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How to be more efficient: stop 'precrastinating'

Precrastination

Precrastination

In our quest to beat procrastination, is it possible to go too far. Precrastination is a tendency to rush too quickly into the pending tasks, and can be a wasteful mental effort towards what might have been a stress-free task, if a bit of planning was applied.

Example: A person who is precrastinating would hurriedly read and respond to all emails lying in the inbox, depleting precious energy on pseudo-work, energy that could have been used at something more important.

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How to be more efficient: stop 'precrastinating'

How to be more efficient: stop 'precrastinating'

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20191219-how-to-be-more-efficient-stop-precrastinating

bbc.com

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Key Ideas

Precrastination

In our quest to beat procrastination, is it possible to go too far. Precrastination is a tendency to rush too quickly into the pending tasks, and can be a wasteful mental effort towards what might have been a stress-free task, if a bit of planning was applied.

Example: A person who is precrastinating would hurriedly read and respond to all emails lying in the inbox, depleting precious energy on pseudo-work, energy that could have been used at something more important.

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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The advantages of procrastination

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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.

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Oliver Emberton
"The secret to mastering your time is to systematically focus on importance and suppress urgency."

Oliver Emberton

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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Take The Smallest Step Possible

When you don't feel motivated, take the smallest step possible toward your goal. 

Instead of telling yourself to workout for an hour, say you'll go for 10 minutes. 

Positive Outcomes From Your Action

Focus on what the reward is when you take action.

Be very selective about what you let into your experience and surround yourself with to keep your energy as clean as possible to achieve the goals you want.

Give Yourself A Hard Deadline

... then put it on the calendar. 

Treat the deadline the same as if your boss created it, and then honor it the same way you would if your boss were waiting for you to complete the task.

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