“Tomorrow it is going to be the day. I will wake up at 5.00 am, meditate for 30 min and then write 10 killing pages of my book”. That’s what my inner voice told me just before I went to bed. I was feeling guilty because I had procrastinated and hadn’t written any pages 3 days in a raw. Here is what happened:
At 4h45, I opened my eyes, I saw the sun lights through the windows. “It is time to wake up”, I thought, but I couldn’t. An internal negotiation started: slow motion, picture the scene.
Mr Procrastinator mind engaged: “Should I wake up? Is it important? What if we don’t do it? Who is going to reprimand us if we don’t?
Mr conscious Mind replied: “man we said yesterday that we should do this, it very important because if …”
Mr procrastinator mind interrupted and then continued with ridiculous excuses:” We didn’t have enough sleep this week, scientists say we need 9 hours of sleep. It still looks a bit dark outside. It is not morning yet. Why are you putting so many constraints? “
Mr Conscious Mind would react “We slept yesterday at 22hoo and 7 hours of sleep are enough. We are not tired…”
Mr procrastinator mind would counter-attacked: “It is our book after all. We decide when we finish. We can delay it. You don’t even know what we are going to do now. ”
Then Mr Conscious Mind would try to imagine different scenarios of waking up.
All this negotiation took place in my mind, but I took zero action. Afterwards I felt asleep again and wake up 45 min later, jumped out of bed with an angered face: “It is the last time I spent so much time in bed, tomorrow I will wake up at 3 am 😊 “.
What is the problem? I was trapped before the negotiation had even got started.
Lesson 1: Chronic procrastinators mistake themselves that they can consciously beat their procrastinator mind in real time negotiations.
To win, we need to have pre-decisions and triggers already set up upfront.
A pre-decision is a decision we make before we enter the context. Triggers represent mini- actions we start now to make that decision sticks until we get in this context.
Lesson 2: Chronic procrastinators fear complexity.
Going from bed to outside the bedroom is a complex task that we usually underestimate. It is made a lot of small mental intermediate actions we assume are straightforward.
Lesson 3: Chronic procrastinators are too optimistic (again).
Jumping out of bed is the exceptional scenario. Moreover, if your move is brutal, you can easily fall into the trap of coming back to sleep.
Solution: Combine visualization and belly breathing.
Step 1: Answer these questions:
- In my case, Q1: Listen to music and Belly breathing Q2: Writing Listening to a piece of music is one of the easiest way to change your state of consciousness smoothly with minimum effort when you are still in bed. It is a passive action. The music can be a motivational or radio news or whatever else that resonate with you. Before the music ends, you can start Belly breathing that will change your state quickly when you are still in bed. How to perform belly breathing(also call Diaphragmatic Breathing)
Step 2: Choose the music you are going to listen to and make sure the music player is near your head
- In my case, I have an mp3 player full of meditation music not far from me. I can reach it with my arm
- In my case, Before I sleep, I picture myself opening my eyes, then I put the earplug, I upgrade the volume. Afterwards, I imagine myself starting 10-15 belly breaths and then I wake up easily.
- The visualization can last 3 min and it is the most important piece of the system.
A master chronic procrastinator who chose to execute on his dreams because of frustration and self-criticism