A second chance

#94/100

“Sometimes in life, you’re not always given a second chance, but if you do, take advantage of it, and go out with a bang!”

-AQUARIA

I was dreading an event that was supposed to take place today. I was unprepared even after having sufficient time to prepare for it. I let my anxiety get the better of me, yet again. Or was I too comfortable being anxious and not having to put in the required efforts to fight back? I don’t really know. As the clock kept ticking to the time of the event, I started losing hope to get a positive outcome out of it. After all we can’t leave everything for our fate to decide.

Something magical happened an hour before the scheduled event. IT GOT POSTPONED! I didn’t know how to react. I literally got the gift of time from the Universe itself. This is how “second chances” must feel like. I was relieved and happy at the same time.

I woke up in the morning today promising myself that I would try my level best to be prepared for everything in life, as much as I can and not leave my life to unexpected chances. I will work hard to live up to to this new version of me. I hate last minute jitters yet I procrastinate till the end, every single time. Things can’t work like this no more. It’s time to change and put an end to this habit, one little step at a time. Let’s do this!

Fix it up

#88/100

“If you say you can or you can’t you are right either way” 

-Henry Ford

Our water purifier at home wasn’t working in the right manner for a long time. We got it a few months back but were struggling with it’s inadequate performance ever since. It used to take an unimaginably long time to fill the water tank with it’s extremely slow pace of filtering the water. We were told that it was due to the low water pressure from the source. We tried to make peace with it’s slow pace of working and got used to it. Our patience reached the limit when the speed of filtering the water declined drastically and we completely ran out of drinking water. We called a technician today who fixed up the purifier and now it works like a charm. I couldn’t believe how happy it made me. Everyday when I looked at the water purifier, it gave me this nagging feeling that something isn’t right. Fixing up this particular thing gave me a sense of happiness that I cannot describe in words.

This really got me thinking. Every time I complete a task that has been long due, my heart explodes with happiness. I get a great sense of accomplishment which lights up my day. There’s always some work or task that I procrastinate everyday for various reasons. The task could be complicated, scary, unknown or uninteresting. When I finally get around to attempt it and eventually complete it, it makes me feel immensely fulfilled. I can’t imagine the amount of progress in my life that I could make if I could push myself to attempt such tasks right away instead of taking an eternity to work on them.

Our normal day consists of 90% routine work and 10% new work/tasks that we either procrastinate or tasks that we believe will end up in a “failure” which I certainly don’t wish to experience. Unfortunately I believed hat as long as I continue to work on things that I am aware of, I don’t need to deal with any disappointment or sadness. The secret to a happy and rather remarkable life lies in attempting those tasks which our mind deems impossible. “I can’t lose weight”, “I can’t get a new job” or “I can’t clear this exam” are the first I thoughts I had when I faced the specified situations. I said all of this without trying my best. I was scared to give my best yet remotely consider the situation where I could fail or not get what I desired.

Fixing this small little element of my house today made me wonder about the other elements in my life that aren’t working well. There is a long list of things that could help turn around my life, yet I’m scared to attempt them. Instead, I waste my time and avoid getting out of my comfort zone. Just imagine how our life would be if we truly believed in ourselves and started working on the long pending elements of our life. Starting today, I’ll start paying attention to such tasks and do my best to attempt it right away.

My fickle mind

#79/100

“The most powerful control we can ever attain, is to be in control of ourselves.” 

Chris Page

My weekends are turning out to be the most unproductive days of my life at the moment. There are a 100 things I wish do during the weekend and I wish to do all those things at the same time. Yesterday I sat down to watch a YouTube video, it was a really engrossing video about the “neuroscience of love”. The video had a neurologist explaining what happens in the brain when a person is in love. 5 minutes into the video, my eyes fell on an unread book besides me and I somehow desperately wanted to start reading the book. I picked up the book, went through a page when my phone beeped, it was a comment on my instagram post. I ended up spending almost 30 minutes scrolling through random feeds on instagram right after that. I hope you get the idea by now, my mind is a like a kid in a candy store during the weekends. It wants to do everything at once.

This reminds me of my childhood. I’ve always been a day dreamer. My primary school teacher had the same complaint about me during the parent teacher’s meet, she mostly found me gazing at the sky outside the window in the middle of a lecture. I’ve consistently found it difficult to concentrate on one thing for a long time.

I still haven’t found a way out to deal with my hyperactive mind. It might be because I’m yet to work on myself to get past this limitation thrown by my mind. I guess it’s high time I take up the challenge to control my attention deficiency and use it fruitfully to get my work done!

I tried researching on the best ways to counteract lack of focus (I am not calling it Attention Deficit Disorder/ Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder yet because I haven’t been diagnosed by a certified psychologist but most of my symptoms point right at it). I’m planning to consistently try out these techniques for 90 days starting tomorrow (I’ve never been able to form a habit in 21 days) and post my experience about it after the end of this experiment (January 9th, 2021).

As per the internet, YouTube videos and TedX speeches by people diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, below listed techniques have helped them immensely to make ADD/ADHD their superpower :-

  • Nutrition : Eat wholesome organic food and drink more water. Quitting food that drains our energy and makes us feel hazy. (Sugar, processed food, junk etc)
  • Sweat everyday : Workout everyday, even if it’s just for 10 mins.
  • 8 hrs of sleep everyday
  • Morning routine : Meditation + Gratitude journaling + Workout
  • 30 mins POMODORO : Break your to-do list into smaller tasks, set up a timer for 25 mins, work non-stop for 25 mins against the timer, take a 5 min break
  • Music : Use music as a backdrop to avoid any background distraction while you work
  • Block Time : Schedule time for each activity during the day. Set up a to-do list for the next day and review it by the end of the day.

