Why small tasks become monsters - Deepstash

Why small tasks become monsters

Procrastination involves the voluntary putting off a simple task, even though you will be worse off for doing so.

Procrastinating has little to do with poor time management. It's really about mood management.

  • Procrastinators are self-critical. The worry drains their cognitive resources, reducing their ability to problem solve.
  • Small tasks also lack hard deadlines. We think we can just slip them in during the day.

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Motivation often follows action. If you just do something immediately without stopping to think about why you don't want to do it, you will succeed better.

  • Next time you don't like doing a minor task, ask yourself: what is the next step I need to take on this little task? It will move your attention off your feelings and onto your action.
  • Another trick is to pair the smaller tasks with larger ones.

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When tiny tasks become major irritants

We put off small jobs, like a quick email to a colleague or menial paperwork. We keep putting it off. We waste time thinking about how annoying the task is, but it does not go away.

These small tasks take up a considerable amount of space in our minds. But there are simple ways to bring them back to size.

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If you remember a negative emotional response that triggered past procrastination, start thinking about how you can reframe the task. You can look at the task as an opportunity to learn a new skill, or frame it as a fun and enjoyable task.

Don't beat yourself up too much if you've procrastinated. It's not some sort of moral failure. A little bit of self-compassion might be all you ned to get back on track.

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RELATED IDEAS

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.

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Vicious Cycle

Procrastination can become a vicious cycle. Trying to achieve something and failing to act on your intentions can feel frustrating and depressing, and this can then lead to even more procrastination. Research on procrastination confirms that it’s related to negative outcomes – people who are inclined to more procrastination tend to have lower life satisfaction, lower achievement and poorer health.

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Time inconsistency

When we think about the future we want to make choices that lead to long-term benefits (“Yes, I'll save more!”), but when we think about today, we want to make choices that lead to short-term. immediate benefits (“I'll spend it right now.”).

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