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The Truth Behind Why We Procrastinate

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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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Truth Behind Why We Procrastinate

The Truth Behind Why We Procrastinate

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2016/02/23/the-truth-behind-why-we-procrastinate/

forbes.com

2

Key Ideas

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.

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 as a coping mechanism

People tend to procrastinate to avoid emotionally unpleasant tasks - so they choose to focus on something that provides a temporary mood boost. 

This creates a vicious cycle: proc...

The science behind getting started

Progress on our goals feeds our well-being. So the most important thing to do is bootstrap a little progress: get a little progress, and that’s going to fuel your well-being and your motivation.

Implementation intentions for better focus

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.

Time inconsistency

When we think about the future we want to make choices that lead to long-term benefits (“Yes, I'll save more!”), but when we think about today, we want to make choices that lead to short-term. imme...

The answer to inconsistency

To beat procrastination and make better long-term choices, find a way to make your present self act in the best interest of your future self. You have 3 primary options:

  1. Make the rewards of long-term behavior more immediate.
  2. Make the costs of procrastination more immediate.
  3. Remove procrastination triggers from your environment.

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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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.

...

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.

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 else. You have to sit with your work, even if you don’t get started.

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