In this book, we shall explore several coping mechanisms for stress as an office worker, nomad, remote worker, and self-disciplined individual. One such mechanism is self-disciplined procrastination.
Part of being self-disciplined is knowing your limit, which is learning when to regulate duties to others. Self-disciplined procrastination is handling tasks in a way that does not impact the overall quality of the job. When you engage in self-disciplined procrastination, you must ensure your work is not affected and get enough rest. Some common self-disciplined procrastination is as follows;
● Reoccurring calendar reminders that can be snoozed for short periods as often as needed.
o Snooze instead of dismissing it means it is constantly in your face if you don’t snooze it for more than 24 hours.
● Commit to five minutes and continue the task if desired.
o Studies have shown that inertia with starting a task is very powerful. Consider it this way. If you’ve ever helped someone push a car, you know that getting it rolling is the most challenging part. We’ve all had that friend who abruptly applies the brakes. Remember how difficult it was to get going again? It’s much easier to keep things moving once they’ve begun. The same is true in our personal and professional lives.
o Getting started and building momentum is difficult, even when there is a pressing need to do so. Procrastination is not the same as task inertia. Procrastinators put off important tasks to focus on the trivial. They may be afraid of their job, or they may be unsure of what will happen. You may believe you’re in a groove but are stuck in a rut. There are numerous strategies for overcoming inertia.
● Do something shocking to shake yourself out of your rut. List the consequences of not starting a particular habit or chore. For instance, if you don’t exercise, imagine your life as you get older and weaker. Imagine yourself in those situations, and then act right now to prevent them from occurring.
● Concentrate on one task at a time rather than on everything. Choose the smallest part of a task that will get you started. You could go for a walk around the block. Alternatively, you could substitute water for soda. Or you load your plate with more vegetables and less fat. You’re not attempting to shift a mountain but rather the pebble in front of you.
● Give yourself a boost. Set the alarm for 20 minutes. It will help you to keep going once you have started. Then tell yourself that you’ll quit if it doesn’t work in 20 minutes. That kick-start is enough to keep you going when the alarm goes off. Because it’s only a short commitment.
● Reward yourself with mundane tasks. Only use your phone once you have begun your task. Then keep track of the time you work. You can use your phone for one minute every two minutes you work. After a workout, treat yourself to a hot bath or reward yourself with a movie if you’ve stayed on track for a week.
● Try not to punish yourself for not doing something. Punishment increases the likelihood that you will avoid the task in the future if you miss a deadline. Stay calm if you skip a workout or eat something you shouldn’t. You will not achieve your goals in a single day, week, or month, so don’t berate yourself when something goes wrong.
● If you find yourself stuck, go back and repeat the steps. Concentrate on just one thing. Reward yourself with mundane activities to get you started.
● Keep a pen and pad of paper nearby to write down important tasks to complete.
o Circle important information and draw a symbol next to each task. Doing this ensures you prioritize your tasks according to their importance. It also makes your work organized and of high quality. Prioritizing is the key to getting anything meaningful done.
o Cross completed tasks off the written list for a release of dopamine. Dopamine is a significant factor in reward-motivated behavior. It affects motivation, and without motivation, there is no action. It’s always satisfying to cross things off your to-do list. That small checkmark makes you feel accomplished.
o You are motivated when you cross things off your list. It might be a sense of accomplishment for a job well done. Other times, it could be the reprieve of concluding that long-overdue assignment. The bottom line is that crossing things off your to-do list feels good. (So much so that you’ll frequently add a completed task to your list to check it off.)