What is the most efficient use of your time? Is it forwarding on jokes, calling your old friends who are out of touch for many years, showing to everybody that you are cool by posting in social media, sitting in meetings and chatting? Are you choosing your tasks based on importance and urgency or based on what ‘feels great’ or what is easy to get done in short span of time quickly? This post outlines simple FOLLOW technique which would help you to overcome your worst procrastinates.
Overcome Your Worst Procrastinates
Before introducing the simple method to overcome your worst procrastinates, let me start this article with one of my career procrastination and tell you what I learned from it. It was my first job. I worked as System Administrator in a Telecom Company. I had keen interest to become a developer in telecom domain. When I asked for that opportunity, I was requested to write an article about SIP. Don’t divert your attention now by searching for what SIP means. If you search for SIP, you may procrastinate reading this article. It does not matter for this article. For, those who are curious and cannot proceed reading article without knowing what SIP means, It means Session Initiation Protocol.
I was new not just to the topic (SIP) but for the telecom domain itself. I started learning online about SIP. A lot of materials related to SIP bombarded at me. Most of the content were in PDF format as blogging was not so popular those days. I kept on downloading PDF after PDF and filled close to 200 MB of my hard disk within 2 hours of learning (the right word is browsing not learning).
After downloading more than 100 PDF files which talk about SIP, I was not able to pick the right one which would help me to complete my assignment. I was overwhelmed with the task at hand, so I procrastinated it to next day and started playing solitaire.
I no more play solitaire now. But, I am still procrastinating that assignment. More importantly, I could never read those 100 PDF documents till today. I am not able to clear those files from my hard disk because it taught me, an important life lesson on procrastination. If you think career procrastinators are the worst, I am sorry to disappoint you. There are much worse procrastinators such as life procrastinators and wealth procrastinators.
Procrastination is not the actual issue
First, it took a lot of time for me, to realise that procrastination is not the real problem. The issue is mainly on, what tasks I procrastinate. Like me, many people have this totally messed up. They procrastinate on important issues that would make them productive. Instead, they perform activities that have negative or no influence on their future. Based on my experience, I decided to categorise my daily tasks into four categories namely life, love, future, Wealth, others. To remember these groups, I use the abbreviation FOLLOW (Future, Others, Life LOve, Wealth).
If you are already using some techniques to stop procrastinating behavior and want to read everything about procrastination click the link. Continue this post, if you want to take just the first step to stop your procrastinating behavior.
Life – Do what your life asks
One of my school friends used to get a mild headache often, usually in the morning. He assumed that his problem is normal as he is a basketball player, but was puzzled why it always came in the morning. Instead of visiting the doctor, he started taking medication from the nearby medical store. After few months, he had a migraine headache and rushed to the hospital for a checkup. Doctor procrastinated doing MRI scan and told him that, it could be because of the sinus. After few more months, he went to the multi-speciality hospital and found that he had a brain tumor. Luckily he is alive now. But all of us cannot be lucky all the time. When we procrastinate, the foremost thing to check is that whether the task is related to any life danger.
Tasks under life Category: Eating Junk Food, car maintenance, health insurance premium payment, etc
Love – Do what your heart says
Whatever tasks your do, it should give you fulfilment and happiness. If you choose your jobs based on your important VALUES in life, then you will be contented with your usage of your precious time. If the majority of your daily tasks does not come under this category, it is time for you to take corrective action.
Tasks under love category: coaching life skills to your kids, teaching life values to kids, doing charity.
Future – Do what your future demands
The basic necessity for your bright future is the body and your mind. If you procrastinate to tone your body and mind, it just means that you seldom bother about yourself. You need to take care of toning your body and Brain Quotes will take care of toning your mind. There is absolutely no point for you to stop procrastination as your attitude towards the life itself is wrong. If I could have written that SIP article instead of procrastinating, my career would have been different. Instead, I choose to play solitaire which is of no use to me.
Tasks under Future group: Making decisions, learning new skills, asking for raise, looking for job, alcohol addiction, lower grades, etc
Wealth – Do not throw away your wealth
If you lose money (paying the penalty for not paying dues on time), then you are losing not just the time but also your other resources you have acquired in your life. This double procrastinating behavior would lead you to the darkest territory very soon.
Tasks under wealth category: doing physical exercise, filing taxes on time, tracking expenditure, making budget, making investments, etc
Others – Dissolving into unnecessary tasks
Tasks which you cannot classify into the other four categories belong to another group. Ideally, you should have zero daily tasks in this category. But practically, this is not possible. You should allocate not more than 10% of your time to tasks in others category or for other’s tasks.
Articles Related to Procrastination
- Why we procrastinate?
- What type of procrastinator are you?
- How Parents Teach Children Procrastination?
- Overcome your procrastination in 22 hours
Now that you have identified your task map, this insight alone is sufficient to motivate you to find techniques by yourself to overcome your worst procrastinates. Alternatively, you can check the available list of techniques to overcome procrastination.