What’s the one disease plaguing Malaysians, at least once in their lives? A disease which strikes almost everyone, regardless of age, creed, or gender.
You can already guess it lah, it’s in the title mah. Usually, doctors will want to cure a disease, but since we’re no doctors and procrastination is not an actual disease, here are some practical solutions shared by our friends instead.
1. First, Get Out Of The House!
We Gen-Y can be quite the pampered lot. We want flexible working hours like ang mohs and work-from-home options like pregnant mums, but ask yourself this – if you’re a hardcore procrastinator, wouldn’t these perks backfire on you instead? While you ponder and procrastinate on the answer, let’s hear what Sarah, a travel writer has to say.
“I don’t really fare well working from home. I find myself waking up much later than usual. Even if I was on my computer, it will be from the comfort of my bed! So getting out of the house to work works well for me.
Also, being in a proper working environment, including co-working spaces, reduces the chances of you being distracted by the TV, bed, or kitchen at home – basically anything which can be an excuse for you to procrastinate lah!”
While what Sarah says makes a lot of sense, even if you’re out of your house, you’re not out of the procrastination woods just yet. Let’s not forget our phones – they’re big time-sinkers wei!
2. Bring your cell, but use it well
So you’ve gotten out of the house. Congratulations! Still, there’s your mobile phone to consider. While it can be a great tool, it can be a liability too.
Basically, it’s an asset when you use it productively lah. Cisco, emails, Google – these are all things you need for work. However, it starts to become a liability when you start clicking on games, social media apps, and basically anything which wastes time.
In fact, the tendency to procrastinate can be so strong, some people actively take matters into their own hands. Did you know that there are apps, to block or restrict other distracting apps? Much like good bacteria fighting bad bacteria.
Basically, these apps let you choose which apps to block, then blocks them for a certain amount of time. It can also sync across multiple devices.
This was exactly what Jeff Tan did. As an IT programmer, he can’t afford to waste time during work, especially when deadlines are close. He’s personally using the app ‘StayFocusd’ but recommends beginners to start with Anti-Social, which focuses more on blocking social media sites. There are also plenty other similar apps, so Google it (unless you’ve already blocked it lah).
3. Be emotionally, mentally and physically ready
Often times, we procrastinate because we’re not ‘ready’ to work or to function optimally. Lee, a forex trader, says when he’s sick or bogged down with problems like relationship issues, he tends to delay things which don’t excite him, including work.
He uses his three self-made meters for emotional, mental and physical states. All three needs to be at least 7 out of 10 (10 being perfect), for his productivity to skyrocket. The key here is to monitor it every day.
Speaking of physical…
4. Don’t run away from work, run to make it work!
Christine, an avid runner, runs before she goes to work. While running in the wee hours of the morning sounds like a tall order, it does WONDERS for her productivity.
She believes the endorphins produced by her runs improves her mood greatly. This helps her focus while she’s at work. However, she also makes sure to run outside, someplace green and away from pollution. This helps clear her mind, so she’s calm for the rest of the day. She also runs at a higher intensity in order to get the most out of her workouts.
5. Procrastination might be part of an illness, so get it checked out
This story is shared by someone who prefers to remain anonymous. He always felt something was wrong with him when it comes to being productive and staying focused. Eventually, he came across a medical article about a condition called ADHD, which stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
After seeing a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist, he was diagnosed with adult ADHD. The simple explanation for ADHD is that there are chemical imbalances in the brain which cause problems with organization, time management, having a short attention span, as well as procrastination.
Since undergoing behavioural therapy and medication, his condition has vastly improved. He now recommends people to educate themselves about the condition and to get it checked out by a health professional if they suspect that they have it. Apparently, this illness is underdiagnosed, especially among adults, so get help fast if you think you might have it ok?
And last but not least…
6. Get an accountability partner, someone you’re scared of and respect.
Ever notice how some people produce better work while under strict bosses? These people simply work better under pressure.
So how do you do this when you’re working on your own, or just starting a business? You tell your wife or your buddy about your milestones and deadlines!
This is what Nasrul, a new business owner did. Starting out on your own can be hard and lonely he says. At first, he wasn’t sure about mixing work and personal life. However, he says the key is to find the right balance. For him, having a strict but loving wife who knows how to push him harder really helps. Something like being cruel to be kind lah.
He shares his daily and weekly targets and deadlines with her, and she checks up on him when the deadlines come round. That way, he knows he has to answer to her if he comes up short. Nothing like old-fashioned tough love eh?
So which one are you? And what should you do now?
First thing’s first – congratulations for trying to find a way to beat procrastination! Just make sure that you’re not here just to avoid doing the thing you’re procrastinating.
I mean, we get it, it’s difficult. But the key is to never stop trying and to always strive to do your best.
Let’s be conscious of the causes and possible solutions of procrastination. Even if these tips don’t help, I hope that at the very least, you’re inspired to do something productive!
What’s your advice for battling procrastination? Let us know in the comments below!
For more advice on how to lead a happier life, read How Ikigai Inspired Me to Find My Purpose in Life!