Sunday, September 25, 2016

Why you can't finish what you'd like to start

So, I've been experimenting for the past 4 weeks as to why we don't actually start what we wish to finish, and in other words, why do we procrastinate? The reason behind why we procrastinate is actually not as complex as we anticipated. I have recently finished reading the book, The Chimp Paradox: Mind Management by Prof. Steve Peters and he put context and names to things that I had already known/assumed but solidified my belief of how the mind actually works. 

There are two parts to ourselves, one that we do like and always aspire to be and another that sometimes is uncontrollable and reacts in a self-destructive manner, at least in a social setting. Some of us has better control of ourselves, or rather, we tend to call it the demons in us, when really it's just our primitive side acting up and in other words, our emotional reaction to things. If uncontrolled, it can do exactly that, self-destruct, but at the same time, there are many methods to control this behaviour, you just need to know what works for you. 

So, for the past 4 weeks I have been putting off a task that I had to really do and I documented my feelings and a lot of the time, I found myself putting it off because of how long it would take me. Although I knew that once I started on the task, I would immediately finish it in no time at all, but it was the thought of it that was putting me off. I was convincing myself that it wasn't important enough or that I was too tired to begin the project, not because I couldn't do it, but because I didn't want to do it. 

So, today marks the 4th week of my procrastination and all I did was tell myself I was going to do it, baked myself a cake and placed it in front of me. I told myself that if I get everything done, then  I would be able to enjoy a slice of cake when my housemate comes back from work. So, I finished my project in no time at all, I'm still surprised as to how long the day actually is, I'm updating my blog and I will be drawing for my vision board in awhile. It's really impressive how delayed gratitude actually is the best motivation for ourselves. 

We tend to dismiss our little achievements after it is done and I admit, I'm guilty of it. I work really hard towards something, then I dismiss it as not being as relevant as I expected it to be. These kind of behaviour is actually very negative and demotivates your subconscious which leaves it feeling neglected, so, no matter how small the reward is, I have learnt that it is very important to reward yourself, even if that means, having a cup of hot cocoa. 

One more thing that I have found to be very useful is to not tell everyone about your dreams but to rather convince your subconscious self to want to achieve something by having a vision board and allowing yourself to do research about it, in order to build anticipation. Everyone is of course different, some people find that if they tell someone that they need to lose 5kg, then they feel guilty if they don't and try their best to prove that they can do it, but myself on the other hand, once I've said it, it feels like I've achieved it and so, it really depends on yourself and knowing yourself is key to taking on any challenge. 

Another thing that I find to be very interesting is, I have recently adopted a more minimalist lifestyle, I have followed the KonMari method of decluttering and have been more conscious of the decisions I make. I make it a routine to make my bed every morning and I also make sure to throw the trash and organise my room because it really only takes you 10 minutes to organise your room and if you do it every day, then there is less cumulative clutter and the happier you are to engage in a task and I also feel like my room is a zen space where I am able to work, sleep and also relax at whichever time I feel appropriate. I understand that some people feel like they cannot work in their room, but I have just adopted a different technique, by sleeping on one side and leaning towards the wall while sitting on my bed when I'm working and just lying on the edge of the other side of the bed when I'm just watching series or YouTube videos. So, I think space is really not an issue but it's just how you train your mind to associate with your behaviour and the task you have at hand.

If you'd like me to write more on this theory, do not hesitate to leave a comment, this is just a summary on the work I have been looking into and hopefully, you'd be able to find a work-rest balance as well as these type of things are extremely important in maintaining a healthy and active mind. 

Till my next post. xx

1 comment:

  1. I too am such a HUGE procrastinator! And like you, it's because I dread the time it would take up to do something because I know that once I start something, I will be at it until it is completed. Also, I find that I work much better when pressured by time (due to earlier procrastination) e.g. I am more creative, I get more ideas etc. So I suppose procrastinating can be a good thing too...for me anyhow ;)
    Without ever reading Marie Kondo's book, I had always known that a tidy space makes a more stress-free environment. During my student days, I remember that I could not start my revision until I had cleaned out my entire room. It had become some sort of routine that before exams, I had to tidy my room ;). Even nowadays, before I start cooking...I have to make sure that the kitchen is in order and clean...which kind of makes no sense because it would get dirty once I start cooking...but yeah, I do this all the time! Haha :p

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