Why You Procrastinate

By December 31, 2018Blog

Do you put the “Pro” in “Procrastinate”? 

“I have so much to do… “ 

Ever been paralysed by an impending deadline or overwhelmed from all of the things you need to do. So you just.. do..  absolutely nothing? Only to have to frantically write an entire term paper on the last night? 

It’s an age-old conundrum. You procrastinate on cleaning the house for days. Then while needing to finish an essay, all you can think about is how much you suddenly want to clean the house… or maybe the dog needs a perm. That funny cat video (and proceeding YouTube binge..) definitely needed to be watched immediately! 

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln 

It is fascinating that our brains could be wired so illogically and unproductively. So why is this? 

 Do we fear the possible failure? Nope. We don’t have good enough organisational or time management skills? Surprisingly some research suggests no. More motivation and willpower? Again no. 

The answer is simple apparently… Make a decision! 

 

 “Once we begin a task, no matter how dreaded, our perceptions of the task change…we don’t appraise the task as quite so stressful or difficult once we get started. Starting is everything” – Tim Pychyl, the world’s leading procrastination researcher

From Procrastination to Productivity: 

  • Make a decision – and just start! 
  • Accept you will not always “feel like it” and act on the task anyway. Motivation follows action. 
  • Pick 3 actions/tasks each day – that MUST be completed more than the rest of your list. As they say, if you have more than 3 goals today, you have none. Stop overwhelming yourself. 
  • Do the hardest task FIRST before your brain fatigues throughout the day. 
  • Everyone has different rhythms. Some people work better in the morning, some at night. Start becoming aware of this and if you are able to, structure the most important or brainpower-taxing work during these windows. You will increase productivity, within less time. 
  • Forgive yourself if you start to procrastinate, and then focus on activities that get you back to work…  The worst thing you can do, is procrastinate more.. feeling bad about procrastinating! 
  • If you struggle, evaluate why you might be avoiding a task. What is holding you back? Breaking it down further into a pros and cons list may help to clarify this. 
  • Form solid morning and evening routines that set you up for the day/next day and keep you in focus. Set yourself up for success by pre-preparing and removing obstacles/distractions so you will naturally stay focused on the tasks at hand. 

Follow these steps and master your way to Productivity Pro instead!

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