In often every conversation, you will hear people saying things like “Don’t worry about it” or “Don’t Panic”. Consider this, if I ask you to not imagine a “A cute Panda”, what would immediately happen? You will imagine it right away. Despite listening to what I said, you will still imagine the Panda. The same thing happens when we say “I won’t procrastinate today”, our brains do not know how to process the negative language. Instead of not doing what we are asked not to do, we do it.
Have you ever been in a moment where you said “I won’t do this, this is destroying my health/wealth/reputation” and you end up doing it right away? Take the case where you say “I won’t panic” and you end up panicking a lot. What happens is you end up panicking about what would happen if you would panic, so you end up panicking about “Not Panicking”. This is what Mark Manson in his book “The Subtle Art of not giving a F*ck” referred to as the “Feedback loop from Hell” where you worry about the possibility that what would happen if you worry at the crucial moment and screw up. So you end up worrying about “Not worrying” again.
What if I ask you to imagine a horse? Would you imagine "The Cute Panda" then? So the main idea here is that instead of thinking about what not to do, think about what to do. So what we are doing here is that we are taking the negative language and converting it to the positive language. For example, instead of saying “I won’t panic during my speech today”, say that “I would speak slowly and loudly to sound more confident today.” Instead of saying “Don’t worry about it”, say “Be more alert about the upcoming opportunities”.
How to not Procrastinate?
above instead of thinking that you won’t procrastinate, think about what
productive thing you will do instead. Set an aim for the day and work on it.
This is much better than the negative language and could work wonders. Also,
remember to keep short term goals instead of big ones, the ones which could be
achieved in a day otherwise you would end up procrastinating again thinking that you
will start from tomorrow. And finally, instead of saying “I won’t let the
technique given here slide away”, say “I will beat the crap out of my goals by
using this technique”.