It was once only high-school students who waited until the day before a homework piece was due to do it. College students then adapted to these frowned upon practices. What do you know, now we see it in the work place. 10, 20, 30+ years of experience and people still wait until the last-minute to do projects, write speeches, create a game-plan.
These are the most successful people in the world. I do not even have to pull data to show you, I can tell you right here and now.
These people are true Pro-accelerators. That’s right, the title of Procrastinator will soon be obsolete as more begin to see the significance of limiting yourself.
Starting Off Simple
Those pursuing outrageous activities such as Parkour are always bombarded with warnings to “take it easy”, “don’t push yourself”, “are you sure you’re ready?”
By sending these warnings, it pushes the Traceur (Person who is involved in Parkour), to take a minute to evaluate himself before performing a dangerous acrobatic move. What are we doing? We are limiting them to be safe and make conscious decisions. Or are we?
As much as I believe that life should be lived like a sport– acted on impulse — this minute that the Traceur has to evaluate his situation is powerful. Not only because it can save his life, but because he can make the wisest decision in one minute than he could if he took an hour to observe, calculate, trace, and run smaller trials of his overall acrobatic jump.
He is already pumped and ready, the adrenaline is coursing through his body and every sense is focused, yet expanded to encompass all angels of the jump. His mind is the most acute and focused on creating a successful jump.
If he had taken that hour to observe, calculate, trace, and run smaller trials of his jump, he would end up nervous, afraid, and even if he still thinks he can make it. The adrenaline is long past, he has over-thought the execution and in the hour he was studying the move, he remembered about the holiday dinner he has with his family on the weekend. He called a couple friends to ask about the move and they ended up talking to him about going out that night to the movies. The whole hour he spent studying the jump, he used 5% of his energy on the task at hand and 95% on the rest of his life.
Limiting Yourself in School
I skipped my junior and senior year at high school and went straight to college thanks to the Running Start Program in Belvidere, Illinois. I took all college courses and received my associates degree with honors, two days before I received my high school diploma. During the two years I spent in college, I wrote over eight 5+ page papers, seven of which I wrote the night before or the morning of the day it was due. This is how I produce the best work possible, and it is the same for you.
Do you remember writing any papers for school that you wrote the day before or day of? You probably recollect the feelings you had about staying up until 3 or 4am in the morning to write it. Sure you can complain about how tired you are the next day, but it is rare to complain about how tired you are while you are completing the task. There is no time to so who cares.
You did it!
You were even an over-achiever and wrote an extra page to make it seem like you spent a longer time on it than most. You get it back and of course you received an A. You nearly pulled an all-nighter to write the paper, you damn well deserve an A.
What You Did When You Didn’t
That paper you received an A on was assigned nearly a month before you turned it in. Silly professor!
I can put an endless list here, right now, of what you could do in a 29 day period while you “procrastinate” on the assignment. That would be a waste though, you just had all that time to do whatever you wanted before the paper was due. So what are some things you do to enjoy yourself?
Can you guess what some of the other students did while you were using your imagination to mix mentos and pop together, play video games, and whatever other things you did in that 29 day period? Ah, of course they were preparing, they were in the..the..the LIBRARY!
That actually is not a bad thing, I saw you in there too. You were researching how to Parkour while the “other students” were reading ancient history written half in Greek.
You get the point.
Alleviate your worry about the assignment and take part in activities that you can learn from, sports like Parkour or learning a new language with Rosetta Stone
Due = Do
When it is due, is when you should do whatever it is.
Do you get the life lesson of this yet? The task itself will expand to the time allotted for it.
I just came back from the bookstore where I read Purple Cow by Seth Godin. I got there at 9:45 and had to pick up someone at Starbucks at 11:05. Lucky for me, the bookstore and Starbucks are right across the street from each other. Before I arrived at the bookstore I told myself I had until 11 to finish the book completely — I have not even started it.
At 10:59 I turned the last page and saw a picture of Seth’s bald head, often the signature of both the beginning and end of his book. I did it, and it was no easy task. I read quickly and took from the book the most important factors, but I did not skip a single page. I have to thank Tim Ferriss for teaching me reading techniques to read quicker and still gain the same amount of knowledge.
Thoughts Become Things
Who knows how many great philosophers, great leaders, great activists, and even a common person has realized the power of their thoughts. The impossible has been done in life because one person thought it was possible. This is the only time you should NOT limit yourself.
When you set time limits to complete a task, you adjust your mind-set to complete it in that time. It seems we have forgotten the power we have even though we continue to use it. Now that you are aware of your pro-accelerating abilities you can break your worry of “procrastinating” and truly enjoy yourself.
Stay Positive and Unlimited
Garth E. Beyer