Why You Procrastinate (with Leading Expert Piers Steel) | Scott H Young
We are awful at long-term planning. We can stay motivated for a couple of days or a week, but we find it hard to plan a semester-long paper or a retirement plan.
It is essential to have definite goals, in well-defined words, and measured hours. What matters is if you can visualize yourself working on the goal.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
When Ivan Pavlov and his dogs led to the discovery of learned behaviour through repeated exposure, and Edward Thorndike discovered the Law of Effect that stated that rewarded behaviours tended to increase, many psychologists were impelled to separate psychology from armchair introspection and formulated their theories as mathematical formulas.
Donald Hebb realised that existing theories were too focused on reacting to the immediate environment. Thoughts, ideas and goals could be just as strong for triggering action as sights and sounds.
Together with John Atkinson, they noted that the study of motivation had undergone a "paradigm shift", where motivation couldn't be seen as how actions get started, but how the organism decides to change its behaviour from one thing to another.
Inaction is the biggest cause of our failures and our miseries. If we could consistently do the things we know we should do, we would be more successful, and our lives would be better. Yet w...
Some possible but weak reasons why action is hard:
If your projects tend to fail, your expectations are low, and motivation fades. If your projects tend to succeed, your expectations go up, and motivation stays strong.
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: