How to overcome your procrastination habit - Deepstash
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How to overcome your procrastination habit

We have two ways of dealing with our procrastination:

  1. Make whatever we’re procrastinating on feel less uncomfortable, and
  2. Convince our present selves into caring about our future selves.

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Why we procrastinate

Procrastination is more about our emotions than our tendencies for laziness or just being “bad at deadlines”. At its core, we procrastinate to keep ourselves happy in the moment.

We procrastinate because our brains are wired to care more about our present comfort than our fut...

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Let yourself avoid uncomfortable tasks

“Structured procrastination” is a clever way to stay productive even while you procrastinate. Procrastinating doesn't mean you are doing absolutely nothing.

Next time you feel the urge to procrastinate, go for it. Avoid that Big Scary Task that makes you fee...

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Ask for help

When my work directly affects others, I find it much harder to accept the consequences of procrastinating.

You could ask a friend or colleague to help you get started on something you’ve been putting off.

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Imagine the future

Encouraging people to imagine the future can help them make better decisions now.

  • Looking at a digitally aged photograph can help us more effectively imagine ourselves in the future, thus helping us make better decisions.
  • Realistically imagine how you’ll feel tomor...

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Use a timer

Set a timer for 30 minutes. During that time stay focused on your work. When the timer goes off, set it again for 10 minutes, and rewards yourself with a fun activity like YouTube videos, chatting with friends, or reading a book. After 10 minutes, reset the 30-minute timer and get back to ...

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Forgive yourself

Forgiving yourself for procrastinating can help you overcome negative feelings about the work you’ve put off in the past, so you can more easily approach future tasks.

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Make getting started ridiculously easy

Often starting a task is the biggest hurdle. Research shows that progress—no matter how small—can be a huge motivator to help us keep going.

Set the timer for just 5 or 10 minutes. While the timer’s running, you don’t have to work, but you can’t do anything els...

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The right thing for the wrong reason

Since negative emotions are the cause of our procrastination, what if we could manage our negative emotions while working?

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely calls this method reward substitution. It is essentially getting yourself to do the right thing for the wrong reaso...

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Reframe your task and its deadline

  • Reframe your task into a challenge.  What if you got this work done before lunchtime? 
  • Challenge yourself to stay focused on a single task for as long as possible: … try a count-up timer. See how long you can remain on task. See if you can beat your last reco...

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How to manage your procrastination triggers

Procrastination is a signal that something is wrong, and you need to change the way you approach a task.

There are three ways to deal with your procrastination triggers.

  1. Consider why you are procrastinating. Often, tasks you don't want to do c...

Remind Yourself to Think About Your Future Self

We get preoccupied with things that make us busy in the present and often forget about our future selves. Here are some ways we can help remind ourselves:

  1. Create reminders to make your subconscious think about your future self.
  2. Plan your days and set those days towards achi...

Procrastination

Procrastination

Procrastination is one habit that most of us have. We tend to delay finishing a task or a project not because we are lazy but because we have negative emotions surrounding the task - boredom, anxiety, depression, and more.

It is a chronic cycle that rewards our present sel...

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