A Foolproof Way to Stop Procrastinating and Start Working

2017-03-31

The beginning and the end of the working day

How do you start your working day? In this age of the abundance of addictive Internet services, it's very difficult to not start it with checking your email.

What happens next? Someone sends you an interesting link, which leads to another one. At the same time, you chat on Facebook. Some friend sends a link to a funny video on Youtube. So you watch the video, reply to the email, write in the comments, etc.

During all this, a sneaky voice in your head reminds you that you should probably start working. Two hours have already flown by, and you didn’t even start doing anything work-related!

But you tell the inner voice to hold on! There is nowhere to hurry. Why start now when you have got all day ahead of you. Right now you need to finish watching this Youtube video and then you will start your day.

After you watch the video you just need a cup of coffee and then you can start. You go back to your computer with a cup of hot coffee, sit down, and decide to check the mail again while your drink coffee. There is no new mail. So you might as well scroll through Facebook or see what's new on Twitter.

It's gotten dark outside, but absolutely no work has been done. However, you still feel exhausted. How can you work in this state? So you decide that tomorrow you will definitely finish the monthly report, write a sales plan, and finally, solve that problem with the customer.

The inertia of the mind

Sometimes a person really needs some time to rest which he or she must devote to idleness. But if this repeats day to day, if there is no end to it, then we are trapped in the inertia of the mind.

What is the inertia of the mind? For clarity, take the bike and turn it upside down. Does it stand steadily? Excellent. Now spin the front wheel and spin it really fast. The same way your inner bicycle wheel spins when you read news, chat on the Internet, and scroll Facebook every day.

Now let the wheel go. How long will it rotate for? For a while, it will be really fast but then the speed will drop gradually. So every time you answer a message in a chat you give the wheel an additional push to keep it rotating. Then another push. And more, and more, and more.

You come home from work (or not, if you are a freelancer) and continue to rotate the wheel the same way. When does the wheel stop? When will you realize that the wheel only rotates until you decide to stop it?

Well, it's easy to say! After all, a single thought about work becomes disgusting. The work will be unpleasant and boring. I do not want to do it now. I won’t!

That is where you fall into another mental trap - the illusion that the work will be unpleasant, in comparison with whatever you do in that moment.

The illusion of unpleasant work

The illusion of unpleasant work can be different. It can come from the fear of disappointment: you start doing the work but do it badly and feel sad and disappointed. It can be a sense of coercion: you begin to do the work and you feel depressed and compelled. It can come from alleged boredom, feeling of work being unbearable and monotonous, or inability to concentrate.

Anyway, the illusion of unpleasant work tries to warn us that as soon as we get down to business, we will immediately begin to experience negative emotions.

What should I do?

To get started, you need to stop the wheel and make it spin in the other direction. And, as soon as we gather momentum, we immediately get into the workflow.

Finally, take a deep breath in, take your laptop, close all unnecessary programs, disable WiFi (if it is not needed) and get to work. When you see what you need to do, you feel a slight discomfort inside. Then start the timer for 15 minutes and quickly get down to business. When the task is completed, do not hesitate and proceed to another one.

Turn the wheel and do not stop! If it's too difficult, give yourself a 5-minute break.

After an hour and a half of non-stop working it will absorb you so much that the world around you will cease to exist.

Now the wheel rotates with a great speed in the correct direction. Now any finished task will push it again and again, supporting a rapid rotation. And now you can blame yourself for having wasted three months, a year or five years!

P.S. Be sure to try and overcome the inertia of laziness and maximize the inertia of the work. This will convince you once again that every victory over yourself brings great joy, pleasure, and increases self-esteem.