Add Terrible Tasks To Your To-Do List To End Procrastination

Add Terrible Tasks to Your To-Do List to End Procrastination

File this in the "weird but works" category: to curb procrastination, add items you'll want to procrastinate about to the top of your to-do list.

Photo by Carissa GoodNCrazy.

Eric Barker cites Dr John Perry's The Art of Procrastination for this little mind hack:

The key to productivity is to make more commitments — but to be methodical about it.

At the top of your to-do list, put a couple of daunting, if not impossible, tasks that are vaguely important-sounding (but really aren't) and seem to have deadlines (but really don't). Then, farther down the list, include some doable tasks that really matter.

"Doing these tasks becomes a way of not doing the things higher up on the list," Dr. Perry writes.

The trick works by tapping into our tendency to do anything if we can avoid something worse.

It might be a bit like moving your clock forward 10 minutes to get you out the door sooner, but it still might be worth a try if you suffer from chronic procrastination.

5 Weird (But Effective) Ways You Can Conquer Chronic Procrastination [Barking Up the Wrong Tree]


Comments

    My To-do list would just get bigger and bigger, sigh ...

    "...tasks that are vaguely important-sounding (but really aren't) and seem to have deadlines (but really don’t)." Seriously, how thick do you have to be to trick yourself into doing tasks by pretending they have deadlines when they don't...

    Mine is always getting bigger too, but it's my wife who keeps adding to the length. Maybe if she stuck something unpleasant half way down it'd get finished off quicker.

    Oops, that wasn't meant to sound quite so smutty.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now