Eastern Mindfulness


6 Super Hacks To Overcome Procrastination via Mindfulness

Procrastination has been one of the biggest barriers to one’s performance & productivity for years now. Being a Mindfulness & a mindset coach, I have been consistently receiving multiple queries on, How can one deal with procrastination?

It feels horrible when you fall prey to procrastination, as you realise that you have lost time without doing anything productive, in fact you were just busy doing nothing!

You are here, reading this article because most probably this has happened with you or may be quiet frequently it keeps on happening with you. Do not worry, you are not alone.

In this article, I shall be sharing 6 super hacks to combat procrastination in an effective way via the science of Mindfulness.

Now, before I reveal those 6 super hacks, I would like to share some alarming procrastination statistics that will blow off your mind.

According to a survey carried out in January’ 2020, approx. 84% of the respondents do fall prey to procrastination. (Some experience it quiet often whereas others experience it rarely).

When we breakdown the number they look something like this,

  • 27.4% of the respondents procrastinate sometimes.
  • 22.1% of the respondents procrastinate quite often.
  • 20.5% of the respondents procrastinate almost every day!
  • 14.4% of the respondents procrastinate rarely whereas
  • 15.6% of the respondents claims to never procrastinate.

That is alarming! For 1 in 5 of us, procrastinating is something that affects our lives severely.

In other words, it’s quite human. It’s not just you, almost everyone you know will have some experience of putting things on a back burner but yes it hurts.

People have been consistently & persistently trying to find solutions to combat their procrastination habit, this can also be seen through the kind of Google searches made on daily basis.

Also if you see the search pattern for procrastination as a query has remained constant, in fact on a rising trend in past few years. (Google search)

 So, the question stands tall & strong; ‘How do we combat procrastination?’

Here I shall be sharing 6 Mindfulness hacks to combat procrastination. So, let’s first unbox the incredible science of Mindfulness & it’s revolutionary principles post which I shall be integrating the 6 hacks into the process.

Mindfulness is the process of projecting objective awareness towards yourself and your engagements in a curious & non-judgemental way.

By doing this, one can breed clarity, creativity & a broader perspective towards a given situation.

4 Important qualities of Mindfulness are;

  • Present moment awareness
  • Non-judgemental attitude
  • Objective perception
  • Curiosity

Mindfulness based hacks shall prove to be super effective in combating procrastination. So, lets unbox them one by one.

Hack 1 : One Step at a Time

  • Supporting idea

Our brain gets super overwhelmed when it encounters a mammoth task and yes, there is a scientific reason to this overwhelm. Our brain is just 2% of the overall body mass but consumes 20% of the overall body energy. This makes it a high maintenance organ! Our brain refrains from engaging in any kind of complex activities, thus when it encounters a mammoth engagement, it instantly tries to avoid it & find excuses to run away from it. This is one of the major reasons of our procrastination.   

  • Effective solution

The best way to combat this situation is to chunk down the task into smaller & less complicated pieces so that our brain is ready to engage effortlessly. Taking one step at a time shall help us to execute our tasks effectively & efficiently.

Hack 2 : Start Easy

  • Supporting idea

This hack is an extension to the previous one. We have an ability to cognitively calculate an effort estimate for our task engagements. This estimation tends to overwhelm us & moreover, unknowingly we start focusing on the difficult aspects of the task. This is how our brain is wired, to spot the negatives & difficulties over positives. This tendency ruins our enthusiasm & we fail to build momentum, resulting into procrastination.

  • Effective solution

The best way to combat this situation is by commencing with the easier aspects of the task. Once you chunk down the task, start picking up the easier portions which will help you build the momentum for further challenges. A series of smaller gratifications shall help you get ready for larger & complex executions.

Hack 3 : Define The Hidden Why

  • Supporting idea

Human beings are emotional beings, we are driven by emotions. We are termed as emotional beings because for most of the times, it’s our limbic brain (emotional brain) that is driving us/controlling us. There are multiple studies that have showcased our emotional decision making process which is later supported by our logical reasoning. The hidden WHY in every task, that we plan to do, triggers our emotional decision-making aspect. Once we are able to define the WHY, we will be able to inspire & motivate ourselves to take action.

  • Effective solution

The best way to initiate a task is by first decoding the WHY element. Why do I need to get this done? WHY denotes the hidden purpose & purpose corelates with our limbic brain. The questions that you are indirectly asking yourself are – How will this make a difference in my life?, How will it change my current state of existence, How will I be able to make a difference. These questions have the potential to trigger your emotional brain.

Hack 4 : What If Analysis

  • Supporting idea

Over the years our brain has evolved dramatically, especially the executive part of it (The pre-frontal cortex). This is where all complex calculations, evaluations, analysis, comparison takes place. When presented with elaborated facts & details, our brain can take faster & smarter decisions. Procrastination can be avoided by helping our brain with a quick ‘what is’ analysis.

  • Effective solution

Whatever task you need to complete, run a quick ‘what if’ analysis by splitting down the points into two columns.

1st – What if I successfully complete the task? How will it benefit me? How will it make a difference? How will it change my current state of existence?

2nd – What if I procrastinate & not do it? How will it negatively impact me? What will I lose?

By doing this analysis, you are empowering your brain with possible implications, details & facts. This shall provide a positive reinforcement to effectively execute the task at hand.

Hack 5 : Zero Down Potential Distractions

  • Supporting idea

We are living in an attention economy, where attention is the rarest commodity. Everyone is vouching for our attention and we need to be wise enough to invest it in the right places. Multiple studies have proven the negative impact of physical & digital distractions on our attention, engagement & productivity. One of the major reasons of procrastination is distraction. We unknowingly invest our resources in unproductive engagements leaving no time for primary tasks.

  • Effective solution

Zero down the potential distractions by isolating yourself, getting rid of unwanted gadgets, digital devices & other notifications so that you can invest your undivided attention on the task at hand.

Make sure that you communicate to the people around you to leave you undisturbed for a predetermined time span. This will dramatically elevate your engagement, attention span & output levels.

Hack 6 : Find an accountability partner

  • Supporting idea

External motivation & push always works wonders when it comes to gaining momentum. We are social beings & productive partnership is what gives us an edge. When you have an accountability partner, you become answerable, responsible & your chances of taking action increases by almost 67%. Many studies have proven that people working in healthy partnerships were more productive & outcome driven compared to solo action takers.   

  • Effective solution

The best way to integrate this principle in play is by finding yourself an accountability partner who could periodically monitor your progress, send reminders & extract action out of you.

These 6 hacks shall work wonders & shall also help you to deal with procrastination in a super effective way.

Just to sum it up i’ll list down all the 6 hacks here so that you can refer them at a glance.

Hack 1 : One Step at a Time.

Hack 2 : Start Easy.

Hack 3 : Define The Hidden Why.

Hack 4 : What If Analysis.

Hack 5 : Zero Down Potential Distractions.

Hack 6 : Find an accountability partner.

Did you find this useful? if YES, share your thoughts below, lets discuss 🙂

Good luck, Alok Taunk | Founder – Eastern Mindfulness & MindFeed App. | www.easternmindfulness.com | www.mindfeedapp.com

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