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Being productive #16

How to stop procrastinating

The ideal meaning of productivity according to Google is "Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing a task or set of tasks". Which is also termed as "Akrasia" in Greek language which was termed 10,000 years ago. We procrastinate because the task is too difficult or it is very boring. When you feel like doing some work you feel voices like "Man take a break let's scroll some Instagram just for 5 minutes" and eventually you waste an hour scrolling through your feed. I think we need to calculate the kilometres we scroll through Instagram or Facebook to actually know how much time we are wasting on it.

  • Get in touch with your triggers Firstly know you triggers even if it's a bad habit or even it's procrastination [although procrastination is a bad habit 😆] know what triggers you to set yourself in the action of getting into procrastination. In simpler words we face some kind of resistance doing the actual work we must be doing. Resistance is the thing we experience when we try to do something which is going to enhance our character. It is like a pull which is acting oppositely to the things we need to get into. So when you want to start the project you feel the resistance and you choose the wrong path and move towards watching random YouTube videos instead of getting on your desk and starting the project. That's the actual resistance. It's the war between two wolves the good one and the bad one. It depends on you who you want to feed. Just know your triggers and avoid the miscarriage of procrastination.

  • Get into the flow state Now when you have avoided procrastination and have chose to get something done the next step would be to get into the flow state. The flow state is mode where we don't care about the time but instead we get engaged with the topic so well that we end up working more than the reserved time. As Csikszentmihalyi asserts in his book "Flow": The Psychology of Optimal Experience, "flow is the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” To get into a flow state you need to get over the concentration hump. Concentration hump is the thing you might experience when you want to do some productive work for an hour and in the just 5 mins of it you start thinking about going through your phone and you screw your productive session. Now when you want to get into flow state you need to focus at least for 20 mins to get over the concentration hump. So just stick for 20 mins and get engaged with what you are doing.

  • Make a might to do list

This concept is really helpful related to your long term goals. This concept comes from the book "Make Time" by Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky. The thing is you have to make a list of tasks or goals which you want to learn and requires a lot of time. This can be anything like learning a new language or learning how to code or even spending time with your family. So when you feel like taking a break from your regular productive work then you might work on these goals. Just write them down somewhere so you won't forget about it. You can even write down on a sticky note and stick it where you would have a glance of it. The next you feel like procrastinating check the might to do list.

  • Work in time blocks

This technique is used by Dr. Cal Newport the author of the best selling book "Deep Work" even famous entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and Bill Gates use it. So, basically you have to make time blocks in your Google calendar or you van use a time block planner. In one column you have to write the work the things you have to do and the other one you allot the time for doing that work. So when you have everything scheduled on your calendar you don't have to waste time on thinking "what you have to do". Do this thing early in the morning or the day before.

  • Create a highlight So this thing also comes from the book "Make time". Highlight is the thing you plan and keep it on the top of your priority list. This is what Jake and John say in this book " Doing more doesn't makes you feel busy it makes you frazzled and crazy. Add meaning to each day try to get satisfaction of what you did in your whole day. This can be anything like going with your friends on Saturday evening, so you would look forward to that day and will have a proper memory rather than just remembering the day. At the end of the day what will be the moment you would savor that's your highlight of the day. Your highlight depends on what you choose to do the most that should be on your priority list. That will give you a some satisfaction at the end of the day when you complete your highlight of the day". Instead of focusing on several tasks just figure out the most important one and rid of it at the end of the day. That will be more satisfying rather than cluttering and figuring out everything at once.

  • Get rid of the "Infinity Pools"

So in the book "Make time" the authors focuses on getting rid of those social media sites which sucks a lot of our time. "Infinity pool" means the things which are never ending like the things which you can scroll and binge are the ones in this category. When you are scrolling endlessly through Facebook and Instagram regardless of your time that is what infinity pool looks like. Also in the book Deep work Dr. Cal says that "Digital sites are just like the slot machines you just have to put your time and some personal information in exchange of entertainment. These sites and apps are actually designed by psychologist so that how people are going to spend their time on these sites and apps. The apps and websites get's your personal info and provides you the content of your age limit so you would get addicted to it. When you click on one such recommendation you get stuck in a loop of clicking on the next video or the news which is actually relatable or attractive to your mind and distracts you from your actual goals". Social media is the same thing. Try out the social media detox for a week or 30 days and notice the change in your behavior and character. If you feel like missed out after those 30 days and something you didn't enjoy then you can get back to it again if you feel like it.

  • The only thing you have to do is start the work. It is difficult to start a thing you want to do but once you start it becomes more easier for you keep working and when you get into the flow you won't stop because then you start enjoying the work you are doing. It's like the Newton's first law of motion. "A body remains in a state of rest or at constant speed until and unless an external unbalanced force acts on it". So basically you just have to give that initial jerk to yourself once you have it you get into that task. This criteria comes from Ali Abdaal's Skillshare class. Best method to get into working zone is by applying David Allen's "2min rule". If a task is gonna take less than two minutes do it right now so you have to just tell yourself that just do it for 2mins and when you get into the process you continue it until it's done.

Work on the things you like and do the tasks with intention and meaning because without any meaning these schedules and tasks are hollow. So make your day more joyful with these 7 ways to beat procrastination.

TIP- Don't use the Pomodoro technique if you want to get in the flow.

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