How to overcome chronic procrastination

Adjusting Your Thoughts and Emotions

  • Stop punishing yourself for procrastinating
  • Tackle your most important task for 15 minutes
  • Give yourself a pep talk for motivation
  • Aim for done over perfect
  • Promise yourself you’ll get a reward when it’s done

Changing Your Environment

  • Pick the perfect work space
  • Download an app to avoid phone distraction
  • Use a program or browser add-on to avoid internet distraction
  • Remove your phone from the space if you need to
  • Listen to music without lyrics

Avoiding Procrastination in the Long Term

  • Make a list of how you procrastinate
  • Write a to-do list to set goals
  • Prioritize different goals with set deadlines
  • Avoid multitasking to focus on one goal at a time
  • Get a buddy to keep you honest

What to do, if you don’t know further anymore

First things first. You have to calm down yourself. You can’t do anything if you’re stressed out. Here we go. It’s something I recommend a lot around here. Find a quiet spot somewhere. Doesn’t have to be your study place. Could be outside if the weather is fair. But it should be quiet and you don’t get disturbed. Shut down all digital devices. No laptops. No cellphones. Nothing. You ready? Okay. Sit yourself down. Back straight. Don’t slouch. Now, close your eyes. Shift your attention to your breathing. Try to focus on the air passing through your chest. You feel that? Don’t change your breathing though. Just try to notice it without changing it. Keep it up. Keep doing that.
Okay. Now, you’re mind is going to go bonkers. You won’t be able to keep this up. After a minute or two, you’re going to be thinking about all the other stuff in your life. But here’s the thing. This is a game. Try to be aware of what is happening. Of the thoughts and feelings passing through your head. Instead of engaging with them, just notice that they pass through your brain and then shift your attention back to your breathing. Don’t judge, don’t feed your fear, don’t feed your anxiety. Just notice and shift back to your breathing. Don’t get frustrated if you feel you can’t keep up. That’s normal. Just keep trying.

Now, do this for the next 15 to 30 minutes. Congratulations. You just learned to meditate. You should practice that each and every day. Like, each evening before you go to bed. Or each morning before you get coffee. Your brain is like a muscle. Try to get from 15 minutes to 1 hour. That’s a challenge.
Why is this important? Well, we all live in our own minds. We are easily distracted and then we start to ruminate and worry. If you indulge yourself into negative thinking, you’re going to foster anxieties and fears and depression. The idea is to not feed those. Through meditation, you learn to become mindful, to become aware of what happens in your head. Of how you feel. And instead of focussing on a single narrative – like you flunking massively, and then going into depression and then going to die – you’re going to take a distance of those negative thoughts and you’re going to question them.
Seriously.

So. You flunk your exams. Your parents are angry with you. And now you are clueless about your life. And from there, it seems like a short step to death. Doesn’t that sound… a bit over the top? Let’s break it down. Will you automagically die if you fail? Nah. Not really. You’ll still be alive. Probably your going have to redo those exams or those courses. Will your parents stay angry? Hmm… they’ve been angry before, do they stay angry? Nope. They might be disappointed, but that’s to be expected. But being angry and disappointed, that’s wasted energy. Your parents still love you to bits, they are just worried about you and your future. Summer is coming? Sweet! You had nothing to do? Hm… Why would that be? Did you plan in advance? Did you sit yourself down for an hour and think “what’s the top 3 stuff I really want to do in the next few months”? Or were you just idling your time away only to notice afterwards “Fuck, I didn’t do anything worthwhile and now I’m here”

Also, exams are like a tennis match. You play several sets. The outcome is determined by how many games and sets you win. Guess what. Tennis is a mental game. If you start losing games, you start to become anxious because you think “can’t afford to lose more games, but dammit I’ve lost already, I’m not doing well, how am I going to win this? Never going to happen! Argh!!” See what I did there? Serena Williams wins because she doesn’t think like that. Serena Williams wins because she goes “Lost that last game. Damn. Okay. Nothing I can do about that. But hey, I’m still good. I love doing this. I love my life. Let’s see if I can win the next game.” Totally different way of thinking. This is POSITIVE thinking compared to NEGATIVE thinking. And that’s what makes all the difference in ANYTHING you do in life.

