We all want to walk the road of success.
On this road, we are well served to arm ourselves with discipline and focus.
Yet sometimes one lapse of judgement can leave us lost in a labyrinth of laziness. That labyrinth is procrastination.
Procrastination literally sucks.
It is the taker of clock ticks and the devourer of hours.
If success is a habit, then procrastination is the anti-habit.
The other day, I spent 2 straight hours on YouTube watching videos’ whose contents had nothing to do with Truth and Strength. The kicker was that I was not even inspired or entertained.
I tell this not for you to draw comparisons. The fact is we are all vulnerable.
Lapses will happen, and will happen differently at different times.
What is important is the metaphorical horse that we must hoist ourselves back on to. Procrastination will never go away, but you do not have to give it the time of day.
Here are some experience-backed tips to put the focus back on discipline, and give the back hand to procrastination.
Number One: Start work early in the day.
Worms or no worms, if you go in early you will have accomplished at least one thing. You will be done.
Like the special ops, you’ll want get in and get out quick. After finishing, you will feel like a champ.
Why? You’ve just made a crucial self-investment before most other people are even awake.
You can then use this energy to propel yourself through the rest of your day (i.e. at work).
Number Two: Have a SHORT and prioritized to-do list.
Whether your list is mental or physical, I offer that you keep it brief if you want to get MORE done.
I usually limit my daily extra-professional tasks to three things: Write, study, workout. Things like laundry, personal hygiene, and meal prep do not count as they are basic adult responsibilities.
The reason for my brevity is simple: The less I do, the more focused I am.
Believe me when I say I deal with many decisions in my professional life. Therefore when it comes to my personal life, I keep it simple so as to not add to the pile.
I also prioritize. Ask yourself, what is going to make you better than you were yesterday?
Certainly, mindless tasks fall down and out of my list quickly. I can still do them, but not before I run through my list of VIP’s: Very important priorities. This is another good reason to start the day early.
My favorite routine is to tackle one task with absolute focus for one hour every morning- Not after anything else and not before a cup of rich dark pleasure.
Your routine may be different, but the long and short of success is always the same: A long time spent on a short list.
Number Three: Position yourself.
How many times have you debated with yourself about doing something important, and then just said “what the heck” and did something else?
I say why give yourself the option for debate? The solution: A fool-proof work HQ.
Accomplish work in a spartan, noiseless environment where there exist only three entities:
You, the thing that needs to be done, and the tools required to do it.
For most people today they can simply be a desk, a chair, and a laptop (or books). If you are studying for a test, get everything non-essential out of your view.
Get off your phone, throw away your snacks, and close your tablet.
“Put that cookie down!”- Arnold Schwarzenegger
Number Four: Start a little at a time.
While it may feel like a cop-out, doing a small amount of work is what one needs to start on the road of discipline.
Just start. Forget the finish line. Do not look at the clock.
With this mindset, you will give yourself a good chance to enter the zone: Becoming totally absorbed in the thought stream of your work, which is one of the best feelings there is.
The best part is you aren’t even aware of it, because the last thing you remember was sitting and starting.
“Just a little bit” can turn into A LOT if you keep an open mindset.
Number Five: Curb all other vices.
Procrastination is already a vice. Combining it with another addiction is a sure way to waste life away.
Nobody wants to be lazy. Fewer people want to be lazy AND drunk (or stoned, or high, or addicted to pornography) all the time.
My suggestion this: If you want to win against procrastination, you’ve got to curb your vices.
Just know that once you discover your motivation to quit, anything is possible.
Talk with people and get the necessary help. Read the Relapsed Soul for extra motivation.
That is it, folks.
Remember, the key is consistency. I only offer five tips because that is all you need if you stick with them.
Friends, the formula of success is neither mysterious nor complex.
Time x Effort = Success.
Maximize each coefficient using discipline and focus, and give procrastination the ultimate treatment in irony.
Procrastinate some other time.
Until next time.