We, humans, just love to think that we are the cleverest of all creatures on this planet. However those mind-blowing brains that allow us to split the atom and touch the moon are the same exact brains that can’t start an assignment until the day before it’s due.
Even though we developed from really primitive times, we didn’t quite shed the legacy. Now let me break down your brain into two parts: The rational part that is your consciousness, we will call him Marley and then there is an impulsive part that will be called…Jessica. Marley and Jessica are married and both of them form your brain.
Jessica is responsible for your instincts that guide you through life such as hunger, fear or love. Jessica is unreasonable and doesn’t know any language. Believe it or not, Jessica makes all your final decisions. I know you like to think that Marley is the one doing all the thinking and deciding. But the truth is, he is not. Jessica can listen to Marley if she is in the mood..and if Marley wants to start on that project, Jessica will follow. However if one day Jessica prefers to lie on the couch and watch a romantic comedy, that’s what both of them will be doing.
Anyway, we are doing a great job trying to subdue and shape the relationship between Jessica and Marley and that’s how we become successful entrepreneurs and talented artists.
Now let’s see how is this all related to the infamous issue of procrastination.
We often tend to take the decision “I will get up and work out” but magically, 2 hours later we are still on the couch sipping soda. How is that? Well Jessica must be either sleeping or just not in the mood. Ok so what can we do about all this?
- First of all you need to get rid of the most widely reached out method called logic. Logic won’t tame Jessica because she doesn’t know how to reason. You need to either scare or excite her!
- You need to make Jessica happy. If you are hungry, go have a meal. If you are depressed, go watch an episode of Looney Tunes. If you fail to take care of those needs, Jessica will rebel and we don’t want that.
- Try to build a routine through positive and negative reinforcement. Don’t reward yourself if you don’t deserve it. Only reward yourself after you succeed (getting up without hitting snooze 12 times is considered a success), and only punish yourself if you fail.
- Jessica is a feeler. She doesn’t speak any language but she surely has strong emotions. Imagine a picture of yourself after you succeed and also another image of the horrors of failing. That should motivate you enough. You know just like we tell kids to eat their meals or the monster will come and eat them.
- The most complicated aspect of all this is that green “START” button. Take the time to teach Jessica to love doing the things she hates like work out. There’s a reason why we force kids to try guitar lessons.. in times it grows on them.
- Manage your environment and minimize distractions. Jessica is not very smart and wears glasses because she has short sight. She can’t see too far (catch my drift?). Jessica only thinks of the moment and anything can be as distracting as possible in the wrong time. When you decide to start a project, sign out of all devices and its ideal to separate your work area from your fun area.
In time you will start to see patterns in your life, you will know how to control, prevent and manipulate them in your favor. If you are a good, patient husband to Jessica she will serve you well and you need that because she is the steering wheel of your brain.