The 4 Causes of Procrastination | Nick Wignall - Deepstash
The 4 Causes of Procrastination | Nick Wignall

The 4 Causes of Procrastination | Nick Wignall

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The 4 Causes of Procrastination | Nick Wignall

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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 more likely to procrastinate.

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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.)

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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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How much time there is in between the decision to take on a task and the point when it must be completed.

The longer you have to finish a task, the longer you’ll wait to get started on it.

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Odds of Overcoming Procrastination = Self-Efficacy x Value / Impulsiveness x Delay.

Our likelihood to resist procrastination on a specific task is equal to the product of our self-efficacy and the value of the task divided by the product of how impulsive we are and the amount of delay between taking on a task and its due date.

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  • Don't follow blindly advice from other people on overcoming procrastination. We may procrastinate because of very different reasons. Find what works for you.
  • Identify your unique vulnerability to procrastination. Do this routinely, and you should start to see patterns and trends.
  • Use targeted anti-procrastination strategies, adapted to your specific case.
  • Consider working with your procrastination rather than fighting against it.

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... for the 4 causes of procrastination:

  • Create small wins to address Self-efficacy: break the big goal into smaller manageable ones.
  • Create artificial systems of reinforcement to address Value: pair an aversive task with an enjoyable one.
  • Eliminate distractions ruthlessly to address Impulsiveness: don’t rely on willpower to resist distractions; change your environment instead.
  • Set micro due dates to address Delay: break down a task into reasonable chunks, each with a due date.

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