I put shit off. I put putting shit off… off. I am the KING OF PROCRASTINATION… BOW TO ME PEASANTS! Not now though… later. I don’t feel like it right now. I’m busy playing on my cell phone.
Some days, there’s not even a microcosm of procrastination from start to finish. Those are probably the most satisfying days. You know those days that you sit down on for dinner and you exclaim, “DONE” with a tired smile on your face? That’s the type of day I’m talking about. Those can be my favorite. I also love days where I adventure, travel, eat, goof around, play video games, chit-chat about nothing… but that’s not what we’re addressing here.
Even though there are days that we’re extraordinarily busy, there can be this sense that we’ve accomplished nothing of substance. As if whatever we did throughout the day had no impact on really anything important. Did today bring us any closer to the goals we’ve set? Did the actions today create memorable experiences for us and those around us? Have we made progress? Why do we still feel like there’s SO MUCH MORE TO DO?!
Sometimes the progress is there, possibly even tangible depending on what we’re trying to do. Sometimes we can’t see the progress, but we can feel it. Sometimes we see improvement but it doesn’t necessarily equate to progress. Taking a day to clean the entire house is certainly satisfying and meditative in a sense, but it doesn’t get that book you’ve been dying to write published. Skipping a day’s physical fitness to reorganize the office streamlines a workday but it doesn’t get you those chiseled abs you’ve been telling yourself you’re going to get. Skipping a martial arts class because you’re tired doesn’t get you closer to a black belt.
We can be busy and still procrastinate, with good reasons too!… or so we tell ourselves. It’s like a distraction away from our inner values and thoughts. I once watched someone pick up a pile of rocks and put them in another pile 2 feet behind them while we were cleaning out a building. My question was posed to this person verbally, “What in the actual fuck are you doing?” Their response? “Tidying up!” In their defense, this person was as soft as puppy shit so it was of no surprise, but just another example of them staying busy to avoid the real task of cleaning (which was usually their forte). This person had an inner monologue that told themselves it was a productive idea. On a greater scale, we all do the same thing. We move shit around, tell ourselves that we’re too busy to ______________ (fill in the blank), and decide it was a good idea… meanwhile we’ve avoided real tasks.
But our chasing of perfection or “the right path” can be debilitating too. There have been moments where I think about all the time I’ve spent running on a treadmill and getting nowhere, metaphorically speaking. Literally speaking, treadmills can be quite both the angel and devil on your shoulders. Regardless, the thoughts about not wanting to “waste my time” doing something are thoughts that benefit no one. They only paralyze me. They stick me in a chair browsing the internet for hours while no tasks actually get done.
“Okay… count down from 10 scrolls on Reddit and then you have to go to the gym.”
“10 more scrolls and you have to type out that email.”
“10 more scrolls and you have to get into bed.”
Yeah, this is the “baitin'” bullshit I put myself through… because “I’ll do it later.” THAT MOTHER FUCKER! Whoever that voice is, I know it’s not me. It’s a tool of Satan himself. That red piece of shit wants no progress and for us to all waste away… unaccomplished, unsatisfied, useless, sad, and defeated.
Yesterday I had a particularly unproductive day. From the moment I woke up, very little got done. My mornings typically start with either meditation, a cold shower, some journaling … or all 3 (usually all 3). I journaled, but then I couldn’t bring myself to take a cold shower. That’s a MUST for me daily. If I can sit in that for 5-10 minutes, the day is mine. The hardest part is just stepping beyond the curtain, once you pass the threshold the rest is simple.
To put yourself, willingly, into physical discomfort immediately upon waking… the hardest task of the day is done. When I couldn’t bring myself to just rinse off in some cold water while the entire apartment is heated and full of comfort… it only sets me up for what is bound to be a depressing, downward spiral. Thankfully, there were some minor accomplishments that helped me rebound to deter a deep depressive episode. Had I taken zero action, that dark beast would have gained control of me. I ate the day as a loss, learned my lesson, and decided to come back swinging. Acknowledging that we only have access and control to the present, reminds me that to mentally beat myself up about actions in the past can only hurt the present and subsequently, the future.
Today has been a day in the win column for myself… 90% of my time has been what I consider to be productive (that’s all that matters, damnit!) and even more so joyful. So after a solid few hours of stepping forward, I put myself into a sauna blanket to grab some passive health benefits. When I physically lock myself down from neck to toe, I do 1 of 3 things.
- Meditate (60 minutes can be brutal… but also brutally helpful for the psyche)
- Listen to a podcast (Tim Ferriss, Rogan, or the BillBert podcast … in that order)
- Browse YouTube, fall down the rabbit hole, and hopefully learn something of interest.
Today was option number 3.
I found a few videos that spoke to me and my challenges. These clips were found by sheer luck and at the right time for me to accept their message. There are times where we could hear the information but listen to none of it. This was not one of those times. These videos were a kick in the ass, a slap in the face, a spoon of hot sauce in my cereal (gross). All of which I needed. Anyone dealing with any sort of procrastination, hesitation, or treadmill-esque behavior should take a few minutes to watch and listen. These 2 videos are the reason I sat here for the last hour to write this post. Hopefully it helps someone… besides myself.