Escape From the Procrastination Prison

Procrastination is a fierce adversary. Once it has a grip on you, it won’t let go—at least not without a bloody fight.

Many years ago, procrastination seduced you. And you thought it had your best interest at heart; it encouraged you to play while you should have been working; it convinced you to put off tasks and activities you don’t like until the last minute; it persuaded you to postpone your important decisions; in summer, it let you sing like the Grasshopper while you should have been storing your food like the Ant.

But you’ve been through enough winters without food to know that procrastination is a great deceiver, who isn’t on your side. Its purpose isn’t to help you.

Now, you want nothing to do with it. You want out.

You know that if you can free yourself, a new world of opportunity and possibility will be open to you. You’ll finally get your life in order, achieve your goals, and maximize your potential.

But procrastination isn’t ready to let you go. While you were giving in to its seduction, it was putting chains around your ankles, wrist, and neck. Now, you want to leave, but it’s not that easy; procrastination has you imprisoned.

You don’t have to remain a prisoner. You can escape from the procrastination prison. But you must be determined, persistent, and strategic.

You must be determined because breaking free from procrastination demands a firm decision, a fixed purpose, a strong resolve.

You must be persistent because breaking free from procrastination often feels like making 1 step forward and 2 steps back. But with persistence, you eventually get the upper hand.

You must be strategic because procrastination is crafty and will use all the tricks in its book to keep you bound and you have to outsmart it.

Expose Its Tactics

Procrastination tailors its tactics to the person. Thus, you must recognize and expose its tactics: you must become aware of how procrastination manifests in your life.

What tasks and activities do you put off? Are you shackled when you have to file your taxes, write an article, complete a project, etc.?

Find out what you procrastinate on. The list may be long, but it’s finite. With that list, you know where your danger zones are, i.e. you know that, when it’s time to file your taxes or write an article or…, procrastination will certainly pay you a visit to make sure its chains are still attached to your neck.

Recognize Its Trinkets

Procrastination pays you a fee in exchange for your compliance with its desires. The problem is that the exchange isn’t to your advantage (or to the advantage of people you’re meant to help). In fact, in exchange for your gold, procrastination gives you glittering trinkets. Not a good trade-off, if you ask me.

You must recognize what glittering trinkets it gives you in exchange for your gold: you must identify what you’re doing when you’re procrastinating.

What activities are you engaging in when you procrastinate? Do you play video games when you should be writing for your blog? Are you chatting on messenger when you should be working (which is what your employer pays you to do: work)?

When you know which activities cause you to falter, you’re better equipped to resist. For instance, you’ll know that every time you’re playing video games, you might be letting procrastination steal your gold in exchange for a glittering trinket.

Take Small Steps Towards Your Targets

The way you stop procrastination in its track and you begin to free yourself from its grip is by taking small steps in the direction of your target. The purpose of those small steps is to break inertia and set you in motion. Once in motion, you’ll have a tendency to stay in motion—and procrastination will find it harder to lock you up.

See, the power of procrastination is to hold you in inertia for as long as possible. But when you begin to take baby steps forward, it loses its grip.