Why do we procrastinate?
Why do we procrastinate?

Why do we procrastinate?

“How soon not now, becomes never.” ~ Martin Luther

Let’s imagine that you have a great interest in computer programming, and want to get a high-paying job at a top software company. Now, all you have to do is get better at computer programming and concepts, and clear the interviews and get that job.

That sounds simple right. It should be easily achievable, since you have passion for it.

But chances are, you will never be able to achieve this dream of yours. You might not be able to start with the interview preparation at all.

Despite having passion, and high motivation, the day you have to start preparing for the interviews you think, “Today I am feeling tired. I woke up early and did not get enough sleep. No way I can sit and concentrate on this. Let me do this tomorrow“.

Next day, “I had a tough day today. I cannot sit and learn coding right now. Tomorrow I will definitely start this“.

Tomorrow comes again, but that night is a movie night because you “deserve” it after a tough week. So you think, “I will do this tomorrow“.

That tomorrow where you actually start your preparation never arrives!

By the end of that week, you would have forgotten all about your goal of getting a high-paying job. By the end of that month, you will be feeling guilty that you procrastinated doing the thing you wanted so much.

So where exactly did it go wrong? What stopped you from going where you wanted to go? Even though the correct answer is yourself, you have to dig deeper to actually know why you were not able to even take a stab at achieving your goals.

The reason is very simple. You had no detailed action plan as to how you will achieve your goal. You just had a goal and you thought you will figure out what to do when you have to actually do it. But unfortunately, your mind does not work that way.

When you want to accomplish something and you don’t have an action plan, you are bound to fail.

Your mind does not like failing. It is always looking for gratification.

When it realizes that it cannot get gratification from your goal, your mind just gets distracted by things that are easily achievable – like watching a movie, playing a video game, social media, sleeping. That’s how you start to procrastinate.

When it comes to learning programming and getting that high paying job, your action plan is just two steps. Your mind has no way of figuring out how it should accomplish each step.

What should you start learning? Should you start coding? What should you code? How much time should you spend on this? What is the deadline you have set for yourself? What is the success measure by the end of the month?

You should define answers for each of these questions clearly and divide them into easily achievable tasks which you can track easily. This way your mind gets the gratification from each task that is achieved and you will also keep yourself accountable, and stay motivated.

Motivation or inspiration does not last if you don’t take action.

You should have an action plan to achieve what you want to achieve, and most importantly take consistent action towards your goal, so that you don’t get caught in the procrastination loop.

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain

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