A sound productivity advice from an unlikely source.
You are your worst enemy. You waste precious time dreaming of the future instead of engaging in the present. - Robert Greene, 33 Strategies Of War
I will do it later.
How often do you utter this phrase?
But the question begs: later when and why?
Why would you want to postpone anything?
Often the reason hides behind our dear friend procrastination, our its mate perfectionism. It is better to do nothing than do something to a poor-ish quality? Right? Wrong.
If we always wait to do something perfectly, 100%, ideally, you name me. The chances are we will never, ever accomplish anything.
I have been suffering with 'I do it later' syndrome for years. Until I started writing this blog until I started trying different tips and techniques on myself.
I am not going to lie to you and say that I use every method described in my blog and on my Medium articles. No. Some of them - I tried, and I forgot. But others, I use and go back to when needed. Now I have this magical toolbox and it makes me less prone to procrastinate. I also rely less on perfectionism for saving me from accomplishing tasks.
My most recent kick in my place came from an unusual source. I was reading Robert Greene's The 33 Strategies Of War and one of it suggests we create a sense of urgency and desperation. Or also known as death-ground strategy.
In this chapter, the author talks about feeling lost when we have too many options, too many opportunities and ideas. Yes, it's about me, me and me. He says that our freedom is a burden. We need to eliminate it. So the solution is a warfare strategy known as the death ground, where you must act or face dire consequences.
No one is facing real death. But saying that, death is an excellent motivator. If you know your time is ticking away, you might do things you've been putting away.
But we'll use psychology to explain this phenomenon. Here, we are intentionally and voluntarily triggering our stress or fight-or-flight response in order to make us act. We are creating a sense of urgency. Phrases to help you get into the groove might be:
The time is running out!
It might be too late too soon!
It's now or never!
It's you against the world!
This is your chance!
Whenever I feel an onset of procrastination, I say to myself:
You only have one hour to complete this task. If you don't, you've missed an amazing opportunity and someone else is now fulfilling your goal and living your dream.
And let me tell you, it works every time! Because I don't want someone else to live my dream! I want my dream! It's mine, my precious.
You might need to come up with a different consequence for your procrastination, because what works for one person might backfire with the other. Only you can tell what will serve as a good kick in one place for you.
So, what are you waiting for?