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Four Things Procrastinators Need to Learn

https://www.raptitude.com/2018/04/four-things-procrastinators-need-to-learn/

raptitude.com

Four Things Procrastinators Need to Learn
One litmus test for being a serious procrastinator: there are items on your to-do list that were there a year ago. A year is more than one percent of even a very long life-what could be so difficult or intimidating that we'd avoid it for that long?

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Confidence comes after you start, not before

Confidence comes after you start, not before

Confidence is helpful, but comes after starting. To the procrastinator, a task feels dangerous - it’s when he could be exposed as a fraud. So before starting, he looks for more assurance that things will go well. This leads to more planning, more thinking, more delaying.

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Start one step at a time

Start one step at a time

The longer and dustier your to-do list gets, the more it seems like a hopeless tangle.

But it’s a mirage, created when you try to map out everything in your head without actually doing anything. The whole list looks different the moment you knock off one tough thing.

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Don’t just work on something. Finish it

Don’t just work on something. Finish it

If you just work on something you will feel a sense of progress without actually accomplishing anything. 

If you can’t answer the question “What are you trying to finish right now?” then you’re probably making the task bigger. 

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Stalling feels safe, but it's the opposite

Stalling feels safe, but it's the opposite

Procrastination involves thinking about doing, without much actual doing.

Beginning anything seems dangerous, but the real danger is delay. The most predictable, most damaging, and most easily avoidable dangers come from stalling. 

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Treat tasks individually

What seems like a tangled cloud of open-ended old to-dos is actually a series of independent happenings, which are best treated individually.

Once you’re treating each obligation as s...

The end of anxiety

The moment you start acting on something, you are at the beginning of the end of the anxiety associated with that thing.

Many procrastinators are pessimists and overestimate the difficulty of the task they are avoiding. They think doing it is the hard part. But not doing it is much harder.

Avoiding action

The moment you start avoiding action again, due to fear or aversion, you are re-entering a nonproductive phase. 

Physical action ceases, and pointless overthinking begins.

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To-Do Lists

Your to-do list can be a tool that guides you through your work, or it can be a big fat pillar of undone time bombs taunting you and your unproductive inadequacy.

If the instructions are c...

The two modes

At any point during the workday, you are in one of these modes:
  • When a project or task comes up, the steps you need to take start to form in your mind. Now you're in thinking/Boss mode. 
  • Your to-do list is a collection of those orders, which your Assistant personality will later pick up and do.
Write down the instructions in such a way that your Assistant self can just do them without having to think - or stress. 

Put Items That You're Definitely Doing

Instead of letting tasks you're not quite committed to loiter on your to-do list until you're sick of looking at them, move them off to a separate list, a holding area for Someday/Maybe items. 

Only concrete actions you're committed to completing should live on your to-do list.

Common errors when reading people

  • Ignoring context: Crossed arms don’t mean much if the room is cold or the chair they’re sitting in doesn’t have armrests. 
  • Not looking for clusters: It’s a consisten...

Trusting your instincts

Your first impressions are usually pretty accurate. But whether they are wrong or right, first impressions affect us in a big way and we are slow to change them.

You have to be willing to update them quite rapidly. 

Reading first impressions

  • Studies show that if someone seems extroverted, confident, religious or conscientious, they probably are.
  • We all pay more attention to pretty people, and so we tend to take the time to evaluate them.
  • If you want to know if someone is good at their job, watch them do it for 30-60 seconds. 
  • Funny people are smart: Effective humor production acts as an honest indicator of intelligence in humans.