Here's why you procrastinate, and 10 tactics that will help you stop - Deepstash

Procrastination is fundamentally an emotional reaction to what you have to do. The more aversive a task is to you, the more you’ll resist it, and the more likely you are to procrastinate.

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Here's why you procrastinate, and 10 tactics that will help you stop

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Make a task less aversive

When you notice yourself procrastinating, use your procrastination as a trigger to examine a task’s characteristics and think about what you should change.

By breaking down exactly whi...

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Unproductive responses

... people have when they procrastinate:

  • Distracting yourself, and thinking about other things
  • Forgetting what you have to do, either actively or passively

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Limit your time

Limiting how much time you spend on a task makes the task more fun, more structured, and less frustrating and difficult because you’ll always be able to see an end in sight.

And instead of th...

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Be kind to yourself

Be mindful of how kind you are to yourself, and watch out for times when you try to deceive yourself. 

The reason you deceive yourself when you procrastinate: at the same time that you know y...

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Just get started

You just need enough motivation to get started. Once we start a task, it is rarely as bad as we think: your attributions of the task change, and what you think about yourself changes, too.

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The costs of procrastinating

Activating the rational part of your brain to identify the costs of procrastinating is a great strategy to get unstuck.

So make a list of the tasks you’re procrastinating on, and then ...

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Think about your future-self

Research has shown that we have the tendency to treat our future-selves like complete strangers, and that’s why we give them the same kind of load that we’d give a stranger.

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"We’re not very good at predicting how we will feel in the future. We are overly optimistic, and our optimism comes crashing down when tomorrow comes. When our mood sours, we end up giving in to...

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Disconnect from the Internet

47% of people’s time online is spent procrastinating, so our best tools for productivity (computers, smartphones) are potentially also one of our greatest time wasters.

To get somethin...

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Especially for tasks that are not defined and poorly structured.

This means thinking about when, where, and how you’re going to do them. Move from broad goal intentions to specific imp...

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Seek out more meaningful work

You procrastinate a lot less with meaningful tasks that are intrinsically rewarding. 

In every job, there are going to be tasks you find aversive, but when you constantly find yourself...

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