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.
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.)
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.
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.
... for the 4 causes of procrastination:
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
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 cycl...
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.
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.
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.
Studies show low mood only increases procrastination if enjoyable activities are available as a distraction. In other words, we're drawn to other activities to avoid the discomfort of applying ourselves.
Procrastination leads to two primary consequences.
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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 wor...
Doing creative and deep work requires you to let go. Procrastination allows one to get rid of the thoughts that are still occupying your mind. It helps you to loosen up.
When you have been able to delay your work, your thoughts are empty and you are better able to work with challenging ideas. The work that follows is highly productive.
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Procrastination is not just avoiding or delaying a task.
It also has to include an aspect that’s counterproductive, irrational or unnecessary.
Many people are inherently more productive at certain times of the day.
Work around these natural productivity ebbs and flows when you schedule your days.
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If we repeatedly find ourselves avoiding certain tasks, an underlying problem needs to be addressed.
Once we identify the real cause, we can search for the appropr...
... is how the brain changes (for better or worse) in response to repeated experience: the things we do often we become stronger at, and what we don't use fades away.
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Facing a task, experiencing the uncomfortable emotions associated with it and doing the task despite those emotions.
It rationalizes the shit out of anything that’s just a little bit uncomfortable and create excuses as to why we shouldn’t do something now. Those excuses are irrational, but sound superficially reasonable.
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At the top of your to-do list, put a couple of daunting, if not impossible, tasks that are vaguely important-sounding (but really aren’t) and seem to have deadlines (but really don’t).
A dash is simply a short burst of focused activity during which you force yourself to do nothing but work on the procrastinated item for a very short period of time—perhaps as little as just one minute.
The first thing is to take one minute and just write down the steps you need to do to finish the task - just a rough draft, at first, and that’s it.
Now there is nothing else to think about, and there is no way to screw this task up. Everything is laid out and you can just start working on it.
First, give your friend $100. If you get the task done by 5 PM, you get your $100 back. If it doesn’t, you lose the $100.
Or make it $200 that the friend doesn’t keep — they donate it to some weird organizations, in your name.
Get the picture? That’s a commitment device.
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Procrastination is something you do, not someone you are. When you stop making procrastination part of your identity, you free yourself up to change.
Don't judge yourself for how you f...
Figure out why you avoid taking action. Find out all the reasons that prevent you from moving forward.
You don’t have a clear block of time to work on the task.
You need a quiet workspace.
You expect your work to be perfect—and fear it won’t be.
You don’t have a deadline.
Once you understand the reasons for procrastination, address those specific issues.
Keep on dealing with the issues one by one. This will build momentum and move you toward completing your projects.
one more idea
People shy away from routines, systems and frameworks because they want to have “freedom.” But in order to get things done, you need rules.