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desiree333's avatar

What do you do to beat the ever-tempting procrastination?

Asked by desiree333 (3206points) January 25th, 2013

I have a major problem with this. If it continues I don’t know how I’ll handle graduate school or other responsibilities in the future. I need to nip it in the bud now. Share the willpower and wisdom guys.

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17 Answers

CuriousLoner's avatar

I like to make a actual plan or schedule before. Maybe a daily planner, calender, heck anything really. I find that it typically helps me realize, hey! I need to get this done.

Find mentally for me sometimes by not only writing in down on something, but working with others in same project, goal or what have you it builds a certain commitment.

At the end of the day though, it boils down to me,myself and I. How bad do I want it? A little self pep talk can go a long way.

Bellatrix's avatar

Goal setting and my own deadlines. I’m up there with the worst procrastinators but I rarely miss deadlines. Keep the goals reasonable. “Today I will read xxx and get my ethics clearance into first draft”. Know when your productive time is.

lightsourcetrickster's avatar

Ha! What a surprise to see you here Bella!

Better to dare mighty things and fail, than to live in a grey twilight where there is neither victory nor defeat.

~ Winston Churchill ~

Nothing worse than procrastination. You’re either gonna do something now and make the most of your time, or you’re going to get nowhere and just leave yourself open to more things needed to be done in the more or less immediate future.

Vincentt's avatar


Basically, you work 25 minutes (“a pomodoro”), then take a five minutes break. Repeat. During the Pomodoro I write down everything I am inclined to do, and do them in the break – or I don’t, when it’s actually not that interesting.

It does require me to first start though, and currently, I’m still on Fluther. Guess I’ll get to work as well :)

Also, working in the university library works wonders.

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zensky's avatar

Everyone suffers from it. You have to prioritize. Do something important first – then the rest.

NB Lookup prioritize. Use a z or s?

bookish1's avatar

I think of how disappointed my adviser will be in me if I let it go too far, and fuck up…
Grad school is just taking advanced courses in the art of procrastination…

@zensky: British English: prioritise; American English: prioritize.

Coloma's avatar

I’m a work in spurts of intensity type and also struggle with certain issues of procrastination.
Being a hedonist at heart I like to set up a reward system for myself as a motivator. It could be anything from a cocktail, a nice meal or looking forward to free time after completing the must do stuff.
Personality and temperament play a large part in procrastination.

Being an NTP type we are known to sort of fly by the seat of our pants but have the utmost confidence we can pull it together at the last minute, which we do with aplomb!
I also use the mantra of ” just do it!” It is really funny because I will realize that I spend MORE time and effort at procrastinating say on a 30 minute task than the time it takes to complete said task. I am trying to get my grocery shopping scene back on track right now.

I tend to shop for a week or 10 days and then go through an equal amount of time living on deli food from my local country market which is uber expensive.

Yay for me! Got my shopping done yesterday and am set for a week again. :-D

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Nothing, I can’t, I always give in to it.

Gabby101's avatar

I used to have a terrible problem with procrastination as well, but found that keeping a to do list/schedule and having a routine helped a lot. Seriously, my house looked horderish because I kept putting off cleaning and tidying-up, now it’s guest ready all of the time.

It’s fairly depressing to look at a list of things you didn’t accomplish at the end of every week – there’s no denying that you failed (especially when you know you wasted time on less important stuff). That motivates me! Having a schedule will also help you stay organized and will make it easier to do some of the tasks you might otherwise put off – I always buy gas and wash the car on Tuesday, clean the house on Sunday night, etc. My husband thinks it’s crazy when I buy 3 gallons worth of gas some weeks, but, hey, I’m never out of gas and I never have the noise in my head associated with trying to remember all the things “I gotta do.” I like having a routine for all my tasks so that I can be spontaneous for the things that should be spontaneous/creative. And you will have more time for fun if you are not wasting time worrying about what you should be doing.

Sunny2's avatar

I give in to it a lot! I’m here, aren’t I? Okay, I’ll go clean up the kitchen.

woodcutter's avatar

I do what absolutely has to be done or else. Everything else is gravy. Also I’m in my 50’s and have a tendency to blow off everything. I’ve earned that. Basically “one thing at a time” is how I do it.

wundayatta's avatar

I found the pain of procrastination was what made me stop. In college, I could tolerate all-nighters, but by the time I got to grad school, I couldn’t imagine doing an all nighter again. So I planned how to get things done in time. I started doing work early, knowing that if I didn’t actually do it, I would really suffer if I had to pull an all-nighter.

I’m a natural planner, so that makes it easier. If planning and doing time lines is hard for you, you might want to get planning software to help. Or just make a spreadsheet that helps you figure out what has to be done when if you are to get the job done.

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mattbrowne's avatar

By forming new mental habits. The cue that triggers distraction needs to be linked to a new routine and reward:

Dan and Chip Heath in their book “Switch” also recommend the so-called “Five-Minute Room Rescue” method.

bookish1's avatar

I try to remember how painful it is the day after an all-nighter…


Coloma's avatar

@bookish1 It’s much more painful when the you have a job interview the next day. lol

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