Before we get to building on top of what you learned in my first post on how you can stop procrastinating...
We need to review the basics.
You can't build anything good on a shaky foundation...
So let's review.
IT IS POSSIBLE TO REMOVE PROCRASTINATION FROM YOUR LIFE.
UNTIL YOU BELIEVE THIS, READING HOW TO DO IT WON'T DO ANYTHING FOR YOU.
SO START FUCKING BELIEVING IT.
SUMMARY: CLEAN & GET ORGANIZED
1. CLEAN UP YOUR FUCKING ROOM. (PHYSICAL WORLD)
2. CLEAN UP YOUR TO-DO LIST. (MENTAL WORLD)
3. CLEAN UP YOUR FOCUS. (LIFE)
CLEAN UP MESSES AS YOU MAKE THEM
1. PUT THINGS BACK IN THEIR PLACE WHEN YOU'RE DONE WITH THEM. (PHYSICAL WORLD)
2. LET GO, DO, REMIND, OR CALENDAR TASKS IMMEDIATELY AFTER THEY COME UP. (MENTAL WORLD)
3. WORK BEFORE YOU PLAY. (LIFE)
1. WORK EARLY IN THE MORNING.
2. WORK EVERY DAY.
3. WORK ON THE MOST IMPORTANT STUFF FIRST.
Now, you understand the systems you need to put in place to control your tasks.
A major reasons you procrastinate is because you're confused. You don't know where to start.
The systems we have already discussed address this.
They allow you to order these tasks properly (prioritize them) such that you're effectively using your energy.
Today's procrastination problem is different.
Since it's impossible to effectively use nonexistent energy...
What do you do when you have no energy to do work?
ENERGY MANAGEMENT 101
Overcoming procrastinating becomes way easier when you understand how to manage your energy.
In short, we all have varying levels of energy.
They change throughout the day, the week, and the year.
For example, I have tons of energy in the morning, at the beginning of the week, and in January, May, and September during the year.
A huge key to help you overcome procrastination is:
1. Learn when your maximal energy moments are; and
2. Make sure you work during these times.
Getting work done is basically converting stored energy to spent energy.
We're basically input/output machines.
Too often when you're trying to get work done (output), you forget about fuelling yourself up (input).
When you don't sleep enough, work all day long without breaks, or don't go out and socialize on the weekends...
You're depriving yourself of the energy you need to get work done.
Have you ever noticed that being around people sometimes fills you with energy and other times drains you?
What about going to the gym? Have you ever gone when you're tired... only to feel more tired?
What about sleeping? Have you ever had a long sleep... only to wake up feeling more tired than when you went to bed?
This happens because you have four different types of energy:
MENTAL ENERGY PHYSICAL ENERGY EMOTIONAL ENERGY SPIRITUAL ENERGY
- MENTAL ENERGY: Used to focus and switch between tasks
- PHYSICAL ENERGY: Used to run your machine. Can be used when doing intense, cognitively-demanding tasks.
- EMOTIONAL ENERGY: Used during interpersonal engagement. Also can be used during creative work.
- SPIRITUAL ENERGY: Involved in acting with integrity, your ability to be alone, and your connection to the world around you.
We'll go into some details and examples, but here's what I want you to keep in mind.
In getting work done (overcoming procrastination and getting shit done), mental energy is the most important.
You can think of getting work done as just releasing stored up mental energy.
So if you want to have an easier time doing work...
Just store up a ton of mental energy.
This is probably much different than the mindset you're used to.
We're used to hearing that we should 'work hard' and 'put more hours in' if we want to get more work done.
Focusing exclusively on output will yield more output for only so long.
Once you can start to shift your focus to increasing your inputs, you'll have:
- more energy to get your work done
- have more fun doing it
- be able to produce higher quality work
- be able to spend less time working
- finally gain control over your work... instead of it controlling you
HOW TO INCREASE YOUR MENTAL ENERGY
1. Sleep. There is no better overall regeneration tool than high quality sleep.
2. Exercise. Moving your body moves your mind. Get out of a funk and into your body.
3. Nature walks. There is something truly magical (and revitalizing) about walking around a park or forest.
4. Socializing. We are social creatures with a need for human connection. Fill this need, and fill yourself with energy.
5. Play. Dance, play music, draw, write, play a sport. MAKE ART FOR FUN.
6. Meditation. Lie down and breathe. It's amazing how often we forget to just take a break to just sit, breathe, and exist.
Overcoming procrastination is ultimately about developing a better relationship with yourself.
Procrastination is ultimately disrespectful to yourself.
Forcing yourself to get tons of work done in an impossibly short time-frame without anywhere near enough energy is torturous.
I mean, would you ever wish the procrastination you put yourself through on anyone else?
Accept your boundaries, respect your limitations, and operate within them.
CLOSING GOLDEN NUGGETS
WORK EVERY DAMN DAY
Working every day is the most important habit you can build to stop procrastination.
It forces you to learn to manage your energy day-to-day...
And prevents work from ever building up too high.
Even if you fail work every single day, falling a couple days behind isn't that bad.
It sort of makes it impossible to fall weeks and months behind (like you're probably used to).
If you don't feel like it, too bad.
Your work doesn't care about your feelings... it just wants to get done.
So... get it done.
And if you're not feeling like doing it, you're probably lacking mental energy (see above entire article).
So get your work done, and do a better job next time of fuelling yourself up to work.
Procrastination is the most limiting problem in your life.
You don't even know what you're missing out on.
Eliminate procrastination and open yourself up to life's greatest gifts.
You know what to do...
NOW GO FUCKING DO IT.
If you liked this post, tune in next week for part three...
Get ready to do a deep dive into how to keep procrastination out of your life for good.