The Productive Procrastinator
Have you ever felt like there’s a strong force keeping you from doing things that you have to do? Do you see highly effective people and just envy the way they get stuff done no matter the task? You know is not laziness, its something else but you cant figure it out, you’re a PROCrASTINATOR my friend.
All my life I didn’t understood why my brain decided to do some task rather than others, it wasn’t as clear of the way it chose them as they weren’t always the ones I liked or didn’t liked, it seemed a random behavior. I knew it wasn’t laziness, I developed a really disciplined schedule that integrated exercise early in the morning and intensive working after yet my brained kept just choosing some tasks over others, I was hopeless, destined to think I would never bee the person I wanted to be. About a year ago or so, I saw a TED Talk that changed this, Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator by Tim Urban. This presentation is one of my all time favorites and if you know something about public speaking, you can tell this guy nails it.
The presentation showed me that this is something that happens to a lot of people and that even PHDs, engineers and all kinds of professionals ¨suffered ¨ from the same. The speaker talks about how our brains have ¨deadline¨ based productivity which means they are highly productive near deadlines which works well but fails in tasks that don’t have deadlines such as exercising, calling relatives, and anything about improving yourself. In a relevant note, construction projects follow a trend called the ¨Lazy S¨ graph that applies to this concept that shows how the progress of a project is highly increased toward the very end due to the pressure of meeting the deadline.
So what to do about it? Well the author expresses a way of triggering your minds great ability of being really productive near deadlines by creating your own ones, this way there’s a time spam for the activity to be done and a procrastinator is really good at delivering when time is of the essence. I have applied this for a while and it has made me the most productive of my entire life, I choose to have daily deadlines like writing this blog, going to the gym, calling my family or performing all kinds of daily tasks and the deadline usually is 12 am, Try putting daily time spams for your activities and the pressure will force you to be better. This presentation helped me a lot on improving my life but what is more special about it is that it shows how in life you can choose to surrender to your flaws or find ways of living with them, successful people are adaptable.
¨We must change our outlook, not our circumstances¨