How I Stopped Procrastinating Part 2

Part 1 can be found here

It is commonly acknowledged by sailors and writers alike that Siren song will lead men to an enchanting death. Ulysses (Greek Ὀδυσσεύς Odysseus; Latin: Ulixes) knew the previous fact. Upon learning that Siren song would render him incapable of returning home to his loving family, he ordered his sailors to tie him to a mast, swords pointed, to prevent him from jumping into the ocean.

As it turns out, Ulysses is not only interesting because of the depth of his characterization, he also gave Tamara Gendler, Yale Philosophy professor, an idea on how to end the procrastination cycle (see the full video here).

See, you need to stop lying to yourself. You know that no matter how strong your initial willpower to not check Facebook while you’re working, quit smoking, start working out, [insert whatever you’ve been blatantly putting off here], you always end up procrastinating. In my first post about procrastination, you understood why you procrastinate, and now I’m here to tell you how you can stop.

The big secret? Get yourself a mast and tie yourself to it. Need to stop checking out pages while trying to be productive? Use websites like Cold Turkey to temporarily block your access of certain pages before you get tempted to use them. Want to work out more? Spend money on a fun class you want to try out, splurge on hot workout gear, give someone you trust a motivational sum of money and make them promise to only give it back if you reach your goal (quick author tip: HIIT is BOMB, 20 minute workouts for 30 days straight and the weight just melts off. Google Jillian Michael’s 30 day shred.) I digress, if you put money on your project beforehand, you’ll more likely work to achieve your goals. None of that “I’m too tired/It’s cold outside/I’ll start tomorrow” bullshit because now your money is on the line. Invest in yourself.

Get to know yourself. Do you always need a snack before studying? Do you need a quiet room? Get all of your requirements sorted beforehand, so you’re not making up lame excuses to get up all the time. Know that once you start you do not have permission to stop until you reach a reasonable goal.

Finally, reward yourself. Make your brain know that workout=hot bath or shower, 45 minutes of studying=20 minutes of Youtube videos, 1 month no smoking=treating yourself to that new thing you wantI’m telling you, Parks and Recreation was on to something when they invented “treat yo’ self”. Aristotle said that a repeated action becomes a habit, and habits are easy, second nature. Rewarding yourself helps turn your goal into a habit.

Along the way, there will also be days when you feel like you can’t anymore. There will be days when your body feels so heavy you will need to sleep and blow it all off. Your health comes before everything. Eat your favorite comfort food and go to bed early, have a good, long cry, confide in a friend or in a stranger. It’s  OK. The next day, wake up early and finish your responsibilities, talk to yourself, get back on track, smile. I believe in you.

Take a deep breath.

You’ve got this.


Stay tuned for part 3. I would love your feedback in the comments.





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