The Ultimate Guide to Overcoming Procrastination

1. Procrastination: The root causes

Procrastination is a cause

It can be difficult to master procrastination. We all know in retrospect when we have procrastinated. It is a time when we tell ourselves lies to justify our actions.

What is procrastination, you ask? How can we make it stop?

What is procrastination and how to Overcoming Procrastination

Procrastination is a common problem in our daily lives. Sometimes we don’t know what to do.

We can get distracted, or say “oh, it’s okay, I’ll do it later.” This is why the Latin word for procrastinate means “belonging tomorrow”.

Procrastination, however, is not like other distractions. A missed call or meeting could interrupt your day. True  comes from the inside.

It is impossible to put do-not disturb mode on your anxiety or boredom. This makes us susceptible to procrastination at any moment.

He’s a successful monkey because he eats when he’s hungry, sleeps when he’s tired, and doesn’t try to do difficult things. Problem for the procrastinator? He lives in the human world. This makes the Instant Gratification monkey a very unqualified navigator.

One, sometimes we have no choice. To get paid, you have to complete that boring project. To pass the class, you might have to finish that tedious essay. Perhaps even worse, we don’t know what the future will bring.

2. Today’s tips to conquer procrastination

Be a procrastinator

What can we do to overcome procrastination if we are unable to rely on logic and long-term goals to keep us motivated?

Timothy Pychyl from Carlton says it all comes down to changing your perspective about procrastination. It is no longer a logical problem of time management.

“You must accept that you don’t feel well all the time and you have to work hard at it.”

Step 1: You must forgive yourself for procrastinating.

Although it may seem surprising, studies show that procrastinators who feel guilty about their habits are more likely to procrastinate. We procrastinate more than we do by getting behind in our tasks. The spiral of guilt and shame is what drives us into the procrastination trap.

This is also true for procrastination. Don’t let your past  influence your future behavior.

Step 2: Divide your tasks and goals into smaller pieces

The next question, now that you have a better understanding of the situation, is: Why do you procrastinate?

Procrastination can be caused by feelings of anxiety, boredom, and stress. Anything that our instant gratification monkey is trying to avoid.

These emotions can be triggered by the way people plan their time. Anxiety and stress can be caused by large goals, multiple tasks, and overstuffed to do lists.

Step 3: To cross the procrastination threshold, use the “5-minute rule”.

You’ve likely experienced pain and suffering when you forced yourself to do something that you had been putting off. Eliezer Yudkowsky, writer and theorist:

“Being in the middle is more painful than procrastinating on a moment-to–moment basis.”

It’s not easy to cross the procrastination threshold. To get past the pain and beat the urge to immediately gratify, you need to have all of your mental strength. Then, just start.

Step 4: Keep track of your progress so you can stay motivated and push on

Procrastination is not defeated by simply getting started.

Even after you start working, it’s easy for yourself to fall back into . This is especially true if there’s no way to see progress, get feedback, or keep your motivation up.

Your brain loves progress. However, few people have a way to track their progress. Most knowledge workers don’t have clear tasks like painting a side or stamping license plates.

3. To stop procrastinating, use the science of habits

reasons for procrastination

Imagine how much simpler your life would be if only you did the best thing for yourself all the time. It is unlikely that you can completely eliminate . You can however develop better work habits to make yourself less susceptible to procrastination.

Let’s first look at how habits form. (For more information, see our guide How to create good work habits and get rid of bad habits). Habits can be described as repeated behavior that is composed of three parts.

This reward tells your brain “Hey!” It was fantastic! Let’s do it again next time.”

We can use science of habits to stay motivated when it comes to procrastination. Here’s how:

Make your workspace procrastination-free

Let’s begin with the “reminder”, or cue, aspect of creating a habit of doing something.

Your brain begins to look for joy when you feel the friction caused by procrastination. Perhaps it’s playing a game on your smartphone. Or checking your email. Or you can watch Netflix. These activities are easier to complete, so you’re less likely to procrastinate.

Make accountability your power

You can’t change procrastination habits by eliminating the temptations that cause it.

We mentioned at the beginning of this guide that can be so dangerous because many triggers are internal–boredom anxiety, boredom, and frustration.


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