I recently read an answer from this website and it really moved me. So today, I would like to ask consultation on something I have been struggling for years- procrastination.
Every single month I make goals for myself that I will be more punctual, eat healthy, focus on my studies and household works, but within a weeks time, I can see myself getting distracted and indulging in laziness. I tell myself that from tomorrow I will do better but that 'tomorrow' never comes. I find myself piling up my work until the last minute.
Then again, I plan my schedule for the next month and cannot stick to it. This cycle goes on and on. Recently, I have become so frustrated with myself that I just want to give it all up. What should I do?
In this counseling answer:
• Procrastination takes places when an activity has little or no meaning in your life. So first of all, define why it is important.
• Make realistic goals.
• Do not try to enforce everything on yourself at once.
• Wake up early and start your day early.
• Give breaks to yourself.
Assalamu Alaikum dear brother,
Disciplining and organizing oneself is one of the hardest things a person can do. It requires sacrificing leisure time and inactivity and forcing hard work, all of which comes naturally.
Why do we procrastinate?
Procrastination takes places when an activity has little or no meaning in your life. If you prioritized an activity, you would be motivated to complete it and will find ways to avoid distraction.
Simply stating that an activity is important for you will not make you pursue it or change yourself for it. You need to define why it is important. Why is it important that you change yourself and avoid procrastination and be productive and disciplined?
Picture your future
You are 18 right now. What are your goals in life? What are your ambitions and your dreams? What do you see yourself doing in 5 years from now? From 10 years from now?
Remember, if you do not change yourself for what you see yourself doing in 5-10 years from now, you will be the same as you are right now. No change, no growth, no productivity, and ultimately no success. Some people learn this the hard way, but nonetheless work hard and change themselves and get themselves back on track.
Define your passion
- What is one topic that comes to mind when you imagine being successful?
- What topic lights your eyes?
- About what topic do you enjoy reading books?
Remember, success in 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Once you find what it is that you love, and would love to make yourself a professional in that career, you may have to do things that you would not otherwise. You need to love doing what you should to become what you love to become.
Listen to this:
I personally know of a student who wanted to get a 90%+ average in her grade 9 courses when she was 14. However, she greatly struggled with English. However, she was determined to raise her 78% English average to a 90%.
She practiced. She came home from school at 3 pm, did her chores and cleaned to help her mom, and at exactly 6pm, she started reading literary short stories from a book she borrowed from her teacher, and started answering essay questions. She did this for her entire semester.
Check out this video counseling:
At lunch time, she would book a meeting with her English teacher and get her essay proofread once every week. At the end of the day, she did not get a 90%, but earned herself an 86%. Her work ethics changed significantly.
Lunch time meant essay proofreading time. She ate in less than 5 minutes, and spent 35 minutes going over her 1500 word essay with her teacher. She had no motivation from her parents, and she was the oldest. Her motivation was intrinsic. She wanted to pursue medical school, and she still does. She works hard and despite many failures and tough circumstances, she hasn’t given up.
Right now, she changed herself completely. She has an internship at the Heart Institute in Canada, and comes home to study for applying to medical school for 3-4 hours. She obtained her first bachelors in Biology, and now she is pursuing Bachelors in Biochemistry to improve her grades for medical school and research combined. She has her passion, now she needs undivided attention and superb work ethics to make her goals a reality.
Dear brother, you need to find yourself a passion, and imagine yourself making a difference. Sometimes tough circumstances distract us and make us lazy and stressed. However, in life, we need to keep going. If you fall, get up again.
If you keep on failing to follow a schedule, work hard at it, keep on going.
Make a realistic goal
In addition, to making a schedule and following, you need to ensure that the schedule is manageable. Do not make a schedule for each passing minute. Follow the block method timetable. If you are extremely specific with your timetable, more likely than not, you cannot follow it. Such schedules tend to stress us and as a result, it becomes easy to not do anything, something we tend to regret afterwards.
Try these tips when trying to make a schedule.
For an early morning, set a time. This should not be sacrificed. Try to wake up at a set time. For example, if you are trying to be a strong student and maintain good physical health, wake up at around 4 am-5am. This will be the hardest change. However, this will be the most rewarding change.
After, set a time after school for relaxation, around 1-2 hours, after which your undivided attention should be on studies. DO NOT make a timetable, which specifies what should be done at each half-hour. For example, set out an hour block for math.
When it comes to studying, do not try to complete ̈2-3 chapters” per study session. That is impossible. Be realistic based on the difficulty of the chapter and the amount of practice that is needed for a thorough understanding of the chapter.
Lastly, change yourself one-step at a time. DO not try to enforce everything on yourself at once. You will not be able to handle it. Make small changes every day with consistency.
Lastly, realize that it is human nature to make mistakes, to fall short and not be perfect. Accept your imperfections. We learn through mistakes. Mistakes are there to make us better unless we keep on repeating them intentionally.
Thank you for your question and your kind words. 🙂
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.