Solving The Procrastination Puzzle Timothy Pychyl, PHD

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Solving The Procrastination Puzzle Timothy Pychyl, PHD 저자: Mind Map: Solving The Procrastination Puzzle Timothy Pychyl, PHD

1. Introduction

1.1. Solving The Procrastination Puzzle

1.1.1. “If you are reading this, it is probably because you are bothered by procrastination." "You may even be reading this because you are procrastinating right now. You are avoiding some other task. I want to make the time you spend off task, right now, worthwhile." "That is the purpose of my writing. An hour from now, you will be prepared to act differently. You will be prepared to be more successful in your goal pursuit." "Are you ready to get started? That is one of my most basic strategies: just get started. In this book, I explain why this works and summarize the research evidence for such a simple, practical strategy.”

1.1.2. Are you procrastinating right now? Like Tim says here.. Let's make this hour of procrastination fruitful! If you're here take notes, make your own Mind Map or pull out real strategies to use in your life! Don't procrastinate passively here! Let's use this time to move forward. (Even it's not in the direction you've intended). This is also a good time to notice something.. Procrastination doesn't stop us from doing EVERYTHING! This video/book are actually brain heavy activities.. Often we think procrastination only leads to easy things. But you're here.. So that means procrastination can take many forms! Watch out, it's a tricky bugger! The most basic strategy: Timothy gives us the First Strategy here (more to come) Get Started.. Why does this work? We'll talk more on it later! But first thing we need to know is that's the most basic thing.. We need to bite the bullet and Get Started.

1.2. Mind Mapping

1.2.1. Get the most out of these Mind Maps by following along..

1.2.2. Find the process of HOW I Map plus all 50+ Mind Map templates (including this one) at the link below!

1.2.3. Following along will help you learn more, remember better and apply these books to your life.

2. Puzzle

2.1. “Procrastination is the voluntary delay of an intended action despite the knowledge that this delay may harm the individual in terms of the task performance or even just how the individual feels about the task or him- or herself. Procrastination is a needless voluntary delay"

2.1.1. "Procrastination, in contrast to other forms of delay, is that voluntary and quite deliberate turning away from an intended action even when we know we could act on our intention right now. There is nothing preventing us from acting in a timely manner except our own reluctance to act."

2.1.2. "This is the puzzling aspect of procrastination. Why are we reluctant to act? Why is it we become our own worst enemy?"

2.1.3. "We undermine our goal pursuit needlessly. Why? How can we solve this procrastination puzzle?

2.1.4. "To understand the procrastination puzzle—that voluntary but needless delay in our lives that undermines our goal pursuit—we need to understand this reluctance to act when it is in our best interest to act. We also need to have strategies to overcome this reluctance.”

2.2. Why do we fail to act when it's in our best interest?

2.2.1. This is really what the procrastination puzzle is all about.. And it doesn't just have one answer! This book is full of a lot of different strategies to help you overcome procrastination.. All of which are helpful! But.. I think that might make this first big idea easy to miss.

2.2.2. Most of us skip over the 'why am I procrastinating' part and go right to the 'how can I fix myself' part.. My experience is that self reflection is an incredibly powerful tool to help understand the playing-field.. Instead of trying to 'fix' something I think it's often better to seek to understand it! This way we can make our best attempt at solving the underlying issues vs solving the symptoms..

2.2.3. Here are a couple of questions to journal or ask yourself when you're procrastinating.. What am I feeling emotionally right now? What am I feeling energy wise right now? What will happen if I finish this project? What am I expecting of this project? Have I listened to myself about this project or have I forced myself?

3. Motivation

3.1. “The problem is pretty obvious, as is the solution: Let go of the misconception that our motivational state must match the task at hand."

3.1.1. "In fact, social psychologists have demonstrated that attitudes follow behaviors more than (or at least as much as) behaviors follow attitudes."

3.1.2. "When you start to act on your intention as intended, you will see your attitude and motivation change.”

3.2. Waiting until you 'feel like it' might just be the worst thing you can do for yourself..

3.2.1. What is the number one excuse we use for not accomplishing what we want too? I just don't feel like doing it right now.. The problem is that 'not feeling like it' compounds into 'never getting it done' pretty quickly!

3.2.2. Shown here is the fact that 'feeling like it' actually isn't a pre-requisite for getting it done! Motivation and state are as influenced by actually doing the thing than actually doing the thing is influenced by your motivation.. Meaning that while the first 2-5 minute of doing something is difficult.. More often than not you'll start to feel like continuing once you break that surface tension!

