[The best way to do something is to start doing it.]
…At least, in the case of a procrastinator.
Let’s say I’m tired of sleeping in during the holidays and would much rather be awake by some certain time. How do I do it?
My personal process is as follows: I’ll think about what I want to change or do, research the benefits and consequences of this decision, see what parts of my life I have to change to accommodate, realize I’ll need to go to bed earlier in order to shift my sleep rhythms earlier, write out this super detailed plan discussing the process and goals I have for myself, get ultra hyped for what I’m about to do, and sleep in the next day too.
This might seem funny now, but considering how frequently this happens, I had to reconsider my process for setting goals or trying to bring change into my life.
I remember several times trying to make schedules for daily routines, but if I happened to miss one of the scheduled events, I’d drop the rest of the day. “Whoops, I didn’t do some arbitrary activity, guess the entire day is gone too!”
Thinking that I may have written too many details when planning, I took away the routine and then gave myself several tasks I had to accomplish during some day. I can do the tasks whenever I’d like, and the rest of my time is at my leisure.
The entirety of my day would become the “rest of my time,” as I would get a handful of tasks done early on then just push off everything else.
It seemed that I was just undisciplined and needed better habits.
My habit of extensive planning helped me plan out several habits I would take upon myself to acquire, completely foolproof, and I again did not follow through. Maybe it’s an issue with discipline, maybe it’s an issue with my mindset…the issue can be anything but what it is wasn’t going to help me get stuff done.
What I found which lead me to the first statement was that irrespective of whether or not I was doing what I needed to be doing at the time, I was almost always doing something. The something I was doing just depended on where I was and how I felt at the time.
If I’m near my journals, I’ll spend my time reading them or writing in them.
Should I be in my room, I’ll most likely chill on my bed until I fall asleep.
I’m near a speaker or headphones? I’ll listen to music.
It became apparent that I had minimal problem getting tasks done, as long as I was in a position to work on them. Just being in the position to succeed made doing the task that much easier. For example, if there was a day I needed to read something from a textbook for school, I’d leave it open on my desk. Even if I didn’t read it then and there, I would get to it later that day because it was already conveniently open to where I needed it. Or, if I had to go the gym to work out or dance or etc and I wanted to do exactly not that, as long as I made sure I somehow went to the gym, I wouldn’t have a problem doing whatever it is I needed to.
I just have to take the first step in order to be successful. Which I feel stands true for most people.
Of course, the initial step might be the hardest step in a process, but the environment one is in can definitely make that step a lot easier. Instead of trying to force motivation out of oneself in order to complete some task, just shape the environment to facilitate working on that task.
Read Gift first to know what’s going on!