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Are You a Procrastinator, or Just Efficient?

The drawbacks of procrastination

The drawbacks of procrastination

While procrastination might have some advantages, it certainly has proven drawbacks. Individuals who procrastinate tend to be more stressed and, therefore, suffer from stress-related illnesses. Furthermore, students who procrastinate have lower GPAs than the ones who don't. So you would better think twice before postponing an action next time.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Are You a Procrastinator, or Just Efficient?

Are You a Procrastinator, or Just Efficient?

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/202004/are-you-procrastinator-or-just-efficient

psychologytoday.com

4

Key Ideas

The advantages of procrastination

There are two kinds of individuals in this world: those who procrastinate and those who do the things in advance.

In what the first category is concerned, there is some evidence that procrastination actually does have some advantages, such as the fact of reducing stress, enabling us to focus on what is more important or helping us to make good decisions.

The drawbacks of procrastination

While procrastination might have some advantages, it certainly has proven drawbacks. Individuals who procrastinate tend to be more stressed and, therefore, suffer from stress-related illnesses. Furthermore, students who procrastinate have lower GPAs than the ones who don't. So you would better think twice before postponing an action next time.

The reasons behind procrastination

Whenever somebody decides to procrastinate, this happens whether because the task seems too unpleasant or because the planning wasn't done properly and, therefore, the need to delay. 

Intentional or not, procrastination ends up having the same effects on your everyday life. And these are not always good.

Fighting procrastination

When you notice that you tend to become a procrastinator, make sure to take the right measures to fight this tendency. For instance, setting reminders in your calendar program or participating in time management courses might prove extremely useful.

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We need to carve out a time for ourselves and cement it as a weekly appointment into our overbooked schedules. Equally importantly, we must learn not to feel embarrassed by this personal time and instead value it as useful.

Appreciate the mental and emotional clarity these moments can bring; in the long run, they will actually increase our functionality.

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Reasons for Precrastination

The work in front of us seems urgent, even though it may not be important, and we are instinctively wired to complete it. If something is immediately available to us, we instinctively go for it.

Short-term tasks that seemingly would take five minutes to complete are done first. We also have an eagerness to please and conscientiousness (our desire to do our duties thoroughly) that make us precrastinators.

Don't Do Everything

Chronic Precrastinators must understand that it is ok to ‘not’ do trivial things right away and to use that mental energy and willpower to work on something substantial and important.

In today’s world, it should be okay to slow down, to be deliberate and mindful.

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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.

...
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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Change your route

If you have a bad or overly stressful day at work, take the long way home.

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Vent

Once you get home after work, give yourself a 15-minute window to let it out.

You should set this up in advance with your partner/family members/ friends but leave the time limit at 15 minutes. During that time, they have to simply listen and let you get it out. After that, you must agree that work is over.

Keep electronics off

If you don’t need to work, keep the electronics off. Don’t login just because you are curious. You will find reasons to email people or start completing tasks.

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Once you write down the tasks you need to perform, you then have to clear space in your day to put some of those tasks onto your calendar.

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Planning your goals

Planning turns abstract goals into concrete work.

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Making Decisions

People take a break or procrastinate because they don't want to decide anything and let their brains drift away wherever it is comfortable, enjoyable and easy.

If someone is tired, the mind naturally moves away from what we perceive as work.

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It is a way to be aware of what is sucking you into habits that are not rewarding to you.

Example: Facebook is designed to be easy to check, and one can find interesting things in it quickly, leading to procrastination and time-wasting to someone who is not aware.

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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...

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.

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Oliver Emberton
"The secret to mastering your time is to systematically focus on importance and suppress urgency."
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Important vs. urgent tasks
  • Important tasks are things that contribute to your long-term mission, values, and goals.
  • Urgent tasks are tasks that have to be dealt with immediately: phone calls, urgent deadlines, and situations where you have to respond quickly.

Sometimes important tasks stare you right in the face, but you neglect them and respond to urgent but unimportant things.

Don't be available all the time

Time, not money, is your most valuable asset. Invest your asset:

  • Allocate time to each task you need to get done every day. 
  • Each task of the day should be attainable, realistic, and time-bound. And it should advance your goals for the day, week or month.
  • Don't get distracted by everything others expect you to do.

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