July 30, 2018

Below is a lesson from medium.com on eliminating procrastination, as well as our key learning.

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Eliminate Procrastination by Asking Two Incredibly Simple Questions

Rosie Leizrowice

June 11, 2018

Procrastination. The ultimate problem in a society obsessed with productivity and achievement.

It’s a topic I have long found fascinating. Why do we all do something so illogical and detrimental?

The battle to just get shit done plays out non-stop in my own life and that of just about everyone I know. Heck, it is 11 pm and I have been deferring writing this all day. You know the drill.

One of the reasons why procrastination is so prevalent is how misunderstood it is. There’s an incorrect view of it as a character flaw- an internal issue. It’s widely assumed that someone procrastinates because:
1. They are lazy and/or
2. They are bad at whatever it is they are deferring.

In fact, that’s rarely true. If it were, the sudden motivation produced by an impending deadline wouldn’t occur.

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Key learnings:

  • We procrastinate because of two reasons:
    1. A lack of a clear idea of what to do and/or
    2. A lack of a reason to do it.
  • Laziness and ineptitude have nothing to do with it, which is why we can reframe procrastination with two simple questions:
    1. What do I need to do? (Specific and in detail.)
    2. Why do I need to do it? (Again, specific and in detail.)
  • Motivation is fragile, but it is renewable. The best way to renew it is not with Pinterest quotes or hanging cat posters. It’s by clarifying our reasons — ideally on paper.
  • If there’s no answer to those two question, it can be a sign that this isn’t worth doing.
  • When we have a purpose and a plan, procrastination doesn’t enter the equation.
  • The cause is not laziness. It’s doubt. Confusion. Uncertainty. These are very real feelings which everyone experiences.
  • In the day to day mess of emails, paperwork, meetings, and minutiae, a sense of wider purpose can get lost. Even the most meaningful pursuit can become muddied.
  • On the micro scale, when a single task is being put off, moving the consequences to the present is an effective way to get it done.
  • On the macro scale, the real answer is to find the necessary sense of purpose: To connect the current task with our long-term goals and ambitions; To recognize that this work is part of our role in the world.

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