Procrastinate

Just Do It! – How COVID-19 and the “New Normal” Teaches Us to Stop Procrastination

COVID-19 is perhaps the most unforgettable pandemic that this generation has ever faced. This invisible enemy is so fatal that it is not just considered a threat to the integrity of the human body, but the resilience of institutions and economies as well. Having claimed hundreds of thousands of lives and afflicting people by the millions as of writing with total disregard to people of race, religion, color, orientation, or political inclinations, this virus has surely cemented its name in history and our memory.

It also came to test the preparedness of governments to respond by implementing various health measures to “flatten the curve” of its spread. To slow down the spread of the disease, we are all asked to do one simple thing – stay at home. Our forefathers fought wars, saved the world, and maintained peace by going out to fight. Ironically, it is now our turn to reach that same goal by staying at home.

            And so, there you are, locked down in a place you call home, with absolutely no plans for the coming days – for the first time in your life! No more setting off the alarm clock, no more homework to do, no more reports to prepare, and a lot more. Deep inside you are glad that finally, you can afford to spend time on that personal project you have been putting off most of your waking life, finally, you can start messing up your kitchen and learning how to cook, finally, you can dust off that dumbbell and start lifting weights at home. Three months have passed since we are put on community quarantine. Now, ask yourself, did you?

If you said yes to that question, I am 100% sure that whatever you embarked on since the start of the community quarantine, you have already made progress. But for those of you who said no, I already have an answer as to why you’re unsatisfied with yourself during this period. You allowed procrastination to win and victimized yourself with disappointment as the prize.

Procrastination is a behavior that has deep roots ingrained in our psyche. We get to learn it at a young age and usually, people with authoritative upbringing are more likely to procrastinate in their adult life. Examples such as perfectionism, lack of motivation to do an activity, fear of failure, fear of success – yes, people like this exist – or low self-esteem and confidence are some of the reasons why we put off important tasks to a later time. Edward Young, an English poet, brilliantly described procrastination when he wrote that it is “the thief of time.”

This behavior happens to most of us and to be honest, this lockdown has become a perfect indicator of how serious our problem with procrastination is. And personally, feeling that I have all the time in the world made me delay my urgent tasks – even my bread and butter – until there came a time when I said, “enough is enough, I got to get my shit together and make things happen for me, cos if I don’t, I’ll end up feeling sorry for myself.”

So, I took a seat, grabbed a pen and paper, deleted apps that distracted me – TikTok is one of them – and wrote all the things I want to be and have when this lockdown ends. It felt like punishing myself at first but when I finally determined that setting up this website will be one of my achievements during this period, I went ahead and got everything running and fired up my mind. I started small by watching Youtube videos of how to do it and how it works, did my write-ups on every page which includes this maiden article, and planned ahead of time on pressing topics that we will discuss. I made this task a means of combating procrastination and all I can say right now is that I am more satisfied, fulfilled, and excited to see where this journey will take me.

            In tackling procrastination, all you need to do is to start is by instructing your mind that you can and are able to finish the task. When you conditioned your mind already, take action by completing one small task after another, in this way you’re giving yourself the confidence to finish bigger tasks. If one small task fails, don’t give up and keep trying.

COVID-19 will surely stay even after the lockdown has been lifted. But if we’re going to think about it, it has given us the opportunity to improve ourselves and fire up our passion. So, to my fellow millennials who are thinking of this lockdown as wasted time, I suggest you gather your sh*t and just do it cos there’s no other way. Through this, you’ll come out stronger and will be ready to face the “new normal” in a fresher and more accomplished perspective.

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