ARTICLES • 16-05-2014


Procrastination revisited
Procrastination represents a subjective computation conclusion of your mind: doing the task now will bring more pain than not doing it now. It's a dynamic process over time: closer to the deadline, possible negative consequences of not doing can become clearer, and the computation can have a different result.
What's essential is that it's a system that's working in your favor! It's not an enemy. It's protecting you, based on some inner belief, from whatever bad things you think might result in case you move forward right now. Maybe you don't want to risk something, or you are afraid you won't succeed, or some past experience associates that doing with pain, or you think you are dreaming too much and will regret later, or... you tell me!
I believe if you stop fighting yourself with discipline and start perceiving that inner voice as your protector, you might be able to understand it better, and even engage some "negotiation" with yourself, unblocking it more elegantly than by mere strength. Like any other fear, "talking" with it may prove much more clever than purely fighting it.
Top 2 reasons for procrastinating
Behaviour patterns are always risky: each person is a unique person. Even so, I'd like to share what seems very strong evidence-based pattern in procrastination - its building blocks. You procrastinate if:
1) you think something will go wrong (and this may be a detail like: the printer doesn't work well sometimes);
2) you think it's a waste of time (you may believe abstractly that you should do it, but inside you don't truly believe it's worth it: like going to the gym, for example).
First step - awareness of protection device
So, before you go into battle with yourself, what I suggest as a first step is: practice at understanding what's driving your inner resistance. Consider the task you're procrastinating around and:
1) really look carefully for stuff that can go wrong and
2) really look carefully for a possible lack of return on investment.
I'll be back with more tricks on procrastination. First, though, you need to make sure you get this friendly inner dialogue right, before you are able to try the solutions I'll bring next...
Steven O'Brien
Looks like feeling bad about delaying tasks is not the most efficient way...
in 2014-05-19 10:30:04
Nikodim Peleg
nice and fresh perspective into procrastination. I've just found this blog and it looks great stuff in here. hope to read those tricks soon
in 2014-05-16 09:59:48
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