So, you probably fucked up at those last exams. You can’t change anything about that. It happened. Don’t beat yourself up. You still have work to do. Don’t dwell on the past. Use meditative techniques to shift your focus to the present moment. You NEED to study for the next exam. You can DO this. Don’t spend energy on whatever is distracting you. Stop worrying. Don’t use digital devices. Don’t watch television. Don’t game. It’s you and the book in front of you.

Take care of yourself!! Get in bed on time. Don’t stay up late. Get 8 hours of solid shut-eye. You can’t function if you don’t sleep enough. Stay off the sugared soda’s. Drink water. Hydrate regularly. Try to eat healthy stuff. Stay off sugared candy if you can. Sugar messes with your brain. Sugar addiction is a thing and makes you feel miserable. Make sure you get out! Get a 5 minute break after an hour of studying. Go for a walk. Don’t stay inside on your chair. Move!! Try to get a routine in your day. Wake up at the same hour, study at the same hours. Be economic with your time! Try to work out twice a week. Go to the gym. Go running. Break a sweat in a sport you find fun and engaging. Exercise takes your mind of difficult stuff for a few hours. You NEED this if you want to keep going.

Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. You can’t keep sprinting ALL the time. You need to pace. Don’t try to cling onto your parents expectations of your studies if you feel you can’t meet them. Own up to it and tell them you’re in trouble if you feel like your working towards something unattainable. Don’t keep pursuing a degree if you feel that this is not something within your own possibilities. Then you’d be only wasting your own precious time.
Do the work instead of thinking about off’ing yourself. That’s all it is.

How to get a date if you are not her type

There is an awesome psychological secret, it’s called the principle of consistency and commitment.

Let’s say you ask someone on a date, and they say to you, “Sorry, you’re not my type.” In my opinion, one of the worst responses you could give is to ask, “Why?” ”Why?” I hear you ask, with a hint of sarcasm. I’m glad you asked. What happens when you ask this type of question? The other person goes inside their head and starts thinking of the reason or reasons why they think you’re not their type! “Well, I prefer X, Y and Z.” (Or they lie to you, to spare your feelings.) Now, not only have you got them thinking about why you’re not their ideal guy or girl (bad thing!), you’ve also made them say out loud their reasons for thinking you’re not their type – another bad thing!

Here’s why that’s bad:
According to psychologists, people don’t like to appear inconsistent. (Sure, people are inconsistent all the time! We just hate to appear this way.) If a person’s words don’t match their actions, they can come across as indecisive, confused, or even two-faced. So when a person makes a statement, they will usually defend it and act in line with that statement, in order to avoid appearing
inconsistent.

So, by asking your potential date, “Why am I not your type?”, not only do they have to stop and think up reasons or excuses why you’re not, you’re also essentially committing them (by getting them to state the reasons out loud) to act consistently with that statement – ie. to reject you as “not their type”! Instead, consider re-framing the question as a positive. “What would motivate you to date me?” or, “What could I do to persuade you to date me” is positive, and may get them thinking about the reasons why they would hook up. Plus, if they tell you, you’ll know exactly what they need in order to take the action you desire!

In fact, you could go much further than this. Let me tell you about someone who uses the principle of consistency and commitment to get hot dates who are much younger than him. He’s in his 40’s, and they are usually in their early 20’s. Now, with people being what they are, this would normally be a bit of a challenge. So how does he do it? He starts out by asking the girl to name an older actor that she finds attractive, like Michael Douglas or Sean Connery. Next, he asks her to describe what she finds attractive about him. Then he gets her to explain how a young woman could fall for an older man like Connery. Once she’s justified how she could fall for an older man (commitment), suddenly the age difference becomes much less important, and getting the date becomes
so much easier! (She wants to act consistently with her stated reasons!)

And now you also understand why companies run promotions that invite you, in 50 words or less, to complete the sentence, “I Like My Personal Super-Widget Automatic because…” Once we’ve committed ourselves to an opinion, we tend to want to act consistently with that opinion, don’t we?