Recently I’ve watched a Ted-Ed video on, “How the Mind of a Procrastinator Works,” by Tim Urban. Procrastination is where you abstain from doing useful, and instead waste your time by being unproductive. The problem is, however, that almost everyone procrastinates. We all have times where we decide to put off our work until the last minute.
Inside the procrastinator’s brain, we have a rational decision maker, who takes control of the wheel. He says, “I’m going to work on my essay, and get it done 3 days before the deadline.” But the problem is, there is also an Instant Gratification Monkey, who takes control of the wheel and says, “You know what? Let’s just watch random cat videos on YouTube instead.”
Then, what happens, is that the Monkey keeps controlling the wheel until the deadline appears. Then the Panic Monster wakes up. The panic monster wakes up whenever the deadline is close and he happens to be the one thing the Monkey is afraid of. He chases the monkey up a tree, and the rational decision maker finally gets a chance to work on his homework. At the very last minute.
The procrastinator’s mindset may work sometimes, but what if you are in a situation where there is no deadline? What if you have a goal to become a doctor someday, but there never is a deadline, so the panic monster will not wake up. Then the monkey keeps control of the wheel forever, leaving you with unachieved goals, regrets, and nothing else.
That is a problem many suffer with, the lack of being self-driven. Time flys by, year by year, and people end up never having achieved their dreams. So, what can you do to stop this? First of all, you can start by making a goal. Then, set the goal into a weekly schedule. Make 52 boxes on a piece of paper.
Those 52 boxes represent 52 weeks. You have to start thinking about what you want to achieve during those 52 weeks, and in fact, your entire life.
The hardest part, however, is to stick to the goal. Others just can’t make you do it, you have to want to achieve it yourself.
In conclusion, it is important to remember that we only have a limited time here on earth. We should start using our time wisely, and make a map of what our goals are and when we plan to achieve them.