The secret to killing procrastination is to immerse your mind fully in the present moment, where you can enjoy the work for what it is rather than constantly stress over the limitless number of tasks you can identify for the future (or even worse — getting into analysis paralysis in trying to ‘debug’ why you’re procrastinating).
For a long time I’ve had a serious procrastination issue, and only recently made a big breakthrough. My solution is similar to what you suggest (i.e. stop the vicious cycle of getting into analysis paralysis about the unlimited list of tasks coming up in the future, and about your own meta-procrastination):
- Stop worrying about why it’s difficult to stop procrastinating on a project, stop worrying about all the tasks that are coming up in the future, and simply focus completely and entirely on the present, and enjoy that.
- Do not let your mind constantly drift to the future and worry about all the work you need to get done. If you let your mind drift away to the future too much, you’ll find yourself in analysis paralysis 99% of the time, and only getting work done 1% of the time.
- Bring your mind completely back to the present moment, and you’ll find yourself enjoying working and getting things done. Each small success is a reward that propels you to the next task happily.
- The paradox is the more you worry and try to “fix” yourself by asking “why is it so draining to do X?”, the more draining it becomes to actually do X. Every time you ask yourself the question, you give legitimacy to the idea that it’s daunting or intimidating, when it’s really not and there’s no inherent reason why it has to be.
- The hardest part about the paradox is realizing that part of the solution to procrastination is to stop asking yourself why you procrastinate (in some attempt to logically fix yourself), because that only makes it worse. Procrastination happens because your mind is not where it should be, and you develop a vicious cycle of worrying about worrying … about procrastination.
- The final breakthrough will come when you realize that procrastination is an illusion. The only reason it exists is because you believe it exists. So how do you break out of the cycle? Meditation, or simply focusing on the present.
- If you have trouble meditating on the moment, this instructional audio is extremely helpful:
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