4 Unusual Ways to Stop Putting Things Off.

woman in gray and white striped long sleeve shirt and black pants sitting on white bed
Photo by Good Faces / Unsplash

I once procrastinated for 2 years, and believe me, it was not pretty.
In this article, I cover 4 unconventional ways that helped me get out of the procrastination spiral.

Being different, they all evolve around a single idea: "Accept yourself first". The cliche phrase always sounded somewhat empty to me. So, if you would allow, here is my extended interpretation:

"Wherever you are now, please accept yourself as the best available material. Take this material and start shaping it into the version of yourself that you would like to become. Do it NOW: don't wait for conditions to be perfect. Supportive peers, understanding family, the right period in life, etc. - should not matter at this point. Stop delaying yourself, and everything else will follow".

...Pfeu, that was intense. The rest of the article will feel rather light, promise!

Without further ado:

  1. Work from bed and do jogging in the office.
    You are probably familiar with the best practices of separating places based on their main purpose, like a bedroom for sleep and an office for work, as it can boost productivity. But we are talking about persisting procrastination here, where our main goal is not to optimize your achievements 10x but to take you from 0 to 1.

    If you work from home and feel like procrastinating, try to work from a place that feels comfortable, like your bed. This way, you will replace the pleasant idea of procrastinating with the idea of staying in bed and getting the work started.

    If you work from an office and don't feel like it, use any available pause to get your body moving. Procrastination is often caused by long tasks with delayed rewards. If you have to deal with a project like that, you want to provide your brain with faster "reward chemicals." Exercising during the day is a great way to achieve this.

  2. Sleep when you feel like it.
    Procrastination habit might be a side effect of sleep deprivation. If you have not slept properly for long periods of time, you have fewer resources to manage your emotions and fight impulses, thus you procrastinate.

    Here again, the best practice is to sleep at the same hours every day. But if you messed up your schedule big times, and could only do 3 hours in the afternoon and 4 in the morning - better start sleeping like this, then not at all.

    This way, you will slowly rebuild your sleeping routine and resistance to procrastinate during the day.

  3. Procrastinate more.
    This one is very individual. I noticed that when I couldn't get off the loop of doing unnecessary things, procrastinating even more helped! Yes, I know, lol.

    A trick here is to make yourself bored with a procrastinating activity. Say you started with an important report, got distracted by a massage from a designer outlet, went shopping online, and then you are unexpectedly procrastinating by cleaning up the kitchen instead of doing the report. From here on, continue cleaning your kitchen for much longer than usual, for longer than it brings you procrastination pleasure.

    The goal is to make yourself so bored that your brain will crave a change of action. Then, suggest finishing the report as the only alternative to cleaning the kitchen :)

  4. Make a deal with yourself to not work. Yet.
    Sometimes, especially when getting out of bed early into the greyness of Berlin winter mornings, only this worked to avoid procrastinating.

    As my alarm rings, I would make a "deal" with myself: "Ok, do not get out of bed yet, but think about your day backward, step by step, for each hour. Up until now." After such a mental exercise, I would always want to go and start the day instead of snoozing.

    Still not sure why, but it works every time. Maybe it has to do with decreased ambiguity: when clearing out and breaking down the daily tasks, I take away the uncertainties and thus the desire to avoid those tasks (procrastinate).

    As a final word,
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    So you could find what works for you when stopping procrastination.

    Take care 🌸

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