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Why We Procrastinate

  • You lack motivation, and/or
  • You underestimate the power of present emotions versus future emotions when you set your goals or make your task list.

If you’re tempted to procrastinate, find a way to visualize your future self. Focus on the pain that results from putting things off, contrasted with the relief of having completed your task.

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Procrastination
Procrastination is the habit of putting off important, less pleasurable tasks by doing something that’s easier or more pleasurable. Email, Twitter, Facebook, food, and Netflix are a procrastinator’s best friends.

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RELATED IDEAS

Changing your environment=the most powerful way to change your behavior

In a normal situation, you might choose to eat a cookie rather than eat vegetables. What if the cookie wasn’t there to begin with? It is much easier to make the right choice if you’re surrounded by better choices. Remove the distractions from your environment and create a space with better choice architecture. - James Clear

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IDEAS

This is a self-regulatory strategy in the form of an "if-then plan": "If the phone rings, then I’m not going to answer it." "If my friends call me to say we’re going out, I’m going to say no." So you’ve already made these pre-commitments.

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 work.