Friday, 30 March 2012

Productive Muslim #5


This entry will continue the previous sharing. Please refer to Productive Muslim #1, Productive Muslim #2. Productive Muslim #3 and Productive Muslim #4.

Alhamdulillah for all the countless Ni'mah that Allah gave every second in our life. Just want to share a topic with the intention to remind myself first, and then to share a little knowledge that I have with others after attending seminar with Abu Productive. I would like to share on Beating Procrastination.

Procrastination comes from Latin "procrastinus", which freely translated comes close to "forward to tomorrow". It can be defined as "putting things off and avoiding them for as long as possible, despite conscious willingness and perhaps even desire to get them done" (Refer: HERE)

According to psychologist Professor Clarry Lay, a prominent writer on procrastination, procrastination occurs when there’s “a temporal gap between intended behavior and enacted behavior.” That is, procrastination is occurring when there’s a significant time period between when people intend to do a job, and when they actually do it. (Refer: HERE)

From the definition, we can understand that procrastination is among negative action which results negatively. And I'm sure that most of us have our own experience of procrastination. Honestly speaking, I also can be regarded as a person who sometimes procrastinates and says "There will be another time", "Sempat lagi..", "Just relax..", "Tomorrow is still there..", "Later..", and so on.. 

That's why we should know how to beat or act against the procrastination, or make it as a tool of productivity.

OK, firstly, let's see 7 Practical Tips to beat Procrastination:

Tip 1: Find out WHY? Let's ask ourself WHY we want to procrastinate or delay or postpone our works. There must be a reason either it is important or not. It is not good if the reason becomes one of the bad habits because it might be a habit if it is practiced regularly. You know yourself better than others!

Tip 2: Become a PRO. A professional man will perform the best in his/her works. Not only relates to their career but also become a professional in personal matters. Turn all tasks as a professional task not an emotional task!

Tip 3: Pomodoro Technique. This is my first time heard about this excellent technique. It can be considered as the most effective way to beat procrastination which is created by Francesco Cirillo in the 1980s. This technique is a way to get the most out of time management. As a beginner, there are five simple steps to practice Pomodoro Technique:

  1. Choose a task to be accomplished
  2. Set the Pomodoro to 25 minutes (the Pomodoro is the timer)
  3. Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings, then put a check on your sheet of paper
  4. Take a short break (5 minutes is OK)
  5. Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break

Please refer to for further info about this technique.

Tip 4: Remove Distractions. Here, you know best what is your obstacle to focus in your task. This obstacle might lead us to procrastinate and delay our task. The distraction can be either friends, mobile phone, facebook, twitter, movie or anything. Remove all of that to complete your task, then you can take them back to enjoy your day..

Tip 5: Public Pledge. I love this idea. Actually, you don't have to say your pledge loudly in front of public people. But, you can hire someone that you admire and respect, and make a promise and pledge that you will had over your task on time. That person can be your lecturer, manager, prime minister or anyone that will make you shame by yourself if you break the promise. It is advisable to not choose your family member because they will always too nice with you :)

Tip 6: Make Wudhu' & 2 Raka'ah. When you got the idea to procrastinate, please take an ablution and perform the 2 Raka'ah Sunnah prayer. It will refresh yourself. This is practiced by Muslim scholars especially before they begin their writing to get the best idea and blessing in their writing. Example, Imam Bukhari.

Tip 7: Last but not least, the powerful one, Seek refuge in Allah (ta'awwuz) and Remembrance of Allah (dhikr). Syaitan is the one who asks you to procrastinate. He is the one who whisper evil reminder and make you forget your responsibility. Ask forgiveness from Allah for He said: "And seek forgiveness of Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving, Compassionate." (73:20). In another verse, Allah said: "And whoever does evil, or wrongs his own soul, but afterwards seeks Allah's forgiveness, will find Allah is forgiving, Compassionate". (4: 110).
These tips can be illustrated in the picture below:

Secondly, how to turn the procrastination to be the good or productive. Abu Productive shared in his blog that there’s a sneaky type of procrastination that’s especially common among productive people, which is called: Productive Procrastination!

To practice Productive Procrastination, you need following tips:

1. Catch yourself in that mode!
When you find yourself ‘busy’ with lots of tasks and not focused on the single most important task for the day, realize that you’re in productive procrastination mode and need to get out! 

2. Tackle the important tasks FIRST thing in the morning
Don’t schedule them as item no. 2 or 3 in your to-do list, but make them no.1! As Brian Tracy says “EAT THAT FROG!”, i.e. do that one annoying difficult task first before you tackle anything else. 

3. Focus
Force yourself to focus on the important task of the day with the Pomodoro Technique: 25 minutes focus sessions, doing NOTHING else but the task at hand! Find out more at 

4. Prioritize
Reschedule/Delay any other ‘productive’ tasks that would distract you from your most important task to another day/later during the day. 

5. Ask for accountability
Ask people to catch you out if they feel you’re really derailing from your important task of the day and seeing you ‘busy’ doing other stuff.

Please refer to Procrastination Series provided by HERE and HERE.

Thank you for reading! Spread the words.. ^^

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