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Welcome to the Thought Palace of Rahul Rajeev

2 minutes is all you need

Mindset Oct 17, 2021

Procrastination and I go way back. We have been at war with each other for a very long time. I have always felt that all the battles were tipped in his favour. As I grew older the pressure was on me to finally get rid of procrastination. Because I knew the time I had on this planet was limited and I was not going to waste it all on procrastination.

I wanted to do things that brought meaning into my life and others. Things that gave me a sense of joy and purpose. To commit to a routine and break away from things that had become mindless chores.

I chased long term goals over systems, results over process. Big mistake. Procrastination was laughing at me, for he was always one step ahead. It was as if he had access to all my plans and calculations.

I read a lot, I watched a lot! Several hundred solutions out there but none worked for me. All of them were useful until they broke down.

The entropy of the universe always tends to chaos.

Procrastination was my final boss, the omega villain. The one that I had to beat. But every day when I try to do the work that matters to me, he wins. I do win here and there, but that is just sheer external motivation pumping me up. On my own, I kept losing.

But then I beat him!

So how did I beat my procrastination? Well, I didn't. That was never the way to subdue him. I just accepted his presence and walked by him as I did my work. Sounds easy? I hope not, because it never was.

Had to get rid of goals first. And then the results. Then had to create a system and processes. But these are larger tasks. What is the minimum task one could do to accept Mr procrastination?

It is the simple rule of thumb; "Give it two minutes".

Procrastination is resistance. It is friction. How do you beat friction? You don't! What you do is get past the limiting coefficient of friction (Yeah, I love Physics). Get the ball moving. So whenever you want to do something, whether you "feel like it", or if you are "not in the mood", give it two minutes. Sit down and commit for two minutes.

That two minutes will get the ball moving. You will meet Mr Procrastination during these 120 seconds. Hug him and move on. He might scream at you because that is what he does. Nevertheless, commit. You will soon forget all about him and the work just happens.

Make it a process and create a system around the processes that you create. Before you know it, you realise you have entered the "flow". Flow is where your best work is. Flow is what we yearn for. You get there by committing just frickin 2 minutes.

And that's how I made my peace with Mr Procrastination.

What I learned during this transition is that no system can keep you afloat if you can't sit down and submit to your day-to-day. We all have great plans. What we lack is smaller day-to-day action. That is what procrastination steals from us. So keep it simple. Start every task with 2 minutes of focus.  That 2-minute battle is the only battle you should pay attention to.

Hopefully, you will find your way from there.

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