Quick update before we start. If you want your questions to be answered with a relevant blog post, head over to ASK ME ANYTHING and leave your questions. I’ll prioritize relevant posts that I believe would be useful for most frequently asked questions.
Question of the week:
“I want to discuss one of my Procrastinating habits of delaying an important task. Usually by focusing on less urgent, more enjoyable, and easier activities instead. I am working as a Full-time Freelance Designer and Developer. I am stuck in a mindset where I would only work if some client comes to me. Otherwise, I will not try to Apply for days or until I feel I need money to pay my bills. And due to this habit I am stuck with making kitchen money right now with no saving or anything.
I would love to see how you motivate yourself to keep working consistently to earn more money even if you have enough savings and no bills coming.”
Why do we Procrastinate to Begin With?
Your question is the Exact reason I’m so much into Mindset & Psychology stuff. I even started to see a therapist about 2 years back to better understand and organize my thoughts to make the best of them! I’m so excited to write this blog post!
To answer your question, I’m in a pretty similar place where I’m only working with ongoing clients at the moment. I’m lucky enough that it’s been over an year since I’ve actively tried to find a new client. But for me, the CAUSE of this behavior was that I had accomplished all my previous goals and now these days I’m pretty much without a direction. I have all the skills & information in the world. I even have a breakdown of a plan how to get there. But I don’t really want something AS BAD as I wanted to build a house of my own, get the car of my dreams, own Apple products (yep that was THE DREAM).
What Procrastination REALLY is
There are so many ways in which our mind & thoughts might confuse us. But the most important thing to understand about Procrastination is that it isn’t what might think or believe it is. We may label ourselves as lazy and think that we’ve figured out the reason for our procrastination and call it a day. But that’s never the case. We only procrastinate when we’re not Really Excited about the project we’re about to work on. Or in other words, when we don’t know our direction and haven’t really come up with an exciting plan. It’s in our best interest that our brain puts us in Procrastination Mode. That is because the brain Loves to automate everything. That’s why its so easy to get into bad habits and so difficult to maintain a good one. Whenever the brain sees a task that it doesn’t see a plan for, it just labels it as a Distraction.
Let that sink in. We can lie to ourselves all day long. But the brain knows what is really up! Unless we are really excited about a project, have a clear goal and a clear set system to reach that goal. Anything you set up as your goal will be marked as a Distraction by your brain and would be discarded.
How to stop Procrastinating
You might’ve heard about the power of Visualizing your Goals, sometimes known as the law of attraction. Where you imagine something really hard every single day and it becomes a reality sooner or later. Magic right? Nope! Then what’s really happening here? Let’s break that down. When you visualize something in such a detail that you feel so close to your goal that you can almost touch it, taste it, smell it – and when you repeat that vision in your mind over and over again. That’s when the brain know the task being assigned to it is something really important. And it assigns all available resources towards making that happen! You suddenly see that thing everywhere. Suddenly everyone seems to be doing the same thing (Like when you buy a particular car, you see it EVERYWHERE! Just like in GTA: Vice City 😃) and at that point it doesn’t matter what you see or hear, your brain will make a connection of whatever the hell is happening around you with your goal and you’ll all of a sudden start seeing possible solutions to your problem everywhere!
All of the above is really all the Information you need to understand what Procrastination is and how to fix it. But there’s still one hidden key that really unlocks it all for you. I believe that key is the difference between Information & Knowledge. See as the world has changed drastically in the last 30 years or so with the revolution of the power of computing. It has changed Everything for us and we don’t even realize why we feel so lost all the time. Let me explain. I love tech so much that it’s the primary driving force for me no matter what I’m working on. It all comes down to tech. But at the same time, it’s pretty much like fire. It can provide you with warmth, help you cook delicious meals but at the same time, if not regulated properly, it can burn down your noodles, house or even a whole f**king forest!
The power of computing is so new that we need to understand that we don’t really understand it properly. Everything is available on the Internet for Free. Anything you may want to learn, it’s there! Literally! There was a point in my life when I used to wonder why would anyone still be poor in this day and age when literally Everything is up for grab! I was so innocent to think that information alone is what we need. That’s also the time when my hard drive was overloaded with random courses from all over the internet!
The missing piece of puzzle always was, still is and always will be the transformation of that information into knowledge. That’s putting it lightly really. Your brain NEEDS to be prepared for receiving the right information at the right time to really bother translating it into knowledge and action for you. This tiny, little thing is the whole reason this blog exists. Because I’m excited to share my experiments and learnings in the domain of how the mind works and the missing relation between the unlimited amount of information on the internet and how to make it really relevant to you and make the best use of it.
The Short Answer
Talent, Skill, Direction & even the whole Systems with exact execution steps can be learned from the internet. But all of that is of no use if you believe you’re lazy. Or if you believe that you cannot do what others Seem to be doing so easily. Or when you believe that you don’t deserve a lot and accept being ok with just what you think you deserve. You will actively get into your own way without even knowing it. Coming back to the original question and a short answer for that, the simple answer is if you just don’t “feel like it” or “you are confused” or “you lack motivation” (Ah motivation, the biggest joke of life! I’ll talk about it some other day). The simple answer to such confusions is to sit down and think real hard what you want? Everyone doesn’t have to be Steve Jobs or Elon Musk or have as much money as Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates. We all have unique needs, personalities and goals that really make us happy. Its only when we try real hard to get to know ourselves and to understand what our life should be about. Only then we can set goals for ourselves that are exciting and eliminate procrastination for good.
I would add the disclaimer again that this is just the tip of the iceberg. There’s so much more to understand about the way our Thoughts and Beliefs work. And how only once we’re aware of such a world exists in which we can try to control our mind, is when we can get started on our journey towards living a life that we Love!