|Posted on June 26, 2011 at 3:41 AM|
Why do we procrastinate?
Why do we sabotage ourselves even when we know what we should do to move towards our goal? I read a great post by Leo Baubata of Zen Habits a couple of months ago where he talked of 4 reasons why we procrastinate:
1) It provides Instant Gratification – It feels better right now
2) It avoids Fear – If I do it wrong what will they say? What will they think of me? If I don’t act then I avoid the risk of making a mistake.
3) It has no immediate negative consequences – Jim Rohn says “We all have the choice of one of two great pains in the world – the pain of regret or the pain of discipline”. The pain of discipline is here and now. The pain of regret comes later… but is by far the worse pain.
4) I overestimate my future self – I have some inner belief that I will be smarter, better, faster in the future. This is a strong belief. The work that is hard today must somehow be easier for the better future me? But, what if’s not? I am deceiving myself.
Self-discipline grows with use.
Self-discipline, like muscle, grows with use. Keep one promise, the next one will be is easier. Run tonight, tomorrow easier. Write now, tomorrow easier.
The other side of the coin, however, is that without use, discipline shrinks! No run today, harder tomorrow. No writing today, harder tomorrow.
How can you develop your self-discipline?
Here are some simple “first steps” you might want to try after reading this article:
1) Try the Pomodoro technique. Do 10 minutes on something important right now.
2) Take time each morning to reflect on what is important
3) Avoid “the watercooler gang” – the groups in our offices and schools who are happily unproductive and enjoy helping others take their place in the group. Make a list of 2-3 people who support you when you talk of your progress in something important in your life.
4) Never underestimate the role of practice and persistence and hard work in success. The “3 steps to untold riches programs” don’t work. The “flat tummy in 1 week while watching TV plan” doesn’t work. There are no shortcuts. Don’t waste time looking.
5) Inspiration tends to come when you have trudged through 40 minutes of painful effort and have not allowed yourself to check email, make a coffee, eat chocolate, check IM… You have to push through to get to inspiration.