The optimistic procrastinator

You overestimate your skills and underestimate the challenge. Your goals may be too small, or you didn't break the big goals into daily tasks.

What you find yourself doing: You don't write a deadline on your calendar, but promise to start tomorrow. You may even tell everyone how easy it is or what you plan to do.

Solution: Commit to a deadline, or make it a challenge to get done as much as possible.

Maddox  (@maddoxe44) - Profile Photo

@maddoxe44

Time Management

MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

What you must know about procrastination
  • You can put things off without being lazy.
  • It's your emotions that decide to procrastinate, not logic. Emotions prioritize short-term gratification.
  • The problem is not about the task, but how you treat it.
  • When you don't make tasks your priority, you'll put things off.

Procrastinators severely overestimate how hard it is to finish a task.

While it can be very tough to start, you'll gain momentum and achieve ten times more work with the same willpower. The result will also be much more rewarding.

You may love your work, but other tasks seem more appealing because you gravitate towards the path of least resistance.

Typical behaviors:

  • You think bad habits are good in moderation and don't respect your time blocks.
  • You spent most of your day in minor tasks.
  • You never feel like being 100% present at work or play.

Solution: Block your distractions. Plan days where you reward yourself generously, to make smaller temptations less attractive.

Preparation scares you. You want improved quality when you didn't work for long enough to optimize. You may waste your time by giving too much time to irrelevant details.

Typical behaviours:

  • You know what to do, but irrational thoughts pull you back.
  • You spend hours planning the introduction.
  • You feel dissatisfied and always want to add one more change.

Solution: Shift your focus from results to actions.

Your interpretation of failure is preventing you from working.

Typical behaviours:

  • You accept distractions because you already lost, but then think things will eventually fix themselves.
  • You feel people are mad at you or don't understand your limited position.
  • You slack in other areas because you think one loss justifies failing in other areas.

Solution: When you failed, you did not understand how much you actually learned. Take a day off to stop thinking.

You have over-committed and have no time left. Even if you have time, you sometimes don't see the point in spending time on those tasks.

Typical behaviours:

  • You're multitasking.
  • You get about 70% done off your endless to-do list, but don't see results.
  • You want to spend time will all your favourite projects.

Solution: If a task is irrelevant, stop the task. Use only the best-performing ways to achieve your objectives. Prioritize your goals and work on one at a time. Also, know that you can make progress at a slower pace.

Your poor time-management/prioritization skills are setting you back. You hate routines because you feel they take away your freedom, but then you never have time to do what you love.

Typical behaviours:

  • When you want to work, you instead waste time preparing the workspace.
  • You do a quick two-minute task and then add other little jobs that fill your day.
  • If you find yourself procrastinating, you will rather finish what you're doing instead of your important work.

Solution: Learn to work smarter with the Pomodoro technique and the Eisenhower's Matrix.

  • Impulsivity. Impulsive people prefer short-term results instead of longer tasks.
  • Sense of urgency. Our motivation to finish a task is inversely proportional to the time we have left. But we also underestimate how long a job takes if the deadline is far away.
  • Perception of work. Work looks more daunting than it really is.
  • Agreeableness. Trying to surprise others with unexpected work patterns. But it is inconsistent and makes it harder for people to gauge you.
  • Busyness because you don't manage your time well.
  • Create checklists by imagining the best way to complete your task in detail.
  • The 2-minute rule. Take enough 2-minute tasks to create momentum. Start with anything, but end with tasks related to your intended work.
  • The hour non-negotiable. Force yourself to work on your project for the first hour of the day to give you momentum for the rest of the day.
  • The celebration/resting day. Plan a day where you allow yourself to do anything you enjoy doing, regardless of what it is.
  • Habit bunching. Create support habits, such as making coffee before you start working.
  • Mini-days (time-bocking). If a day feels too dull, break it down into mini-days: one for work, one for learning skills, and one for relaxation.
  • The hourly challenge. Plan to give your best work every hour. Define how much work you need to do in that hour to consider it a personal record.
  • Buffering. Allow a 30-50% margin of error for all your expectations.
  • OKR Goal-setting system. (Objective Keyword Result). Set a quarterly or monthly goal. Give yourself three actionable metrics based on numbers. (e.g., Make 500 sales calls in three months.)
  • Environment optimization. When you finish using a room, make it ready so you can use it next time. Keep distractions out of sight.

Deepstash helps you become inspired, wiser and productive, through bite-sized ideas from the best articles, books and videos out there.

GET THE APP:

RELATED IDEAS

Bruce Lee
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”

36

IDEAS

The Wild Procrastinator

You are indecisive and often deals with things in the nick of time. But procrastination has a physical and social toll as your body and your coworkers get stressed over it.

Solution: Reserve time for work and start in small chunks. After starting, it’s easier to continue. Forcing yourself to start makes use of the Zeigarnik Effect, which states that not finishing a task creates mental tension and the only way to alleviate the anxiety is by completing what you started.

Procrastination: The How And Why

We usually procrastinate instead of being productive due to various reasons like having fun being distracted (like playing video games) or just lounging around as the task is too easy (or too difficult).

We start with a big, audacious goal and quickly realize that it is not feasible. Our lack of expertise is also a perfect excuse to slack around, as we fail to break down the task into smaller ones or take the first step.

© Brainstash, Inc

AboutCuratorsJobsPress KitTopicsTerms of ServicePrivacy PolicySitemap