The Monster called Procrastination

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When Kufre consistently postpones what he should do now to a future (that hardly materializes), he has committed the ‘crime’ called procrastination. I call it a crime because Kufre and, in most cases other people around him, suffer the effect of this. Someone once said that procrastination is the thief of time. I couldn’t agree less! It may startle you. But the truth is that the value of anything is measured by time. Life is measured by time. What should have had benefit last year may have little or no benefit today. Again, postponing the task meant for today to ‘tomorrow’ will ‘kill’ (or is it thief?) time, which means life is reducing in value!

So how then can one stop this monster?

1.     Set goals and see to their attainment: Please don’t get scared about this. Perhaps you have read or heard so much about this goal setting stuff but it doesn’t seem to stick. It’s simple. Just write down what you must do today or this month or this year. Now, go ahead and commit yourself to getting them done. That’s all. Writing down means you must be looking at the list. What you see often sticks better, right? I had a challenge with this until I conquered. Now start with something simple. How about mopping the floor? What of your friend you promised to call for over two months? What about reading at least a chapter off the book you bought since three months ago. Just go ahead and do it; do not procrastinate. Once you are done, you have started conquering procrastination.

2.     Have a reliable person know about your goal: This will help you to be more responsible because someone is doing some checks. In my own case, I write them down and make my wife to be aware. She reminds and nudges me on. This has helped to beat me into track. I am getting used to this and it is a beautiful teamwork! Hurry up and get a friend, your sibling, fiancé, teacher, parent or any reliable person around involved. As it gets sweeter you may not need to do this and procrastination grip is loosening on you.

3.     Don’t despair when it’s not 100%: Yea, for one reason or another, you may not get the result you desired. Maybe you lost someone, had ill-health, monetary predictions didn’t work, a natural disaster that affected you occurred and…name them. What do you do? Sink into the despair hole? Absolutely no! This is where the commitment you made will have to come out. Of course, where there is a will, there sure is a away. Keep staying on course. Be stubborn (but don’t break the law) and rugged. Change the tactics. Work around it. Bulldoze through. Climb over it and… just do everything except giving up. I am sure about this. No force can withstand stubborn commitment. Be stubbornly committed!

4.     Reward yourself as you attain each goal: Your brain is meant to trap signals of repeated events and associate patterned action(s) with them. Each time you are rewarded (could be kind appreciation, money, special gifts, letters, emails, phone call) for your action, you feel happy, don’t you. Why not do this to yourself as you are beating procrastination. As you succeed in one goal, stand in front of the mirror, smile and beat your chest shouting ‘I won’. Or just take a glass of water. Oh it doesn’t need to be something too big. If you can, go out there and give yourself a treat (swimming, skiing, eating … but not anything against your health; there are more goals to attain remember!). When you do this, you brain looks for ways of making you succeed at other goals so that there will be a repeat of the show.

5.     Start these steps immediately. You can beat procrastination. I am on course. You can too!

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