How to manage your procrastination triggers

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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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.

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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