Overcoming Procrastination: Why Mindfulness is The Key
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Facing a task, experiencing the uncomfortable emotions associated with it and doing the task despite those emotions.
It rationalizes the shit out of anything that’s just a little bit uncomfortable and create excuses as to why we shouldn’t do something now. Those excuses are irrational, but sound superficially reasonable.
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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....
We have two ways of dealing with our procrastination:
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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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.
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.
Procrastination leads to two primary consequences.
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... is how the brain changes (for better or worse) in response to repeated experience: the things we do often we become stronger at, and what we don't use fades away.
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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 cycl...
Progress on our goals feeds our well-being. So the most important thing to do is bootstrap a little progress: get a little progress, and that’s going to fuel your well-being and your motivation.
This is a self-regulatory strategy in the form of an "if-then plan": "If the phone rings, then I’m not going to answer it." "If my friends call me to say we’re going out, I’m going to say no." So you’ve already made these pre-commitments.
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 wor...
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.
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.
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Most of the time we don’t second guess them, and even if we do, they often end up overwhelming us.
Negative feelings are very powerful and harder to question: we identify with them effo...
Resilience is most times associated with being tough. But that’s not gonna get you very far with feelings. Don't try to be invulnerable. Aim for flexibility instead.
You cannot avoid or resist all pain in life. But you can learn to live with your discomfort better.
We have trouble dealing with feelings because the usual problem-solving rules don't really apply to them.
When faced with a problem, we can always avoid it or deny it. But attempting to resist negative feelings won’t work. Any attempt at suppression only amplifies them. We must go from avoidance to acceptance.
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People shy away from routines, systems and frameworks because they want to have “freedom.” But in order to get things done, you need rules.
When you don't feel like working on your tasks, take a few moments to plan your day.
Even if you do it as a form of procrastination, to postpone doing the actual work, it will help you...
Break the project you don't want to start into smaller pieces.
Breaking it down into small tasks and adding those to your to-do list isn't exactly fun, but it is less overwhelming than working. And it's also useful: When you finally do get around to starting, you've got a strategy.
Clean something every time you don't want to get started on a work project. Don't listen to a podcast or turn on the radio. Just clean. Make it as boring as possible, so that your mind wanders.
This does two things: it delays actually working on your project and it gives you time to think, possibly generating ideas that will come in handy whenever you get back to the project you're trying to put off.
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The 2–Minute Rule overcomes procrastination by automating the decision-making process, making it so easy to start taking action that you can’t say no.
It consists of breaking down t...
The 2–Minute Rule allows you to develop a process of consistently taking action, regardless of goal achievement. The focus is on taking action and letting things flow from there.
The 2–Minute Rule works for big and small goals because of the inertia of life. Once you start doing something, it’s easier to continue doing it. And beginning is the hardest part of a new habit — not just the first time, but each time.