The Procrastinator VS The Producer
Are you a Procrastinator or a Producer? Are you someone that contributes and adds value to society or do you experience boredom and a lack of purpose in your life?
Do you like to do things last minute? So did I. I often told myself that I work “Better” under pressure and why does it matter how long it takes if get it done? You may be surprised to find out that there may be deeper reasons as to why you procrastinate. The real reason people actually procrastinate is because of vulnerability and a sense of perfectionism. Let me explain. They have an underlying fear of failure and criticism from others. A fundamental truth is that our Productivity determines our worth. When we put something out there of value into the world, it is open judgement and discernment. So how do we let this go and become a producer? To get a better understanding of how to be a producer we must first understand the what, when, where and why of procrastination.
Why We Procrastinate
We procrastinate when our fear of worth is threatened. We do it to temporarily relieve the inner fear of failure. This makes procrastination rewarding. It serves to lessen our fears and temporarily reduce our anxiety. Many of our difficult decisions eventually work themselves out if you wait. This mode of inaction reinforces procrastination. People often define their egos and self by their jobs and work. A judgment of our work is a judgment of who we are. So it almost seems natural that people would hold off on something that would seemingly judge their whole sense of worth.
How We Procrastinate
To observe how you procrastinate, you must ask yourself;
Where are you when you are productive?
What are you doing?
When are you most and least productive?
What are you thinking, feeling, and doing when you are productive and when you are procrastinating?
Tip: Make a Procrastination log and record how you spend your time.
Your Inner Story
“Your personal narrative determines the attitudes and beliefs of how you act.”
A producer says, “I choose to, I decide and I will” over, “I have to or I should.” Should statements elicit depression because you are essentially saying to yourself that what you currently are thinking or doing isn’t good enough in the present moment. Instead, ask yourself what one small step can you do now in the present to achieve your goal? When is the next time I can start? Say, “I am choosing to start rather than having to finish” Remember that if you don’t want to do it, then don’t. Just be willing to accept the consequences of your actions.
Tip: Do the project fast and inadequately first. The process of excellence will follow
Producers Use The Pull Method Over the Push Method
There is a common debate among behaviorists as to whether or not reinforcement or punishment yields more motivation. Producers use the Push Method and Procrastinator use the Pull Method. The Pull Method means that you use benefits and positive incentives to accomplish your goals. The pull method uses threats and motivation through fear to get things done.
Understand the Circle of Unproductivity
The 6 warning signs of procrastination
- Your life feel like long series of obligations. This leads you to talk to yourself in “have to” and “shoulds.” There is no sense of choice in your life.
- You are unrealistic about time. You often talk vaguely about your projects. You lose track of how you spend your time. You have an empty schedule.
- You are vague about your goals and values. You cannot commit to a project. You don’t know what want for yourself and become easily distracted.
- You are unfulfilled and depressed. You are never satisfied with your accomplishments. You often feel guilty about not working and ask yourself, “what’s wrong with me?”
- You are indecisive because you are afraid of criticism. You delay projects because you “need” to make them perfect. You fear blame if something goes wrong. You demand perfection.
- You have low self-esteem. You lack assertiveness and blame outside events on your short-comings. You are afraid to admit your own deficiencies. You feel ineffective in controlling your life.
Be The Producer
No matter what your job is, people get paid for specific and measurable results. Producers inherently know that setting priorities and completing their most important task are two essential skills that lead to achieving success.
Producers are able to access long term thinking and delayed gratification for better future success. This means they put off things like partying, junk food and watching tv because they understand how delaying those short-term reinforcers lead to greater achievement later on.
A study was done by researchers where they put a marshmallow in front of elementary school aged kids in a room by themselves. The kids were told that if they refrained from eating the marshmallow when the adult was gone that they would get a second marshmallow on the adult’s return. The researchers followed up with these kids years down the road to see if there were any correlations with the results of the study. What the researchers found was shocking. They found that the kids that waited ended up at more ivy league schools and higher paying jobs. Producers see their mistakes for what they are. Feedback and opportunities for future growth.
Check out 5 Tips on How to Achieve Any Goal
3 types of distractions
Sometimes you may not be able to focus on your work due to distractions. Here are three typical types of distractions and how you can overcome them.
- Strong emotions- If you are dealing with something personal then there is no way you can get work done. Don’t use work as an escape. Instead give your emotions the attention they deserve. By bringing them into a conscious awareness, you melt them away.
- Warnings of danger- These pressure messages are trying to tell you that not getting this done means death or isolation. Remember to tell yourself that nothing bad will happen if you fail. You can manage anything. Try to avoid the mental movies of future situations. If you can do something in the present moment to move forward then do so, but if you can’t then let it go.
- To do list reminders- We often think of a bunch of little tasks that must be completed when working on a bigger task. Avoid this distraction by writing the small things down. Use those small tasks as a potential reward for completing your bigger task.
- I should have started earlier
- I need to prepare more
- There’s only more work after this
- It’s not perfect yet
- “I can take one small step toward completion.”
- “I want to start now.”
- “I enjoy the process.”
- “My first draft doesn’t need to be perfect.”
Below is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 6 rules to Success.