Dear Abundance seekers,
Welcome back. Last week I discussed the importance of intuition, instinct and gut feeling and also explained ways in which you can make it a part of your daily life effectively. Just a little mindfulness and silence can help you develop it. Today lets talk about Procrastination.
What is Procrastination?
Procrastination is a very common term used these days to define delayed action. The boss uses it for his employees, teachers for students, and parents for children. Knowingly or unknowingly you and me procrastinate as well. Giving priority to a less important task over a crucial one, delay in decision making, failing to complete a task on time due to distraction is common today. The biggest distraction being social media. Have you noticed how to forget to return to your delegated task just because we went browsing on Facebook?
Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing a task or set of tasks. So, whether you refer to it as procrastination or akrasia or something else, it is the force that prevents you from following through on what you set out to do.
Ok, definitions are great and all, but why do we procrastinate? What is going on in the brain that causes us to avoid the things we know we should be doing?
This is a good time to bring some science into our discussion. Behavioral psychology research has revealed a phenomenon called “time inconsistency,” which helps explain why procrastination seems to pull us in despite our good intentions. Time inconsistency refers to the tendency of the human brain to value immediate rewards more highly than future rewards.
The best way to understand this is by imagining that you have two selves: your Present Self and your Future Self. When you set goals for yourself — like losing weight or writing a book or learning a language — you are actually making plans for your Future Self. You are envisioning what you want your life to be like in the future. Researchers have found that when you think about your Future Self, it is quite easy for your brain to see the value in taking actions with long-term benefits. The Future Self values long-term rewards.
However, while the Future Self can set goals, only the Present Self can take action. When the time comes to make a decision, you are no longer making a choice for your Future Self. Now you are in the present moment, and your brain is thinking about the Present Self. Researchers have discovered that the Present Self really likes instant gratification, not long-term payoff.
So, the Present Self and the Future Self are often at odds with one another. The Future Self wants to be trim and fit, but the Present Self wants a donut.
Anti Procrastinating Strategies…
One of the best productivity systems I have found is also one of the most simple. It’s called The Ivy Lee Method and it has six steps:
- At the end of each work day, write down the six most important things you need to accomplish tomorrow. Do not write down more than six tasks.
- Prioritize those six items in order of their true importance.
- When you arrive tomorrow, concentrate only on the first task. Work until the first task is finished before moving on to the second task.
- Approach the rest of your list in the same fashion. At the end of the day, move any unfinished items to a new list of six tasks for the following day.
- Repeat this process every working day.
You and me are bundle of thoughts. Its the thought that either prevents or enables us to take action. Next time when you are set out to complete a task , do not let other thoughts come into your mind. When they do, simply ask them to stay away until you finish the assigned task.
Once you understand the practice of reducing thoughts through YOGA , you will notice a distinct improvement in your productivity and mental capacity. Yoga is all about reducing the modifications and fluctuations that arise in the mind. Tame your mind and you can achieve the unimaginable too.
Do your yoga, happiness and sunshine