Hope to see a positive change in my life (possibly a transformation) by the end of my experiment.

Rest it out

The best cure for the body is a quiet mind.

-Napoleon Bonaparte

#23/100

There are days when I’m unable to sleep at night because of the nagging feeling of being unproductive throughout the day. Then there are days like today where I’m completely fine with not moving out of my bed at all. Humans are conditioned by the society to be productive. Wherever you go, we are told to work hard and utilize our time well. But is that all we are supposed to do during our lifetime? After a hectic workweek, I prefer a quiet weekend without any chores to attend to. But as the weekend ends, I feel sad about not utilizing my time optimally. Can our mind be ever happy with what we do?

I had to travel almost 8 hrs a day for 2 days this week for my office commute. Although I had planned to complete few chores during the weekend, my body wouldn’t listen to my mind. All my body wanted to do was rest it out. My mind could have pushed my body to do something productive, I decided to listen to my body this time. It’s completely fine to take an off day or more if you need it. I used to punish myself earlier for lazying around and wasting my time. I had almost convinced myself that I’m a chronic procrastinator. It took me a long time to realize that it was my anxiety that caused me to delay tasks and not procrastination. My anxiety has always managed to get the better of me before any huge event, be it an exam, an interview or any other place that required my complete efforts and attention. I have an “all or none” mindset unfortunately. No matter how hard I try, I always feel unprepared and low on confidence.

Now that I’m trying to understand my mind and emotions better each day, I treat myself better. When we look at other people who are hard on themselves, we realize how grossly wrong and unfair it is to behave in that manner. However, when it comes to our own selves, we can be the toughest task masters the world has ever seen. I’m trying to love myself more each day, be gentle towards my thoughts and listen to myself better. There is no fun in burning ourselves out to the point of no return. Rest it out if you need time, do nothing, eat whatever you want, just try to keep yourself sane. You are your biggest comfort after all.

Why do I procrastinate?

Oh well! Not again!!

I know there are thousands of articles on the internet and a million books written to tackle the massive issue of “Procrastination!” However, even after reading and learning about them in depth, I still haven’t been able to wad off procrastination completely! WHY?

We all know that procrastination brings with itself unwanted anxiety and negativity. Somehow, I’ve become too comfortable with it. Every single day I wake up with the single most thought of completing my work and leave office ON TIME. However, even on lean days I find myself working till the last moment and reach home late…YET AGAIN! What the hell is wrong with me?

Another example that comes to my mind is preparing for any big interview or work assignment. I’ll try to get as much time possible to prepare well and end up wasting (with enormous guilt!) all the time I have on hand. I find myself preparing and working at the last moment as usual and blow up the big opportunity.

2014-07-16-procrastinator.png

So, why do I keep on repeating the same mistakes again? Am I too dumb to understand what’s going wrong and not able to apply corrective measures? Or am I happy with the way things are and don’t want to change anything?

The answer is NONE OF THE ABOVE!

Well, while dealing with procrastination, the biggest mistake everyone makes is to connect it with laziness. I agree, there are people who do not get things done because they are too lazy to work straight away. However, there are few people who genuinely crave to get rid of procrastination and are still unable to do so. Here’s a little glimpse of their thought process in advance of a new assignment :-

  • STAGE 1 : THE BEGINNING – A new assignment!! A clean slate for me to work on. Let me gather all the neccessary tools to conquer this! I’m going to slay this!
  • STAGE 2 : ERROR ALERT – You make a little unimportant mistake somewhere and your mind starts churning “ALERT” messages. You try to ignore them and keep working.
  • STAGE 3 : ENTER “FEAR” –  The big “F”. The biggest villain in anyone’s life. The reason why people quit things midway and are happy in the comfort zone. It makes people believe “IT’S BETTER NOT TO TRY THAN TO END UP FAILING”
  • STAGE 4 : I QUIT –  The well known result of extreme procrastinators. Quit everything you do midway, do it at the last moment as it gives you a solid support in case you fail. You can always end up blaming your “procrastination” for the failure instead of embracing it.

That’s it. You do not want to accept “FAILURE” and stick to procrastination as it saves you the trouble of believing that you’ve failed because of  your incompetancy. You want to live in a bubble where failure doesn’t exist. Even if you fail, it’s because of “procrastination” and NOT because of YOU! You can always hear procrastinators say “If only I did not procrastinate, I would have succeeded!” That’s their defence mechanism churning nonsensical excuses to help them deal with reality.

So, how do you get over this?

ACCEPTANCE & REHEARSAL

ACCEPTANCE – You need to accept the fact that failure is a part and parcel of life. You can try your best for all the assignments you work for and still end up failing it. That doesn’t mean you are not doing well. Each mistake is a learning opportunity. Try not to repeat the same mistake again instead of avoiding it completely. Committing a mistake provides you an opportunity  and experience to correct it the next time. Avoiding it keeps the ground wide open to commit it again. So, it’s always important to try!

REHEARSAL – Instead of blowing up the big chance that comes your way, why don’t rehearse for it? Try working a little each day to prepare yourself for the big event. Anticipate the future course of action and start preparing for it. You always have a faint idea of the opportunities that could come your way in alignment with your goals in life. Utilise each day to prepare for it so that your fear is weakened on the D-day. Fuel your strengths not your fears!

Hopefully this summarises the thought process of procrastinators and provides valuable insights to deal with it in a better manner.

More power to the procrastinators!!

Ciao!