Everyone of us knows that heavy feeling when we know we’re doing something we shouldn’t be doing, or something we want to stop doing. Or when we’re not doing something we should be doing, but we just don’t feel like it. We yearn to be healthier, more diligent, to accomplish more. We seek ways to change for the better. We want to read more, exercise more frequently, and generally be more productive. But we’re messy, lazy, and constantly seeking excuses. Does this sound familiar? If not, then you’re probably from another planet. Or you’ve found a way to overcome these things (congratulations!). In that case, you’d better go do something useful, because you won’t find anything useful in this article.

And for those of you who are still reading, I have two questions:

  1. What are you doing right now?
  2. What activity are you currently trying to avoid?

Take your time and reflect on it.

Do you have an answer?

Asking these two questions is extremely important. How often? Often. Ideally, all the time. Several times a day. From morning till night.

These two questions are a great remedy for procrastination, which has become a very popular word in recent years, describing the pathological postponement of responsibilities to later. Yes, it comes from Greek, but I’m not going to overwhelm you with etymology (note: from the Greek etymon = truth, certainty, logia = teaching).

Back to the point. Being able to name the activity you are currently engaged in is very important. First and foremost, it brings your activity to the forefront of your consciousness.

I am cleaning. I am reading an article. I am scrolling through Facebook.

This pulls you out of the automaticity of your day. When someone asks you in an hour what you have been doing, you have an answer. The second advantage is that you can name your activity. Because sometimes a person does something without even realizing what they are doing.

It is simply a characteristic of our brain. A person is constantly doing something. They are made for activity. Even when our body is not moving, the brain simply does not stop. And when it has nothing to do, it will find some activity that can satisfy this desire for activity. For example, constantly playing with a pen, a ring, a phone, or obsessively checking whether someone has liked my latest status. Our brain simply does whatever it wants. That is why it is necessary to get it into attention with the first question – What am I doing right now?

When your gray matter is already in attention and you can name your activity, you are on the best path to answering the second question, “What activity am I trying to avoid?”

These two questions are very important as they can help you identify if you are procrastinating. If your answer to the first question is “nothing, I’m doing what I’m supposed to do,” that’s great! But if you find yourself asking the second question frequently, you may be avoiding something. It could be a task that is too challenging and you don’t know where to start, an unpleasant task you have to do, something you are forced to do, or simply something you don’t feel like doing and keep putting off.

Whether or not you actually end up doing that task is entirely up to you. However, these two questions can motivate you to be honest with yourself. If you are really avoiding something, stop and face it. Believe me, at the end of the day, you will sleep better knowing you tackled it.