Why Do We Procrastinate?

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Procrastination is more than not doing something. It's not doing something and feeling bad about it. The best way to beat procrastination is to understand what's causing it...through this helpful little acronym inspired by Graham Allcott, the author of How To Be a Productivity Ninja.

What You'll Need

  • A task you've been putting off

What You'll Do

  • D is for Difficult. We put off tasks we are finding hard and we find them hard when they are either too big or we don't know how to do them. So break your task down in smaller action steps. Your first step might be improving your skills to face this particular task.
  • U is for Unclear. Items on our to-do list are often too vague and we don't know where to start. Get clear on the outcome and the practical steps you need to take.
  • S is for Scary. Lots of things we want to do our outside our comfort zone and feel risky because we risk failure. The deep psychology of this goes against our survival instincts and is very powerful. Focusing on the benefits and purpose of the big scary task makes it easier to deal with the fear.
  • T is for Tedious. No-one likes being bored and some tasks need a good dose of fun to make them more palatable. Enter reward-pairing. Putting off exercising? Only let yourself watch your favourite show or listen to your favourite podcast whilst working out. Put on some rocking tunes while doing your tax return or cleaning the house. Or do that mundane task with a friend.

Tips & Warnings

  • Remember, everyone procrastinates. It's just a reminder that you are a wonderful human being and makes everything that do achieve even more amazing.
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