Yo working with the flow
Do ever remember a time when you didn't procrastinate something, or even you did, but you felt like the work was effortless or at least smoothly flowing? I remember most vibrantly a time in when I had to go over a genetics lecture powerpoint and it was late and I didn't feel like doing it but somehow it opened up and I began. And boy did those 27 slides or so went quick, and the knowledge was absorbed. Now I don't claim that it is always like this for me nowadays but it is more consistantly so atleast when I'm able to focus fully. Focus, focus, presence. How much of our lives is spent worryinng? Uselessly being anxious about things which are unadressable at the moment or out of our control. Now where does this tie into procrastination well the connection itself is very loose but I believe alot of your procrastination results out of fear. Fear, fear of difficulty, fear of uncertainty fear of leaving your comfort zone. And when you begin doing a task with this fear in my the task itself manifests this fear and it seems you are fighting an uphill battle. Carrying weights against gravity, pushing a charge against it's electrical gradient. Why is it so easy for me play one of my favourite old video game I can play it for hours and visit it again every couple of years from time to time for nostalgia. And when I'm playing these games things feel so effortless so easy hours drive by merge into a stream and feel like minutes which become seconds. Yet, when I'm reading physiology it can feel daunting difficult, hard, even at times overwhelming (especially if I've procrastinated).
I already anticipate the readers response, "well duh because physiology is much more difficult then mashing buttons on a game controller." And this may be true, but I don't believe it is the case for myself. Because there have been times where studying physiology felt just as effortless and enjoyable. Because I brought the joy to the subject and the subject brought joy back to me. See the whole idea here is that often times the preconcieved difficulty of a task and your inability to be absorbed into a task and be fully present during it will make it seem so hard. Yet, anything whether studying differential equations or washing dishes is simple if you simply break it down into its most fundamental steps and follow the algorhythm. See nothing is hard, the only reason something can be hard and complex is because it is composed of numerous tiny simpler components.
Thus, nothing in its most fundamental state can be unbearable, undesirably difficult, displeasurable, it's only your mind trying to handle more than it can at once. But you don't have to handle more than you can at once in fact that's all you can do. When you read it's word at a time, try doing thse two calculations at the exact same time 7/21 and 8*132, try writing down frog and car at the same time with one hand, try saying two words simultaneously, it can't be done. Yet for some reason our minds become overwhelmed when we see a stack of work in front of us because we feel like for some reason it all has to get done now and maybe it does because you have a deadline to meet and you've been procrastinating but in life there are rarely any deadlines that will be the difference between life and death (and I mean life and death literally). But, as the previous statement proves we still feel like for some reason we should stress about the complexity of the work. Essentially the only time stress is useful is in life and death situations that's why we developed it as an evolutionary mechanism.
Thus, in order to overcome procrastination you must first deal and become the master of your mind and become smarter than it. You must shed light on this "lie" that keeps saying work is hard, work is hard, work is hard, life is hard, things are difficult which results because you are belieiving you'll actually have to do more than you can handle at once. But, you can't do more than you can handle at once, why because that's all you can handle offcourse how could you do more than that.
Then you go back to your work and you forget about its overall complexity instead you get sucked into a little part of it which you begin to understand and this propels you forward understanding always propels you forward.
- Login to post comments
That's the annoying irony of procrastination: there are plenty of necessary tasks that become enjoyable once they're started, but due to demand-resistance, laziness, straight-out fear it's hard to take the first step. But there are some people on this site, me included, who find it hard even to do desirable things, so procrastination has bled into those areas as well. But yes, "flow" is a wonderful high. Too bad my mind doesn't allow it to happen anymore.
"A procrastinator's work is never done."
@icemountainguy re:video games
I agree! " you don't have to handle more than you can at once in fact that's all you can do"
Video games are fun because they have built in rewards at the perfect times. Video game designers study the exact frequency of rewards and interaction you need to keep you playing. The steps to level up are clearly defined and just hard enough to be challenging but not so hard that you give up.
If you like video games, as I do, you can break down your work projects in the same type of chunks and build in some rewards for yourself. The world won't give you a reward for every 10 minutes of work like a video game does, but you can give yourself a little pat on the back or a cup of tea for doing a chunk of work. The world won't highlight the next small challenge on your mini-map for you either, but again you can do that for yourself. I am not always successful in doing this, but it's a great insight Icemountainguy
Be confident. Stay focused. One thing at a time
yeah I think you hit the
yeah I think you hit the nail over the head with a hammer is that how the saying goes? Ha, I'm not sure. This is fascinating suggestion, model it like a video game ha, it makes sense.