Saturday, November 24, 2018

26 reasons why we procrastinate and how to solve it

So, I am the self-proclaimed God of procrastination. I have progressively struggled with disciplining myself. When I say I procrastinate, I do it habitually, constantly and consistently. From simple things like - sleeping on time, to complex things like working on assignments at the last minute or trying to lose weight and giving up, I have mostly never ever been able to achieve my long term or abstract goals.

So I was pleasantly surprised a few days ago when I came across this article on the "Psychology and causes of procrastination". It's a long read, but definitely worth your time if you are bothered by procrastination like I am. To provide a gist (and for my own benefit) the article provides 26 reasons why we procrastinate:

  1. Abstract Goals
  2. Goals that are too distant
  3. A focus on future options
  4. Overestimating future abilities
  5. Being disconnected from the future-self
  6. Indecisiveness
  7. Feeling overwhelmed
  8. Anxiety
  9. Task aversion
  10. Perfectionism
  11. Fear of evaluation and negative feedback
  12. Fear of failure
  13. Self-handicapping
  14. Self-sabotage
  15. A perceived lack of control
  16. Depression
  17. Lack of motivation
  18. Lack of energy
  19. Low conscientiousness
  20. Lack of perseverance
  21. Laziness
  22. Impulsivity
  23. Preference for appealing tasks
  24. Distractability
  25. Sensation seeking
  26. Rebellion
The same website, followed up with another long article on "How to stop procrastination". I think that's an equally interesting and useful read.

The super short version (again reproduced verbatim from the article):

  1. Write down your goals, and make sure that they’re clearly defined, possible to accomplish, and significant enough to allow you to achieve meaningful progress.
  2. Figure out when, how, and why you procrastinate, by examining situations where your tendency to postpone things is preventing you from achieving your goals.
  3. Create a plan of action based on relevant anti-procrastination techniques, while taking into account both your goals as well as the nature of your procrastination.
  4. Implement your plan and monitor your progress, while making sure to refine your approach by figuring out which techniques work for you and how you can implement them most effectively.

And finally, before I end, I also came across this video of a graduating Harvard Law Student - Pete Davis about "the defining characteristic of our (his) generation" which brilliantly sums up some of the reasons we procrastinate ( I believe this video is a summation of 6. Indecisiveness and 24. Distractability - based on my new understanding of procrastination :) ).

1 comment:

  1. Hey Girish...

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    Landmark works on that area of our mind where "We don't even know that we don't know". This area is also called as a blind spot.

    When you go for their course it literally fries your brains when you learn various distinctions that they teach.

    It's all scientific, it's so darn fantastic!!!

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    Simply Go for it!!!!

    You will be in for a Ride. The worst thing for me after doing their course is that it has become very difficult for me to lie to myself :p