Why we struggle to work

Productivity systems often focus on how to complete your tasks. However, it is just as important to understand why we battle to do the work.

Procrastination triggers are emotional, making it harder to analyse them objectively. Learning about the most common triggers can help to overcome them.

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Procrastination triggers: eight reasons why you procrastinate - Ness Labs

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Procrastination is a signal that something is wrong, and you need to change the way you approach a task.

There are three ways to deal with your procrastination triggers.

  1. Consider why you are procrastinating. Often, tasks you don't want to do can be deleted or delegated.
  2. Adapt to your resistance levels. Break the task down into manageable chunks.
  3. Reverse your procrastination triggers. If a task is boring, try to make it more fun. If it is unrewarding, treat yourself after you complete it.

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Why you procrastinate

Researchers found four phases we go through to do a job:

  • Inception: Decide to get started
  • Planning: Decide how to complete the task
  • Action: Perform the steps
  • Termination: Define when the work is done

Triggers that lead to procrastination are: Boredom, frustration, difficulty, stressful, ambiguous, unstructured, unrewarding, and meaningless. The first four triggers tend to appear at all stages of doing a task, and the other four can happen after the work has started.

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Revenge bedtime procrastination

The term "bedtime procrastination" was coined in 2014 by Dr Floor Kroese and is defined as going to bed later than planned while not having any external circumstances for doing it.

Revenge bedtime procrastination is the phenomenon where people who don't have much control over their daytime life refuse to sleep early to regain some sense of freedom during late-night hours. Instead of going to bed, you decide to scroll on social media at the expense of your sleep.

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The psychology of revenge bedtime procrastination

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Memories are often unreliable

Our memory is part of what makes us human. But it's far from perfect.

Psychologists are investigating the seven categories of memory. Three involve forgetting, and four involve a faulty memory. As with many cognitive biases, the first step is awareness.

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The Sins of Memory - Ness Labs

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Becoming lifelong learners

To become lifelong learners, we may find it hard to break away from the traditional education paradigm. One way to unshackle our self-education is to grab hold of the opportunities for unbounded learning.

  • Bounded learning is based on a fixed curriculum and contains specific educational outcomes.
  • Unbounded learning embraces ongoing personal growth that is fuelled by continuous education. It is based on strategies and tools that foster curiosity.

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Unbounded learning: how to unshackle your education - Ness Labs

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