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Procrastination Is Not the Enemy - It's Necessary to Do Great Work

Meaningful work

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.

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Procrastination Is Not the Enemy - It's Necessary to Do Great Work

Procrastination Is Not the Enemy - It's Necessary to Do Great Work

https://medium.com/swlh/procrastination-is-not-the-enemy-its-necessary-to-do-great-work-5a16489c5961

medium.com

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Key Ideas

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.

Letting go

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.

Delaying and postponing

When you delay your work, you build up frustration as well as a craving for the task. The work that follows then comes easier to you.

Not a big danger

Procrastination is a distraction and could be just what you need. 

Your life is not over if you procrastinate. Know why you procrastinate so that you may benefit from it.

New ideas

Ideas are all around us if we will take the time to look for them. When you delay doing the important work by doing other random things, you will get different ideas from normal conversations or videos. Procrastination will allow you to further explore ideas.

Being human

Days cannot be flawless and perfectly productive. Life gets in the way: we waste time; we battle with the human experience.

We will struggle because we are human. Keep that in mind.

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Procrastinating and emotions

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.

Short-term mood lifters

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.

Adverse consequences

Procrastination leads to two primary consequences.

  1. It's stressful to keep putting off important tasks and failing to meet your goals.
  2. Procrastination often involves delaying important health behaviors, such as taking up exercise or visiting a doctor.

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Self-Efficacy

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 mor...

Value

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.)

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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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.

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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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