Everyone agrees that procrastination is bad.
If you Google “how to fight procrastination off” or something similar you will get tens of millions of results.
Unsurprisingly, there exists even an “Ultimate Guide To Fighting Procrastination“.
However, I dare argue there’s something even worse than the much-dreaded procrastination.
Ready for it?
What is even worse than procrastination is:
Wasting Your Valuable Time On Stupid Bullshit!!!
Why do I get the nagging feeling that you immediately agree with me on this?
I can see you animatedly moving your head up and down, no point in hiding it!
Let me clarify: I don’t mean to suggest here that procrastination is free of all charges attributed to it. No, of course not. If applied in a systematic or (worse) pathological fashion, procrastination can be severely harmful to every important aspect of your life.
What I am saying, though, is:
Guys, let’s prioritise!
Devoting your valuable time to things that are neither meaningful nor helpful to you is far worse than procrastination.
To state it in a simpler way:
To Procrastinate Is To Remain Inert In Your Current Position Instead Of Moving Forward
But To Waste Your Time On Things That Are Actually Meaningless To You
Is To Move Backwards!
So I declare that you must first strive to stop wasting your time on all these worthless activities, before being able to properly take on procrastination.
And, here, I think I can help you.
I will do so by sharing with you 18 surefire and relatively easy to implement ways to drastically reduce the frequency of you proclaiming to yourself (or others): “Boy, was that a complete waste of time, or what…”!
Here goes the first part, and please make sure you pay close attention! I assure you that this is helpful advice, drawn from my extensive personal experience of unreasonable and uncalled for (not to mention irretrievable) waste of time.
1. Watch Less TV
And I’m not talking just about the old-fashioned, trashy, pre-cooked, nefarious-commercial-infested, arteriosclerotic, low-IQ-inducing channels available when you switch on the screen in your living room or bedroom.
(Who watches “regular TV” nowadays, anyway)?
This ALSO covers (almost) any kind of “binge-watching” on Netflix, Metflix, Setflix or however they call these mushrooming platforms nowadays.
Just to make an important clarification, here:
In my book, “binge-watching” is whatever devours more than 1 consecutive hour of your precious time, leaving you thereafter with a void the size of Grand Canyon in your soul, and without any new knowledge or skills acquired whatsoever.
How to avoid watching TV?
Whenever you feel enticed to switch it on, YOU DON’T SWITCH IT ON.
You do something else instead. Something less passive. Whatever that may be.
Open a book. Go for a walk. Comb your hair. I don’t know. There are a million things you can and should do instead.
And, of course, this does not include browsing through your social media feed.
(By the way, I didn’t even bother including the latter in this list. I take it as a given that you are already aware of that).
Remain faithful in your new, TV addiction-less life, until the time when the unhealthy urge eventually lets go of you.
2. For Every “YES” You Say (To Others Or Yourself)
You Must Count Twenty “NO”s
If you really apply this powerful technique, I guarantee that you will become very careful as to which will be the few, “lucky” activities which you will eventually honor with your rare and valuable “YES”.
Try this, at least for 24 hours. Pick whichever day seems convenient to you for that purpose.
Then, write back to me and tell me how it went for you.
3. Drastically Reduce The Number Of Meetings You Attend At Work
Someone once said something like: “search through every park in every city; chances are you will not find a single statue dedicated to a committee”.
The gangrene of productivity, creativity, good relations, calmness, happiness, balanced lifestyle, and, in general, of any word in any language with even the slightest hint of embedded positivity.
Now, to manage skipping meetings systematically may seem like a tough task, but in reality it is easier than one would imagine.
Let’s start by the (conservative) assumption that, in an average week, your attendance is not required in about 95% of the meetings you receive an invitation for.
So, make it your goal to attend as few of them as possible. A good rule of thumb is: “Should I not attend this meeting, will I be fired?“. If the answer is no, you have no reason not to skip it.
How to do it?
Claim that you are busy. Better, if you’re not actually busy, find a reason to be. Then tell the meeting organizer that you can share your views in written, should she require them.
Trust me, this works miracles, and has a multiplying effect of relief on so many an area of your life.
Ideally, you want to reach a place where you attend only spontaneous, single-themed and short meetings, organized by you.
Freedom from meetings is one of the essential freedoms of our times, folks!
4. Don’t Hold A Grudge Against Anyone Or Anything
Oh, goodness me, stay away from that emotional equivalent of the bubonic plague!
That doesn’t mean you must remain submissive and unresponsive to anything bad happening to you.
No, by all means, react, if you must, and do so decisively. But AFTER you’ve done what you’ve had to do, just let it go and don’t ruminate too much over what happened. Even better, don’t ruminate at all over it.
Believe you me, you will impressively increase the quality of your life, if you turn this into a habit.
The key to success here (as with almost everything in life) is to be consistent, persistent (that is, refuse to give up), and apply a gradual approach.
5. If You Feel You Have Entered A Place You Had Rather Never Entered
Backtrack And Leave As Soon As You Can
If you absolutely must stay, stay for the strictly minimum duration of time required.
Then vanish, quickly and (preferably) unnoticeably, like a shadow in the night.
This being said, in some cases it may even be better to make a mini-scene when leaving.
Thus, you ensure that you will never be invited again to a future, similar occasion. Just do so deliberately and playfully, as if you were acting in a play or a movie.
I must caution you, though: never create this kind of scene, unless you have the emotional upper hand vis-à-vis yourself.
That means that if you cannot control your emotional reactions and you are likely to hold grudges (see point above), the second part of this solution is not for you.
At least not until you practice and master the “no grudges” part.
6. Be Selective As To When And For Whom You Pick Up The Phone Or Open The Door
That may sound a bit misanthropic to you, but, on the contrary, it is actually quite the humane behavior!
If you, mindlessly and without first applying a proper filtering process, pick up the phone whenever somebody calls you or open the door of your home (or office) whenever somebody knocks at it, I hate to say it, but you’re screwed. It is a no-brainer, really: this is how you end up dramatically diminishing your quality time
Worse, you are likely to self-trigger an uncalled for “explosion” on your side, and make the poor and (usually) innocent human being on the receiving end of your rage unnecessarily miserable.
So, a careful cherry-picking approach is highly recommendable when it comes to you choosing whether to respond to these everyday mini (yet many) intrusions of your privacy, and claims to your priceless time.
There you have it, friend…!
Since this post is getting too long, I think it’s better if we split it in three parts (each with 6 bullshit-proof ways), so as you have a good opportunity to properly digest all of them and act on the ones you find more relevant for you, or more to your liking.
Therefore, until next time,
Remain safe and alert, and try some or all of these ways out.
And don’t forget to write me back and share with me how they worked for you.