Google defines the big word (procrastination) as the action of postponing or delaying something.
It is the mind’s way of stopping you from doing the work. i hope you can relate to what i am going to say.
Procrastination is a trademark of writers. We tend to sit on our asses so much that sitting becomes the new walking. As a writer, i am so lazy that i am not even taking time to type the big word. i have copied it and now pasting (and customizing) it as per the need of this entry.
Many-a-times when i settle down to work on my stories/music, my mind begins to race elsewhere. Some times, it is the invisible laundry to fix. Or, the new bewitching Netflix show. The phone call to my mother. Checking out on my husband whether he had dinner. Dusting. Looking in the naught pondering things. What’s to make for breakfast tomorrow? Shall i cook something and take it to the new neighbor to say a Hi? What about the rent? Did my cousin run away as he had planned? Have i fed my dog this morning or i ate its cereal? And if nothing else, the ceiling becomes the best hypnotizer.
In short, the mind begins to procrastinate by playing monkey tactics.
It’s funny though but in need of a dire solution nonetheless. Here is how i deal with procrastination –
Do not slip those distractions (laundry, TV show, phone call, meal planning etc.) away. Instead, set the alarm clock for 20 minutes (or maybe, 30 minutes. Not more than that!), get up and get everything done.
The solution doesn’t stop here.
Once you finish and sit back with a sigh, the monkey has found new branches already! Only this time it might be paying the bill or watching a stupid YouTube video where people are looking at the sky for nothing, just as you are staring at the screen for nothing.
Again. Set the alarm, get up, finish and sit back.
Monkey may have found more branches to hang on and have fun with.
Alarm. Get up. Finish. Repeat until the monkey is exhausted.
Why does this tactic work?
Research says that our mind cannot stand being reminded with one thing over and over . If it knows it has to focus on work (writing, painting, clients etc.), it goes haywire at first, finding all the possible ways to stay in its comfort zone. Our mind does not want to put in work! Hence, monkey status.
But when it knows you are sticking to your work and it has to focus eventually, it slowly stops interfering with distractions. When you cannot beat it, join it! sort of thing. It begins helping you instead.
This is how i handle procrastination. i deal with it, instead of avoiding it.
CAUTION: Try it at your own risk and with some mindfulness.
In other words, do not underestimate the monkey. It may lead you to the endless tunnel of distractions.