Why your brain loves procrastination
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.
This is a professional note extracted from an online article.
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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.
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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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Procrastination is fundamentally an emotional reaction to what you have to do. The more aversive a task is to you, the more you’ll resist it, and the more likely you are to procrastinate.
When you notice yourself procrastinating, use your procrastination as a trigger to examine a task’s characteristics and think about what you should change.
By breaking down exactly which attributes an aversive task has (boring, frustrating, difficult, meaningless, ambiguous, unstructured), you can take those qualities and turn them around to make the task more appealing to you.
... people have when they procrastinate:
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20% of people identify themselves as chronic procrastinators. For them, procrastination is a lifestyle, albeit a maladaptive one.
It cuts across all domains of their lives...
There may be more of it in the U.S. than in other countries because we are so nice; we don't call people on their excuses ("my grandmother died last week") even when we don't believe them.
Procrastinators are not different in their ability to estimate time, although they are more optimistic than others.
Telling someone who procrastinates to buy a weekly planner is like telling someone with chronic depression to just cheer up.
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