At one point or another, everyone finds themselves stranded on Procrastination Island. And when I say everyone, I mean everyone, without exception. I’ll be the first to admit I’ve spent a little too much time there lately thanks in part to super-cold, low-energy winter days that make even the smallest tasks feel like colossal undertakings. Luckily, there’s an easy way off of the island, if you can get past a handful of obstacles.
Mapped in an illustration by cartoonist Gemma Correll, Procrastination Island is a totally relatable representation of I’ll-just-do-it-later struggles. Beyond the the Mountains of Distraction lies the Sudden Urge to Do Laundry Valley—which often appears without warning. The Social Media Forest is thick and treacherous. (These videos of animals practicing self-care aren’t going to watch themselves, people.) I’m quite familiar with River of Excuses, which spills into the Sea of the Unknown. Off the coast, you’ll find the Isle of Good Intentions—I’ve got a vacation house there.
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It would be easy enough to ignore your responsibilities and spend an eternity on Daydream Beach, but overcoming procrastination once and for all is easier than you might think. Identifying the reason for your chronic procrastination is the first step. Putting a system in place is next, which includes setting deadlines for yourself (especially for the things you hate to do!) and making sure you have distraction-free work hours. And don’t forget to give yourself a chance to succeed without bending over backwards. That is, allow yourself to tick off a few easy tasks first.
Rescue from Procrastination Island is possible, but you’ll have to build the life raft yourself.
Here’s how listening to music might increase your productivity. Or, find out why the “eat the frog” technique is the best way to start the day.
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