How not to be a procrastinating stoner this time of year
There are many negative stereotypes when it comes to weed smokers: lazy, unproductive, easily distracted. And while this is empirically false, there is still some truth to it all. And they’re not necessarily potheads either!
The fact is, procrastination is something that everyone deals with at some level. It doesn’t matter if you’re stoned or not. Most of us try to do something other than what we need to do, especially if the task isn’t “fun.”
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That’s because, like space monkeys, we’ve been trained to respond to spikes in dopamine due to our interaction with our technology. Today, “instant gratification” has made tasks that offer “delayed gratification” seem more difficult.
And while cannabis doesn’t make you lazy, unproductive, and easily distracted per se, there’s an extra layer of “fuck it” in your consciousness when you’re under the influence of cannabis.
That’s why today I’m giving you some tips on how to deal with procrastination as a stoner and how to up your game for 2023.
But first, why should you listen to me?
There was a time in my life when I thought I was lazy. That was before smoking weed.
Despite the fact that I’m a high achiever, this has plagued me for years in the sense that when I enjoy doing something, I overachieve.
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For example, while I might have written a shoddy essay for a teacher on a subject I wasn’t interested in, I could write volumes of complicated stories about games I developed or books I wrote for fun.
As I got older, I understood that I’m not lazy, but because I have no interest in the tasks, and therefore my attention is easily distracted from the difficult task.
There are some approaches one could take when dealing with this problem. First, you could only do tasks that you enjoy. However, there are many tasks in life that are “not fun”, but which are absolutely necessary.
For example, if you want to build muscle, you need to go to the gym. You have to train. Sweat, get sore muscles, maybe even hurt yourself a bit. You will endure pain and be challenged to push yourself beyond your current self to achieve the muscle mass you desire.
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Many “non-pleasure moments” are decisive for your success. So just doing things you like is not a viable option.
The other way is to just force yourself to do them anyway. That’s what most successful people do. They just do it anyway!
It may sound easy, but it’s not, and these people exude tremendous willpower. However, if you look at most “high-functioning executives,” they either drink themselves or smoke themselves to death. If you force yourself to do things you don’t like, you may notice progress towards your life goals. However, if you don’t learn to be gentle with yourself, you may also end up becoming something you don’t like at all: an overworked, unhappy, stressed-out person who needs drugs, sex, alcohol, and other perversities to get them through theirs days.
Therefore, you must learn to push yourself without scolding yourself.
You don’t have to scold the monkey; All you have to do is guide it carefully and listen to it when it speaks!
I find when you personify a concept it becomes easier to understand. The “monkey” is the personification of your mind when challenged with something it doesn’t want to do. The monkey will tug at you and say, “Dude, have you seen that YouTube video?” or “Just one more thing and then you’re back to work.”
When you surrender to the monkey, you may find yourself in a state of constant pleasure seeking that after a while leaves you empty and drained. Self-loathing typically follows suit. You feel like you’re wasting your time.
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When you’re high, the monkey can be even louder and find things that actually add value to your life, but aren’t necessarily the most important thing you need to do in the moment.
What this does is create problems in the future that you could solve in the present, but since you’ve procrastinated, the problems pile up since “Time never stops moving!”.
What you give up for tomorrow is “today + tomorrow’s burden”, and the weight of “tomorrow’s burden”, in turn, is significantly higher than today’s and requires an even greater effort.
So what are you doing?
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How to train your monkey (even when you’re stoned)
In the beginning I tried everything to stop the monkey. I would force myself to do the things I hate. But eventually I started hating the things I was doing.
Eventually I learned that when the monkey waves at me and demands my attention, I give it to him, but I don’t do what he wants me to do!
For example, let’s say I’m hired to write a blog that I don’t want to write. Let’s say it’s about the fascinating world of hand-woven garden chairs. I have no personal interest in this topic, but I have a deadline and money in my pocket.
As I type, the monkey says, “Dude, you’re stoned… why waste it?” Why don’t you instead work on that thing you’ve always wanted to work on but never have time for…what if that time is now?”
Well, I know that if I ignore this, I’ll be constantly distracted or maybe even physically or mentally tired as a result.
So instead of just ignoring it, I get up and do five or six sun salutations.
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I take a deep breath, refocus on the body, get the blood pumping, stretch my aching muscles, and take a minute to just clear my head.
See, the monkey isn’t really there to distract me, but to let me know it’s time to do something else; you’ve been sitting on your ass for hours and your body needs a break.
However, instead of doing what my mind wants to do, I do something else that benefits the body/mind.
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You could literally take a nap, meditate for 10 minutes, go for a walk, do 30 push-ups… you name it. As long as it’s not what your mind wants you to do.
The monkey is stimulated one way or the other, except this way you are actually replacing a “bad thing” with a “good thing.” You increase your focus, you increase your energy and by the end you will be ready to do what you don’t want to do.
You’re going to get to a point where you’re going to say, “Enough shit, let’s do this!”
It even works when you’re stoned!
Smoking marijuana doesn’t actually affect your performance, it just enhances the traits you already have. If you’re a loser at weed, chances are you’re a loser even if you don’t smoke it.
If “weed” is your excuse for “doing nothing,” then quit or learn how to get things done, even if you smoke weed.
I just taught you a great lifehack. The question now is, will you use it or not? It’s entirely up to you!
This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been republished with permission.