Kick Your Procrastination Problem This Weekend

No human on earth escapes the plague of procrastination. We're all wired to put things off, but we also have the capacity to override that tendency. This weekend, pick one of the many ways to purge yourself of procrastination and start getting things done.

Remove Your Distractions

Procrastination is brought to you by distraction. While you can put something off without alternatives such as Facebook, Twitter and video games, they certainly make it a lot easier. While you should get into the habit of choosing to put off distractions rather than the task at hand, a few tools can help you do that when your willpower could stand to be a bit stronger.

Chrome users can turn to StayFocusd, an extension that blocks distracting sites. LeechBlock will get the job done on Firefox. There are several other options, some of which will even modify your hosts file so you can't get to sites in any browser. But before you can start blocking anything, you need to figure out what's distracting you the most. Set up RescueTime to track your activity and figure it out. Then you can use that information to eliminate distractions as much as possible.

Pick An Anti-Procrastination Plan

Everyone's a little bit different, so you may need to experiment with different anti-procrastination plans. Personally, Seinfeld's productivity trick fixed my procrastination problem, but you have to be a little neurotic to actually enjoy it. A lot of people love the Pomodoro Technique, which uses a cyclical timer to help you focus on short bursts of work while providing frequent breaks as well. If a specific method just feels like too much, simply structuring and planning for procrastination can help you avoid it when you need to. Just don't trust your instincts. Beating procrastination is often counter-intuitive.

Set Up A Reward System

Regardless of what tools or tricks might be able to help you, nothing will change if you don't put in the effort to change. You can't just flip a switch, wait, and stop wasting time. You have to wean yourself off it. Set an allowance for how often you can engage in certain leisure activities and reward yourself if you succeed. There are lots of ways you can incentivise creating good habits, so just pick a reward that you'll appreciate and if you meet your goals you get it. If not, you don't. You need to have willpower, but incentives provide a little bit of encouragement.

Leisure activities, themselves, can be the reward. You may prefer to reward yourself with something like a cupcake or a new game you've wanted to byy. As you go along, however, the rewards should decrease. Doing your work and feeling accomplished needs to be a reward in itself, or your entire system can fall apart the moment you accidentally drop your prized cupcake on the sidewalk. Implementing a reward system can help in the beginning, but eventually hard work needs to be its own reward.

Have a great weekend!


Comments

    "This procrastincation advertisment brought to you by......meh...."

    I skipped the article, and went straight to the comments. I might read it later.

    No way I'm gettin through that whole article.

    Well I had a go at this over the past week, first by just using stayfocused to make sure that I was limiting fun, but that didn't work as I spent most of my time watching YouTube because I had figured out away to avoid YouTube access being timed, and when I got bored of YouTube, I wrote a little program that types out the text on the page that allows you to change settings in stayfocused.
    (For those that don't know, a particular setting on stayfocused means that the user has to type out a paragraph about procrastinating, letter-to-letter, without making a single mistake ie. it makes yo start again automatically is you mistype one char, and you cant just copy/paste because it moitors keystrokes)
    **It's avaliable here if anyone wants it ;)
    Source: http://www.users.on.net/~ns1010/source.ahk
    Compiled: http://www.users.on.net/~ns1010/compiled.ahk
    Now I’m using a combination of Don’t-break-the-chain (pun intended) and the pomodoro technique, where my goal is > 2 pomodoro’s (if that’s how you say it) per day. I can say that this has been really good for my productivity, and I would recommend that anyone reading this try it.
    I am using Strict Pomodoro: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/strict-pomodoro/cgmnfnmlficgeijcalkgnnkigkefkbhd?utm_source=chrome-ntp-icon
    And I made my own chain calendar in excel
    Well I hope that was useful
    Adam

    I just found that watching my mind was very effective in overcoming procrastination ... Came down to 3 steps

    1) Step back and become mindful of what’s happening around the thought processes. Watch your mind carefully
    2) Peel back the layers of the onion and see what is really happening – in this instance it was procrastination masquerading as analysis and ‘deep thinking’ which in turn was driven by fear of the unfamiliar
    3) Acknowledge the underlying fear - feel it in your body (I find a large proportion of fear is felt physically and can be released by acknowledging it as bodily sensations) and make a firm decision to act despite the fear

    This is probably a bit out of context ... Really need to read the whole post (which I just posted on my website) but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post a URL in this discussion ...

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