Sep 30, 2010

Procrastination Avoidance

We all have to make ourselves do things that we just don’t want to do. Here are some tricks to power through the procrastination.

1. Do it first thing in the morning. If you’re dreading doing something, you’re going to be able to think of more creative excuses as the day goes along. Without delay is the easiest way.
2. If you find yourself putting off a task that you try to do several times a week, try doing it EVERY day, instead. 
3. Have someone keep you company. Studies show that we enjoy practically every activity more when we’re with other people. Having a friend along can be a distraction, a source of reassurance, or just moral support.
4. Make preparations, assemble the proper tools. Dividing a tough task into preparation and execution makes it easier to tackle.
5. Commit. We’ve all heard the advice to write down your goals. This really works, so force yourself to do it. Usually this advice relates to long-term goals, but it works with short-term goals, too. On the top of a piece of paper, write, “By the end of today, I will have _____.” 
6. First things first. That is, make sure you don't use little tasks to push offbig tasks. I find myself answering email instead of writing, or reading Twitter instead of logging in my research notes. These smaller tasks are important and worthwhile, but I shouldn't use them to delay more taxing work.
7. Reflect on the great feeling you'll get when you've finished. Studies show that hitting a goal releases chemicals in the brain that give you pleasure. 
What strategies do you use to stop procrastinating?


  1. I wanted to comment that I would read it later too, but put it off so Toon beat me to it.

  2. I tend to use visualization of how satisfied I will be when I complete a task or series of tasks that I am dreading. Do a little bit at a time and steadily work at a task until it is all done.

    (had to leave a serious comment, since I was beaten to the joke pile!)

  3. Thanks for the post, I feel great now that I read it.

  4. Thanks. I need the motivation.

  5. Do the big things with the big chunk of time. Now that is excellent advice that makes sense.

  6. I think I will print this out and use it as a lesson in our home schooling. Eler Beth AND I have a problem with procrastination!


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