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7 ways to use emotional intelligence to beat procrastination

https://www.fastcompany.com/90292753/7-ways-to-use-emotional-intelligence-to-beat-procrastination

fastcompany.com

7 ways to use emotional intelligence to beat procrastination
We have all been there: You know you should be working on a project but it feels impossible to shut out distractions. Next thing you know, you've lost most of the afternoon. There are, however, simple habits you can form that will help you to get the upper hand on procrastination.

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Tie the task to a larger goal

Tie the task to a larger goal

... you are passionate about.

Thinking about how wonderful it will feel to get that promotion we crave will help motivate us if we can see doing a great job on the report as a stepping-stone to advancement.

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Start with the easiest part

The most difficult step in completing a task is getting started. 

Starting at the easiest part takes less emotional resistance, and once we get started, we tend to get on a roll, which gives us the momentum to keep going.

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Break it down

The task will seem less daunting if we tell ourselves that we are going to only spend five minutes working on it. 

We’ll find ourselves continuing to work past the committed time that we told ourselves.

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Manage your distractions

Think about what may throw you off track from your work before you start.

This allows you to unplug, disconnect, and put a hold on everything and everyone that could potentially disrupt your focus and throw you off.

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Self-awareness

One size does not fit all when it comes to the best environment for you. 

If you don’t know what your best environment is, practice in different ones until you find the one that stimulates you the most.

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Set up rewards

Set up rewards

Before you start on your to-do list, set yourself up with a system of rewards along the way. 

Make the reward something you wouldn’t normally give yourself or do something for yourself to feel special.

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Overcome perfectionism

Winston Churchill summed it up well, “Perfection(ism) is the enemy of progress.

The fear of making mistakes keeps many of us paralyzed and unable to begin. We learn by doing and making mistakes. 

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Self-Efficacy

A person’s belief and expectation that they are capable of completing a task. 

When we don't trust the fact that we'll be able to complete a task (with good results), we're mor...

Value

The more enjoyable a task, the less we procrastinate on it. 

Boring tasks are more likely to lead to procrastination than difficult ones, that's why we keep postponing all the busywork (work that keeps us busy but has little value in itself.)

Impulsiveness

Difficulty maintaining focus in the face of immediate and more appealing distractions.

If we work in an environment where we're bombarded with distractions and we are not capable of resisting them, we're more likely to procrastinate.

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Procrastination has a price. It's related to:

  • Depression
  • Irrational beliefs
  • Low self-esteem
  • Anxiety
  • Stress

Willpower Doesn’t Work. Systems Do.

People shy away from routines, systems and frameworks because they want to have “freedom.” But in order to get things done, you need rules.

To get things done, research found effective:

  • Self-imposed deadlines.
  • Accountability systems (commitment with friends, or a coach).
  • Working/studying in intervals.
  • Exercising 30 minutes a day.
  • A healthy diet.
  • Eliminating distractions.
  • And most importantly: Internal motivation.

Our brains are programmed to procrastinate

It’s easier for our brains to process concrete and immediate outcomes rather than abstract and future things. So the short-term effort easily dominates the long-term upside in our minds— b...

To make the benefits of action feel bigger and more real:

  • Visualize how great it will be to get it done.
  • Pre-commit, publicly.
  • Confront the downside of inaction.

Considering the downside of putting a task off will help move forward with it

While we might weigh the pros and cons of doing something new, we far less often consider the pros and cons of not doing that thing. This often leads us to ignore some obvious benefits of getting stuff done.