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Silence the Drama Queen to Improve your Karma

Silence the Drama Queen to Improve your Karma

The problem with our generation is that we all just want to be onions, nobody wants to be a potato. No, I have not lost my mind (any more than the usual that is), let me explain.

We all just want to be full of complicated layers that take great effort to unpeel and make others overwhelmed and teary eyed as each layer unfolds. There is no charm left in the childlike simplicity of a potato that just innocently sits there with a look that says ‘I’m the most predictable, harmless thing in the world, I have nothing up my sleeve, you can just eat me’. That’s it, no drama, no complications.

Our older generations had quite a few proud potatoes. Life went on at its regular pace without any dramatic twists and turns. Not so much anymore, we new age onions thrive on drama.

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We are not content with being single or committed, we want to be ‘Its complicated’. We may live comfortable cheery lives but we want to say ‘my life is messed up’. The only thought in our heads may be the toppings we want on our pizza tonight, but we want people to believe that we are soulful brooding creatures, who silently battle a hundred storms a day.

We say we don’t, but secretly, we love Drama

Don’t lie, my friend, you know we do! We like to create our own tragedy, drown in self-pity over that tragedy, be the hero who ‘survives’ the tragedy and finally get a standing ovation from the audience for our great achievement (in most cases it’s just a sitting sigh from our friends who know us too well).

A boss’s reprimand for not meeting a deadline turns us into a Facebook life coach with a post that reads “I have already been through hell, so give it your best shot, I will still win, I will survive”. One could have won already had one finished that report. One could get a hundred likes for this post, but one still has to finish that report.

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Break ups transform us into the great Antony mourning his eternal lost love for Cleopatra. It lasted six months, you fought six hundred times. There was no war that stopped your everlasting union, it was the natural thing to happen between two ill-suited adults. No layers to unpeel, it’s a potato scenario.

I know it sounds harsh, I know sometimes our problems overwhelm us. I’m not trying to trivialize life and its issues. Of course, sometimes life does hand us battles, but, most of the time its just little hitches and hiccups. In our heads, we turn these into big wars that need to be fought, big obstacles that need to be overcome. What if, for once, we quit magnifying our problems and let the smaller issues remain small?

What if we kill the drama and just get on with ‘regular usual life’?

It’s probably a bit boring, isn’t it? If we don’t have the heart-wrenching tragedies and overwhelming grand triumphs, we just won’t get that high. Life is the one movie where we get to be the hero and the drama keeps the movie interesting. The problem is that it also kills mental peace. In our attempt to make life a blockbuster, we end up busting our own overwrought minds.

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We obsess over everything – analyze, rationalize and correlate till a theatrical production has been created. Our poor production house of a head which is already half dead from creating the ‘crisis’ then has to go into producing another grand blockbuster around ‘surviving the crisis’. By the time we are tweeting our great survival story, our poor brain is attending its own funeral.

What if for once we avoided the mental suicide? What if something went wrong but we told the drama queen inside us to just take a rest. No exaggeration on what has happened, no assumptions on the reasons why it has happened, no blanket judgment on who is responsible for it, no pleas to the Almighty on why the Universe is singling us out to inflict pain. The universe doesn’t know, the universe doesn’t care, the universe has its own problems to deal with (Unless we want to handle those planet-swallowing black holes while the universe thinks about our break up).

So if a friend has stopped talking to us completely, why don’t we just call and ask what’s wrong instead of lamenting to all the common friends and analyzing it till we reach the conclusion that this happened because we are the most misunderstood person on Earth. (Emotional tweet to follow – Never explain yourself to people who are committed to misunderstanding you. #Iwillsurvive). For all we know, the friend is probably peeved because we don’t have time to call, but have the time to post at least 10 soul searching survival quotes a day.

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Our minds would be a lot more free and peaceful if we didn’t turn everything into a melting saga. So this is my suggestion, let us fight the battles we really need to fight. At other times, let’s tell the drama queen to shut up and just enjoy being a simple, straightforward potato!

Featured photo credit: pixhome.blogspot.com via pixhome.blogspot.in

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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