It doesn't really matter why you procrastinate. Some love... - Deepstash

It doesn't really matter why you procrastinate. Some love the pressure of deadlines. Some are afraid to fail so they put it off until the very last moment.

One thing that all procrastinators have in common is that procrastination has a price.

This highly cited study , published in the American Psychological Society journal, by Dianne Tice and Roy Baumeister discusses the cost of procrastination. It is related to:

Procrastination is not innocent behavior. It's a sign of poor self-regulation. Researchers even compare procrastination to alcohol and drug abuse.

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MORE IDEAS FROM How To Beat Procrastination (backed by science)

Then, you think: I might as well watch one episode of Game Of Thrones. Then, a video on YouTube-and then another one. Then, a little bit of Instagram browsing. And so forth.

It always ends with a bang: "This is the last time I'm wasting my time! "

Yeah, right.

What you really need is a system for doing work. A lot of people shy away from routines, systems and frameworks because they want to have "freedom."

I'm sorry to disappoint you: Freedom is your enemy.

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If you're a procrastinator, you can't help but delay work. And that's true for the small and big tasks.

Sure, everybody fears to step outside of their comfort zone - that's why we call them comfort zones. It takes courage to make a bold move.

But it sure doesn't take any courage to complete small tasks like paying bills, printing out something for your boss, doing taxes, etc.

The truth is: Procrastination has nothing to do with what you're trying to do - small or big, it can wait until later. It can always wait, right?

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Distractions, other ideas, other opportunities, failure, negative self-talk, etc, would get in the way.

And the results are always the same: You never get anything done.

To me, the key finding from the study by Dianne Tice and Roy Baumeister is this:

Self-regulation, self-control, willpower, are all things that we overestimate. We think:"Yeah sure, I will write a novel in 3 weeks."

In our minds, we're all geniuses and mentally strong. But when the work comes, we cop out.

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The fact is that, if you want to get things done, you need rules.

What are some things that research proved to be effective?

  • Self-imposed deadlines.
  • Accountability systems (commitment with friends, or a coach).
  • Working/studying in intervals.
  • Exercising 30 minutes a day.
  • A healthy diet.
  • Eliminating distractions.
  • And most importantly: Internal motivation.

If you combine the right productivity tactics , you have a productivity system .

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The deadlines create urgency, accountability will create responsibility, working in intervals improves your focus, exercising will give you more energy, so does a healthy diet, and eliminating distractions will take away the temptations.

But there's no system that can help you if you don't have an inner drive. People overcomplicate that concept, but it's simple: Why do you do what you do?

If you don't know. Make something up.

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Distractions, other ideas, other opportunities, failure, negative self-talk, etc, would get in the way.

And the results are always the same: You never get anything done.

To me, the key finding from the study by Dianne Tice and Roy Baumeister is this:

"The present evidence suggests that procrastinators enjoy themselves rather than working at assigned tasks, until the rising pressure of imminent deadlines forces them to get to work. In this view, procrastination may derive from a lack of self-regulation and hence a dependency on externally imposed forces to motivate work."

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RELATED IDEA

Procrastination has a price. It's related to:
  • Depression
  • Irrational beliefs
  • Low self-esteem
  • Anxiety
  • Stress

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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: procrastination itself causes shame and guilt — which in turn leads people to procrastinate even further.

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Tailor your to-do lists

Use the 1-3-5 rule when putting together her daily to-do list.

On any given day, set nine goals for yourself: 
  • one big-ticket project to tackle
  • three medium tasks
  • five small things. 
Narrow down your to-do list to just those things. 

This keeps you from feeling overwhelmed by an endless list, and also helps keep you focused on just those items.

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