Overcoming Procrastination

Are you too one of those people who do everything at the last minute and then beat yourself up because you feel you could or should have done a better job?

Do you want to start a business, write a book, study, or whatever it is you’d love to do but somehow never get around to doing what you need to do to achieve it?

Have you tried all the tips and techniques that are supposed to help you conquer procrastination but still do everything but the thing you want to do, or spend hours on Facebook, cleaning the house or daydreaming?

I get it.

For most of my life I was the queen of procrastination.

I started at school. I’d do homework as late as possible, minutes before class if need be. I’d put off working on projects until the moment I intuitively knew I had to get moving if I wanted to hand in something that got me the grade I wanted.

Things didn’t get any better at uni.

I spent 5 hours watching a tennis match the day before a test I hadn’t yet studied for. People who were going to take their final exams 6 months after me were way ahead of me with their preparations a couple of weeks before I took mine.

 

When I came across Tim Urban’s TED Talk “Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator” I laughed out loud. Nobody could possibly describe more accurately the process of me writing my thesis. It was comforting to know I’m not the only one working this way and there is at least one other person in the world who really understands.

Tim Urban goes on to explain that procrastinators have a special brain: There is the “rational decision maker” everyone has and then there is the “instant gratification monkey” who does everything in his power to have fun now rather than doing what needs to be done. If there is a deadline the “panic monster” will show up at just the right (very last) moment to prevent disaster.

Go watch the video. It’s hilarious.

While I’m very good friends with the panic monster I personally can’t relate too well to the instant gratification monkey. In fact, even as a little girl I had a thing for delayed gratification. I was the one who saved her pocket money for later and then never bought anything. After all, I could always save a little more for a little later. I used to save Christmas chocolates for so long that they’d go bad.

No, a lively instant gratification monkey wasn’t my problem…

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Originally posted on my Medium account.

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