I strongly believe that all people are addicts.
No matter who you are, you’re addicted to something. It may be booze. It may be drugs. It may be doing fuck-all with your life.
I have a lot of friends that are in AA, and at least one that is going into rehab this week. So with respect, here is my 12 step program for procrastinators.
This works. I am not kidding.
Procrastinators such as myself have done the following things.
1. We admitted we were powerless over procrastination – that our lives had become unmanageable.
You know this already. You are doing nothing with your life and it disgusts you. You have good taste, you have big dreams, but you do nothing. You will never be good at this. Admit it. Accept it.
2. Came to believe that a system greater than ourselves could put us back to work.
I have been talking about this for years. You have to let go and let the system do its work. A good system tells you what to do and makes you into a better version of yourself. Find such a system, it exists for everyone.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our work over to the system
Give up on the myth of “making decisions.” Only ask the system (which you chose) what it wants you to do, and do it! Since you built it, you will be doing what you want to do at any given time.
Again: this works.
4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
You have accepted your errors and are not trying to avoid them. Personally, I used to be late and cancel appointments all the time. I accepted that I was being an asshole and moved on from it. Accept and admit your flaws and move on.
5. Admitted the exact nature of our wrongs.
Ditto what’s above.
6. Were entirely ready to have the system remove the defects of our work.
You know, as I write this, it’s fascinating to me how much this really applies to all facets of life. Lift (and its dead predecessor Leap) work very much on this system. One day at a time. Let the system do its job. Get support from those who care.
7. Humbly ask the system to take care of our problems.
Since you have designed this system (or chosen one that works), there is no fear of problems with productivity or letting a system make you into something you’re not. You chose it, you filled it with work. Now you just have to have faith in it.
8. Made a list of all persons we have promised work to, and became willing to make amends to them.
Your own flaws must become totally apparent to you. Consider yourself 100% weak because it’s the truth. You’re a human being, not a machine, and you will never be able to behave like a machine. So just do your best each day, accept your errors and admit to them.
9. Made direct amends to such people whenever possible.
Repeat after me: “You know I promised you that I would do work for you last month, and I was late/never delivered? I’m sorry about that.“
10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we procrastinated, promptly admitted it.
Keep yourself honest at all times. Don’t lie to yourself or the whole thing will begin to break down. The human mind is a very self-deceiving thing if you let it. If you fail, that’s ok, just start over tomorrow.
11. Sought through practice to improve our contact with the system.
Always look back to it. Have it on your phone. Remind yourself to use it. Make it the only thing on your home screen. Whatever works. Just keep it in contact at all times.
12. Having had an awakening as a result of these steps, carry this message forward to those in need.
I have believed for at least a year now that absolutely everyone can benefit from using the 12 steps on their productivity problems. I’ve subconsciously been using them for a long time, and only recently did I realize it.
So that is why I’m sharing this.
There, I’ve done it. If you think it can help, please share it too.