Let’s talk Procrastination and Productivity

Procrastination

pro·crasti·nation n.

To put off doing something, especially out of habitual carelessness or laziness.

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The clock is ticking. Your probably reading this article in an effort to avoid mundane tasks, or you just like Nemo’s Let’s talk :D. If you think about it your procrastinating to learn how to stop procrastinating. A moment of INCEPTION (Vvvooooommm). Even though we acknowledge that we are procrastinating and have the urge to stop. Why can’t we?

Well, I’m no master in psychology but I’ve done some research into this topic whilst I was procrastinating. Although the psychological causes are still being debated, we believe it is our Human tendency to over or under estimate the value of the reward based on its temporal proximity. This is referred to as temporal discounting.

For example if I were to offer you 50 dollars today, or 100 dollars in a month most of you would take the 50 and run off. But instead if I were to offer you 50 dollars in a year and 100 dollars in a year and 1 month. Suddenly you might think to yourself, if I can wait a year I can wait the extra 1 month. But the time and value difference are the same as the first offer.

It turns out that human motivation is highly influenced by how imminent the reward is perceived to be. Meaning the more further away it is you discount its value. This is often referred to as present bias and hyperbolic discounting. Being on sites like facebook, 9gag and youtube is more rewarding than a perfect score on a test until temporal proximity increases the value of a good mark of your test and you cram, all night. On top of this every time you do something enjoyable such as playing game, you get a dose of dopa-mine that modifies the neurons in your brains, making you more likely to repeat the behavior. The problem is games and internet browsing provide many small and quick continuous rewards unlike your tests and study which is a one time future reward.

So how do we overcome this urge to put off these tasks. Well frankly speaking there isn’t a straight up solution. One solution is to try the Pomodoro Technique. A time management method by using a timer to break down periods of work into 25 minute intervals and rewarding yourself with some sort of treat and a 5 min breaks, which will improve your mental agility. It can be used for any kind of task and enables you to view time as a valuable ally in accomplishing what you want to do.

But the most important thing to overcome procrastination is to have a proper mind set, rather than thinking of it as 25 min of torture, think of it as only 25min but “I want more time”. Give yourself reason, motivate yourself on why you should study or finish a task. After several repetition with the proper mind set, your mind will start creating dopa-mine making you want to repeat the behavior. So Hang in there guys :).

Remember procrastination is a symptom not a cause.

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the clock is ticking.

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