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A Foolproof Guide To Ending Procrastination


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We’re all probably putting something off. We here at Uproxx know that because we can see our website usage statistics, and y’all aren’t logging on quite as much after work. While not everybody is a procrastinator, we all procrastinate, and it’s a bad habit that dates back to the beginning of man. But why do we procrastinate? And why do we feel like we are even when we’re not?

First, the reality: there are only so many hours in a day, and we’ve already booked up a lot of them. Most of us are employed, and more and more of us are working multiple jobs. If that weren’t enough, we spend almost an hour every day getting to and from work. And that’s just what we’re paid to do. Once you get home, there’s housework, which on average eats at least an hour and a half of your day, every day. And this assumes you’re single, with no children or elderly family members to care for. So, out of twenty-four hours in a day, at least some of which should be consumed with sleep, you’ve probably got ten booked when you wake up.

That’s a lot, right? So it makes sense that you’re going to let some things slip and put others on the back burner. And you’re going to feel guilty about it (which will likely fuel further procrastination). So what do you do? Take a breath, stop feeling guilty for a few minutes, and soak up some vital advice.

Know Your Procrastination

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There are six kinds of procrastination: Organizational, where you’re so overwhelmed with things to do you can’t get anything done; Uncertain, where you’re not sure what the results are going to be and don’t want to start the task until you do; Overscheduling, where you cram too many tasks into one period of time; Perfectionist, where you put off the task because you worry you can’t do it perfectly; Negative, where you’re convinced the task will turn out badly; and habit-based, where you’re simply not good at some aspect of the task.

Some of these are easier to solve: Organizational procrastination, for example, can be ameliorated with a comprehensive schedule. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be a cakewalk. Coming to grips with why you procrastinate, though, is an important first step in changing your habits. Knowing why you do what you do allows you to be realistic and come up with specific ways to handle the type (or types) of procrastination you struggle with.

Give Yourself A Break

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We all need downtime. It’s a scientific fact. Few, if any, of us are built to constantly be working our brains right up until we drop into bed. It’s OK, when you wake up or when you get home, to take a little time and just get caught up with the day. Whether it’s a quiet morning with just you, some music and some coffee, or an episode of your favorite show when you get home, give yourself permission and space to unwind. We recommend staying away from anything bingeable, though, maybe go for a nice self-contained episode of Law & Order.

Try your best, take a break (there’s no guilt in it!), and don’t beat yourself up because your checklist isn’t complete at the end of the day. Focus on doing better and finish what’s important, like your evening beer run.

Is It You? Or Your Schedule?

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Some of us have so little time in the day that we don’t put things off, our schedule does it for us. Take a look at your schedule. Are you overbooked? Do you need to shift some things off your plate? Does it make more sense, say, to get up early and go to the gym instead of trying to go after work, even if you turn into that person?

This is also a good time to figure out your organizational stuff. Even fifteen minutes with a smartphone’s calendar app and a few alarms will be better than nothing at all.

Change Your Habits, One At A Time

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Our schedules are not handed to us on stone tablets. They’re a collection of the commitments and habits we have when it comes to addressing them. For example, you want to start cooking at home. But that means planning, grocery shopping, and dishwashing, and it just becomes easier to hit the takeout joint at the corner again. Most people would try to change this all at once, but that’s a recipe for disaster. You might get it all done, but you may be too tired to actually cook.

Instead, break it down one habit at a time. If your goal is to cook more, for instance, get in the habit of washing your dishes every day. Once that’s solid, get in a regular once-a-week grocery shopping trip, even if you’re just buying Pop Tarts and mac & cheese. Once you’ve got all that established, you can start planning meals for the week. Eventually, you’ll be eating real meals and saving the the Pop-Tarts for only the most romantic dinners and special occasions.

And there’s a bonus: As you change one habit, it’ll free up time and give you the energy to change others.

Break Down Big Tasks Into Littler Ones

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To change your habits, get used to turning big tasks into littler ones. As self-help books say, every journey begins with the first step, but they never mention what happens if that first step is onto what feels like a tightrope. So when faced with a task, work out exactly what you need to do first, and get that done.

Say, for example, you’ve got to clean your apartment. Instead of just picking up a sponge and grimly beginning to scrub, start with, say, a smaller task, like getting all the stuff off the floor. Then vacuum. Then maybe break out the sponge, if perhaps the dust bunnies have been particularly sassy.

This also helps you create a sense of momentum, and helps you pick out problems. Particularly with big or intimidating tasks, for a lot of us, it’s a question of getting started. We like to finish tasks, and a lot of little tasks put together feels more rewarding than finishing just one, for many of us. Yes, this would essentially make your brain your dealer. Isn’t evolutionary neurology fun?

Get Used To ‘Ripping Off The Bandage’

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Finally, you need to get used to doing things that scare you and getting them over with. Nobody wants to do the things that are scary, whether they suck in the sense of “snaking out the toilet” or are just uncertain in the outcome in the sense of “finally talking to your boss about that raise.” The trick to getting the things that scare you done is to put them in perspective. Take the boss example. Say you ask for a raise and he says “Sorry, but not at the moment.” Does that suck? Sure. Is it a life-ending disaster? Nah.

Besides, ask yourself this: Is having this task, whatever it is, looming over your head all that fun? Aren’t you sick of having it over your head? Won’t you feel better once it’s done, one way or the other? Once that’s happened, you can pick yourself up and move on. Maybe have yourself a Pop-Tart and some mac & cheese. You’ve earned it, after all.



This post first appeared on Meet The Cast Of The ‘Game Of Thrones’ Porn Pa, please read the originial post: here

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A Foolproof Guide To Ending Procrastination

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