking write. It doesn’t even have to be the thing you should be writing, it could be anything. Write a short story, a poem, a list of things you’d like to see hang, a grocery list, a letter you finally have an excuse to write, or even a simple scene that pops into your head. It could literally be anything you want.
And keep doing these little ‘writing excercises’ per se, until you start feeling this burning glow in you chest. It starts out like a little tickling sensation, then it becomes a swirling ball of fire, and soon it’s become bouncy and it’s hitting the walls of your insides. What is this feeling? It’s your desire to write that thing you should have been writing all along.
[end of example.]
Now what have we learned here?
To fight off Mr. Procrastination, you have to remember why you used to love doing that thing. Or if you never did, then you have to find something in that thing that you do like. No matter what it is, there must be something you enjoy about it. It could even be just the fact that once you finish, it’ll all be over.
Now, grasp onto that joyful thing and hold on as tight as you can. Imagine that you are trying to climb up a rope and you have to pull yourself away from the ground (Procrastination). Gravity (you know who) is holding you back but with enough strength and desire, you can do it.
Step Four: The Happy Dance.
Congratulations! You’ve succeeded in fighting off Procrastination. You kick ass. Now don’t get carried away, Procrastination will surely visit you many more times throughout your life, but until then, let’s do the happy dance:
Disclaimer: I can’t guarantee to get any monster off your back for sure. I’m not a Ghost Buster.