A belated Happy New Year to all.
It’s 2016 – and once again it’s time for new beginnings. Perhaps you’re finally going to throw those cigarettes in the bin, take up that death defying overseas challenge, or even finish your novel (you know, the one you’ve been working on for the past five years).
Excuses are the procrastinator’s dream ticket. I can’t do that because of this, or something’s getting in the way of me finishing that thing I started.
When you’ve outgrown the feeding, sleeping and pooping phase of your time on Earth, life gets increasingly hectic with every calendar year – but don’t let that stop you from cracking on with the things that you really want to do.
I’m no Tony Robbins or Mr. Motivator, so I’ll spare you the lecture or inspirational slogans, all I will say is: try to start – or finish – one thing that means something to you by the end of the year, and persevere with it.
I was once the world’s number one procrastinator – in fact, I felt more unmotivated than a sloth on Valium, but I found that beating myself up about it didn’t do me any good – I just ended up in the pub all of the time.
On the flip side, trying to spread yourself too thin is no good either; you just put yourself under too much pressure and end up achieving diddly squat.
I reckon there’s a happy balance. Go to work, do all of those boring things that we as adults have to do, like washing underpants, boiling vegetables and paying the utility bills, but spend a week or so observing your routine carefully…
Next, choose one thing you want to see through by the end of the year. Think about what you need to do to tackle it and then figure out which pockets of time you have each day to chip away at it.
For example, if you’re writing a book and you commute to work on the bus, get your pad, tablet or laptop out and use that time to churn out a rough quota of words. If your round trip takes an hour, then you’ve dedicated at least a full hour a day to your project. If you have one evening when the telly’s crap and you’re sitting around at home, set an additional hour that night to work on it. Even if you take the weekend off, that’s six hours a week – and it hasn’t cost you any additional time.
To help you keep motivated, get up 20 minutes earlier and chow down on some brain foods, so that by the time you’re on the bus, you’re revved up and ready to knock out some award worthy prose.
In addition to making small tweaks and utilising those idle pockets of time in your schedule, take time to see your mates, kick back and watch films in your joggers or do crossword puzzles on the toilet – basically whatever helps you to relax. After all, you can’t fire on all cylinders if you’re tired and stressed out.
In short, chipping away at something bit by bit and taking the time to chill out every day might just be the perfect medium for success (it’s probably worth a try anyway) – and that my friends, is the true procrastinator’s dream ticket.
Go to go, there’s something on Netflix I want to watch.
Do you have any tips on getting things done? Feel free to leave a comment.
Images via D’Mike and Martha de Jong-Lantik