Impulsiveness

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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@ethho

Time Management

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

... 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.
  • 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.

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.)

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.

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.

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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Procrastination: The How And Why

We usually procrastinate instead of being productive due to various reasons like having fun being distracted (like playing video games) or just lounging around as the task is too easy (or too difficult).

We start with a big, audacious goal and quickly realize that it is not feasible. Our lack of expertise is also a perfect excuse to slack around, as we fail to break down the task into smaller ones or take the first step.

Helpful procrastination

Procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something.

From the outside, postponing your work can seem like a big waste of time. However, procrastination can help you do your work.

According to traditional thinking, procrastinators have a time-management problem. They are unable to understand how long a task will take and need to learn how to schedule their time better.

However, psychologists increasingly realize that procrastination is an issue with managing our emotions, not our time.

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