How to Stop Procrastinating
Recently I received an email from a reader who requested help on how to stop procrastination, as this was causing him innumerable problems in life. Procrastination, as we all probably know, can affect our lives negatively at many levels. It can prevent us from moving ahead in the manifested world, as well as certainly prevent us from breaking free from the endless stream of ego centric thoughts and desires in the spiritual world. So in this article I would like to share with you some of the tips I gave him, and expand on the spiritual aspect of this important topic as well.
1-2. Energy & Character:
The first 2 keys for putting an end to procrastination is Energy and Character. I have bundled them together because there exists an excellent solution which helps with both these issues. Essentially, our energy comes from our core region which is governed by the Third Chakra (Navel or Solar Pluxes Chakra), and this very same chakra is also responsible for building our character and willpower. So one of the first things to do, in order to break free from the habit of procrastination, is to work on this center.
Below, let me give you several great options for developing your core energy and balancing the Navel Chakra. I suggest to rotate the sets that are given and to include the Breathing exercise as well for maximum benefit. The body, especially muscles, get acclimatized to repetitive routines over time, so change ups are necessary to challenge and thus insure continuous muscle development and physical improvement.
Abdominal Set 1:
Abdominal Set 2:
Pranayama Set to Develop Third Chakra and Overall Energy:
The above combination will prove to be very potent in developing your core energy and developing your character.
3. Mood Mastery:
The other factor which often engenders procrastination is the inability to do what needs to be done because of mood. You simply feel lazy or are not in the mood, so you procrastinate. The number one technique for helping you master your mood and do what needs to be done right away is without a doubt, Zen Meditation or Zazen practice. This practice is very effective in teaching you how to live in the moment and perform the action required by life at that given moment. The ideal practice to achieve this mastery I have found to be 20 minutes, 2 times per day. Here is the link to this profound technique:
Another key, I want to mention is the role that momentum plays in breaking the habit of procrastination. What I have found is that the more I do in time, the easier it gets to continue this approach and attitude. It is like a snowball affect, where getting started in the hardest part, and then it gets easier as you build momentum.
5. Don’t Try to Do Things Perfectly – The Golden Rule:
The final key is really very important to helping you break this habit (thanks for the reminder Debra ). In fact it is so important that I call it my Golden Rule. It is the 70% rule, which says that don’t try to do things perfectly, instead if you can do them even 70% of max that is fine, just begin. I have written about this previously in the ever popular article The Golden Rule to Stop Excuses and Start Meditation Now. The benefit of this attitude should not be underestimated, it has helped me accomplish a great deal in life, including this very blog .
Importance of Urgency:
Procrastination essentially means that there is a lack of urgency, and to break through the false reality of dualistic thinking, urgency is a must and procrastination is one of the biggest obstacles. Time is not a factor for breaking through. You can do it right now, in fact you can only do it right now. Thinking in terms of time is illusionary and false. Psychological time is a fabrication of thinking and has no reality, so what must be done, must be done right now. So if you want to transform, transform now.
Here are 2 articles where I discuss this in greater depth:
To inspire you further, here are J. Krishnamurti’s own words on stopping procrastination and breaking free:
Be a light to yourself. Stop procrastination. Throw away the content of consciousness. There has to be pure consciousness, pure awareness, pure listening.
It’s Now or Never.