Play the “tame game” to get your work done

Giving up comes up naturally when there is piles of work load and you don’t know where to start from. No matter you have your daily to-do list or time block system created for your work, if you are a procrastinator none of the tools come to your rescue.

Procrastinators are not lazy. They know what exactly needs to be done, by when and the importance of it. The problem is, they face a huge initial resistance in getting started.

Let’s see what goes on inside our mind.

A non procrastinators brain is driven by his “Rational” mind and the procrastinator fall in the trap of the “Instant gratification monkey” mind. The moment you sit to do your planned work the monkey mind jumps to the refrigerator reminding you of the pastry inside. The pastry makes you feel hungry and you crave for it. The next moment you are in front of your laptop with the pastry enjoying the episode of “Kapil Sharma Show” or “Koffee with Karan” that you only viewed for few minutes before you fell asleep on the couch watching it.

Hmmm.. after that happens you have completely forgotten about your thesis that needs to be submitted tomorrow and you go on binge watching Kapil Sharma. Isn’t that common?

What happened just now.. your monkey mind hijacked you. It loves do things that are “easy and fun” whereas your rational mind likes to do things that are important for you .. they may not be particularly fun or easy to do.. like completing your homework or writing that important mail or writing the project thesis.

“Easy and fun” mind always wants to enjoy on the playground while the “make sense” mind wants to be at the table wanting to tick off the “To-do” list.

The procrastinators get to their “to-do” list but in a manner that leaves them stressed. This is what happens, when there is just an hour left for the thesis to be submitted, the “panic monster” wakes up, now the monkey is scared of this monster and disappears from the scene and “rational” mind takes charge and that’s how the work gets done. Well lets not even ­discuss the quality of the output. something that ideally should have take 16 hrs. get completed in 1 hr. You get a C grade in your thesis and probably miss out on a great job opportunity. We definitely do dread this.. don’t we? Yet we find it very difficult to come out of this trap.

Play “Tame game” and you see how it changes your productivity pattern.

Follow the steps below to tame the monkey mind:

  • Have a clear to do list for the day or last next 2 hours
    • You won’t waste your time at your table figuring out what needs to be done
  • Before you get on to the work, take couple of deep breaths, the monkey mind gets engaged and calms down
    • Deep breathing relaxes you. The pastry won’t bother you once your monkey has calmed down
  • Once it is calmed down, focus on your “to-do” list.
    • The rational mind takes over and helps you plan or execute your work
  • Have action items that are broken into chunks for which you would need maximum 45 minutes to finish.
    • Chunking helps overcome mental fatigue from the work especially if you don’t enjoy it as much
  • Take a break for 10 minutes for your monkey mind to relax and enjoy
    • This is a reward you are giving yourself, you may want to sip on a cup of coffee, play a YouTube video, listen to your favorite song.
  • Before you focus on your next “45 min” action items, tick off the first
    • The tick is going to give you the mental kick to keep going for till the next break

Trick that monkey mind with the “Tame Game” do it for a while and before you realize this pattern would just become your routine.