5 Keys to Stop Procrastination

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:

Core Abdominal Power Yoga Exercises

Abdominal Set 2:

Ab Yoga Exercises to Shape and Tone Stomach

Pranayama Set to Develop Third Chakra and Overall Energy:

Kapalbhati Pranayama for Optimum Health

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:

Zen Meditation Technique – Zazen

4. Momentum:

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:

Insight Meditation Tips – The Power of Urgency

Silent Mind Meditation Program – Chapter 11 – Urgency

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.

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13 replies
  1. Duddy
    Duddy says:

    You’ve done a great job, maybe a perfect job of teaching the mindfulness component of effectively overcoming procrastination.

    Yet from a clinical-behavioral perspective, serious procrastinators need motivation to fuel their high-procrastination tasks, the ones that really harm their lives when they avoid them.

    The best way to get motivation in these more serious or life interfering instances of procrastination, is to borrow it from daily activities that we love to do and do often.

    Motivation naturally transfers to task that we otherwise avoid when we follow it quickly with an activity that we really enjoy. This is the process that cures autism in kids and clinical depression in adults.

    If it cures autism and depression, it definitely cures procrastination!

    More people need to learn about this evidence-based treatment approach for serious life harming chronic procrastination:
    http://procrastinationfreeliving.com

    Reply
  2. nidhi
    nidhi says:

    Hi Anmol,
    I like the last line in the article very much. Which is “Be a light to yourself. Stop procrastination. Throw away the content of consciousness. There has to be pure consciousness, pure awareness, pure listening.”

    can you elaborate on pure listening more? What do you mean by that? Can you write an article or post a video for this subject?

    Reply
  3. Premium Yoga Mat
    Premium Yoga Mat says:

    Hi Anmol
    Just finished reading the poll results. I’m with the first and large group of procrestinators. I’m going for it full power. and let me add my personal experience – I think that the 4th key, at least on my personal experience, is THE key. Not only in Yoga and Meditation. Anything in life (except maybe marriege? :) ) – and i quote:
    “…the more I do in time, the easier it gets”…
    Thanks again for takign the time and sharing this.
    Super important material!
    Namaste

    Reply
  4. Brian Ramdhan
    Brian Ramdhan says:

    i agree that you should not wait till you get everything perfect because you will never get things perfect. It is better do something and learn from it than to not do anything at all.

    Reply
  5. Bob Crawford
    Bob Crawford says:

    Procrastination is a dream killer, that’s for sure! You’ll find it lurking behind every decision that you make. We put things off because we decide in the moment that the pain of procrastinating is not great enough to make us act. The words ‘comfort zone’ come to mind!

    Thanks for a great post!

    Peace,
    Bob

    Reply
  6. Anmol Mehta
    Anmol Mehta says:

    Hi Debra,

    Your comment proved to be very valuable, as it reminded me of the fact that I forgot such an important key to avoiding procrastination.

    I have added Key #5 to the article now, which is your whole point about how trying to be perfect can lead to procrastination. Thanks for the timely input :-).

    Best,
    Anmol

    Reply
  7. Debra
    Debra says:

    I have found that my procrastination is often caused by perfectionism – not being able to complete something to my complete satisfaction and so choosing to not quite complete the task. Anyone else ever find this to be true?

    Best,
    Debra

    Reply
  8. Benjamin
    Benjamin says:

    Hi Anmol,

    Another very nice post.

    I know of a great healer who had an interesting approach to this. He would say

    "Procrastination is actually a skill, and a useful resource. You have learned how to see images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that help you put things off. All you have to do, is direct that powerful process to the things you need to avoid. In fact, you might choose to learn to procrastinate putting things off. After all, you can always procrastinate later."

    I really love that!

    This way of looking at it has always rung true for me… an easy method to get a grip on your own internal processes.

    Keep smiling,

    Ben

    Reply

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  1. […] 5 Keys to Stop Procrastination via Mastery of Meditation, Kundalini Yoga and Zen by Anmol Mehta on 7/16/09 […]

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