All right let’s be honest is there something else you’re supposed to be doing right now. You have a paper due in 10 hours and there is a stinky pile of laundry slowly inching its way across the bathroom floor.
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You should be doing those things but instead you’re here listening to me lecture you on YouTube…wait, wait, wait…don’t go away just yet! The next five minutes will be the most productive bit of procrastination you have done all day and you’re not the only one procrastinating. Thanks to a suggestion by one of our viewers today’s episode of well cast is going to bring you a three step program to wrangle your monster procrastination into submission.
About 20% of the population identifies themselves as chronic procrastinators or people who constantly put off the things that they really need to do and that is because procrastination is about lying to yourself.
You know you tell yourself that “I’ll have plenty of time to finish that paper tomorrow.” when you know that you are way behind. In a recent study, two groups of university students were assigned to write three papers in three weeks. Group A was given the opportunity to turn in all three papers at any point during those three weeks. Group B, on the other hand, had strict weekly deadlines for each paper. Ultimately the ones who did the best on the papers were the ones given the strict deadlines.
So when it comes to procrastination, we have a three-step method for stopping procrastination. Please pause and print out your worksheet at wellcast.com. Okay, are you ready for step 1: how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time – like, what I’m saying is, you need time to digest or you are going to make yourself sick. Reward yourself for getting through part of the project rather than waiting to reward yourself after the whole thing is over.
Okay, procrastinator – think about one project that you really need to get done and then instead of letting it overwhelm you, organize that project into small bite-size manageable segments. Think about what you need to get done and write down what you’re going to be doing to tackle this project hour by hour and make it specific. This elephant will become a lot less daunting in step 2: pick out the teaching gardens instead of going for the whole dragon. The hardest part about starting any project is always starting the project. A good way to get around this is to start a project with a task that you like the best. When you do something you like, your brain releases dopamine, which makes you happy.
Maybe it is decorating the cover of a report or writing a snappy intro into an otherwise incredibly boring paper. Step 3: This step is seriously straight out of Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey. Our protagonist Ulysses is trying to get home but unfortunately this requires maneuverings in restrictive water where sailors are often lured onto the rocks by creatures called tyrants. Instead of giving up, Ulysses instructs his crew to tie into the mastership and for everyone to plug their ears. No matter how much he yells and screams to keep ignore the and stay on track. Now, we’re not saying that you need to actually tie yourself up to anything but you should plan to clear any distractions that will hamper your ability to procrastinate later. For example, if you’re a sucker for Facebook or online video games, have your parents or roommates change the Internet password to keep you on track for studying.
The less temptations you give in to or have the ability to give into, the better. Let’s recap – the best way to get around procrastination is to trick yourself into doing the work. We recommend that you do this in one of three ways: number one, breaking your tasks into two segments. In other words, eat an elephant one bite at a time. Number two: Start with the most enjoyable part of the project and number three, avoid that siren song, clear out those distractions so you can get the job done.