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Precrastination: The Dark Side of Getting Things Done

Other causes of precrastination

  • Cheap satisfaction: we get immediate satisfaction from checking off the little things on our to-do lists.
  • Survival instinct: going after the easy, low-hanging fruit in life probably made more sense in our history than putting things off in order to get a long-term payoff.
  • Time management vs Energy management: most of us are taught to think about work and productivity in terms of managing our time well.

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Precrastination: The Dark Side of Getting Things Done

Precrastination: The Dark Side of Getting Things Done

https://nickwignall.com/precrastination/

nickwignall.com

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Key Ideas

Precrastination

This is the compulsion to immediately work on new tasks, despite long-term costs and tradeoffs.

While the procrastinator delays important tasks too long, the precrastinator doesn’t delay unimportant tasks long enough.

Precrastination

This is the compulsion to immediately work on new tasks, despite long-term costs and tradeoffs.

While the procrastinator delays important tasks too long, the precrastinator doesn’t delay unimportant tasks long enough.

What causes precrastination

The ultimate cause of precrastination is short-term, emotionally-driven decision-making.

Just like in procrastination, precrastination involves making a decision based on what feels good in the moment rather than what’s in our long-term best interest.

Other causes of precrastination

  • Cheap satisfaction: we get immediate satisfaction from checking off the little things on our to-do lists.
  • Survival instinct: going after the easy, low-hanging fruit in life probably made more sense in our history than putting things off in order to get a long-term payoff.
  • Time management vs Energy management: most of us are taught to think about work and productivity in terms of managing our time well.

Stop precrastinating

  • Awareness is always the first step. It’s difficult to stop doing something if you’re not aware that you’re doing it in the first place.
  • Practice emotional tolerance: precrastination is all about emotion. This means that working through precrastination will always involve working through difficult emotion.
  • Start by improving on one small area of precrastination before moving on to more challenging areas.

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