3.2.3. So how do we go about getting motivated? First I think we need to know that 'feeling like it' can't be relied on! Next I think we need to know that feeling follows action.. More tips on action next!

4. Predecision

4.1. “In short, implementation intentions are a powerful tool to move from a goal intention to an action."

4.1.1. "As I have outlined in earlier chapters, these implementation intentions take the form of ‘if _____ then ______’ statements"

4.1.2. "The ‘if’ part of the statement sets out some stimulus for action. The ‘then’ portion describes the action itself."

4.1.3. "The issue here really is one of predecision. We are trying to delegate the control over the initiation of our behavior to a specified situation without requiring conscious decision."

4.1.4. "IF I say to myself things like ‘I’ll feel more like doing this later’ or ‘I don’t feel like doing this now,’ THEN I will just get started on some aspect of the task.’”

4.2. Making the decision before the decision needs to be made.. Powerful way to shortcut procrastination!

4.2.1. Often we leave our schedules (and lives) up to our momentary whims.. Maybe we wake up in the morning and ask 'what do I FEEL like doing today?' This often leads us to choosing to do something less meaningful than we would really want to do..

4.2.2. Willpower based decisions are hard to make moment to moment! Waking up and doing a Mind Map vs watching a YouTube video is hard! Waking up and meditating vs listening to a podcast is hard! Unless we've decided what we'll do already.. Then it's as simple as starting! (remember that our state or preference follows our actions).

4.2.3. IF THIS THEN THAT Statements are a huge part of what we've been learning on this channel.. Check out Re-Thinking Positive Thinking by Gabriele Oettingen for more on that! But let's take a practical look at something you can change right now! What decisions can you make today that will make your day tomorrow less likely to slide off track? Here are some of my examples: Tonight I will setup my coffee maker, airplane my phone and fill my water bottle so that I can easily do my 15 minutes of meditation in the morning. After work today I will write down by list of 3 items I need to accomplish tomorrow and before I look at email or any other inputs I will stroke one of those off my list.

5. Get Started

5.1. “Notice we are not using the famous Nike slogan of ‘Just do it!’ It’s about just getting started."

5.1.1. "The ‘doing it’ will take care of itself once we get going. If we think about ‘just doing it,’ we risk getting overwhelmed with all there is to do. If we just take a first step, that is much easier."

5.1.2. "As a strategy, you may find that you have to just get started many times throughout the day, even on the same task. This is common. Even in meditation, we have to gently bring our attention back to our focal point, whatever that may be (e.g., our breath, a mantra). The thing to remember is that just getting started may happen many times in a day.”

5.2. Don't worry about accomplishing anything.. Just get started!

5.2.1. Sounds pretty backwards right? Almost all personal development books focus on setting big goals and focusing your mind around them! But what if that is hurting you just as much (or more) than it's helping you?

5.2.2. When we set big audacious goals our minds see how much work it's going to be.. I mean no wonder we don't want to get started! We plan to work crazy hours, endure stress or any number of things we have planned for ourselves..

5.2.3. So should we resolve to not get anything done? No. That defeats the purpose of overcoming procrastination! Instead. Let's focus on just getting started! Focus on getting 5 minutes into the task. This gives our minds enough time to switch states and get motivated.. This is THE SKILL to get good at.. Starting. Again and again. That leads to huge results!

6. Just a Minute

6.1. “‘It will only take a minute’ puts me on a slippery slope toward procrastination."

6.1.1. "It’s approaching midnight and Ari still hasn’t started to work on his report, even though he sat down at his computer at 7 p.m."

6.1.2. "When he got to his desk earlier that evening, his intention had been to get to work, but he thought, ‘I’ll just update my Facebook status—it will only take a minute.’ Now, hours later, he’s still there.”

6.2. Notice how our minds use the 'Get Started' principle against us in this procrastination scenario?

6.2.1. When we get off course we never do it thinking.. 'I'll just binge watch Netflix all afternoon' right? Instead it might start with 'Let's just watch one episode' or 'Let me just check my newsfeed' and eventually we've wasted the whole day! The Get Started concept is working against us (and for our distractors) in this scenario! Here is an example from the book: “im procrastinating ... that’s why im here ... i just google things im thinking about, like this ... or like i hear someone hum a familiar tune, so i look up the song to know who sang it ... i mean that LITERALLY takes a minute, but then that makes me google a couple other things and then it ends up lasting a lot more than a few minutes ... and i honestly dont realize when i end up reading the wikipedia page of some random disease that some singer had that was related to the singer i was looking up. wait, why was i looking him up? oh right, cos someone at my school was humming a song by him ... oh right, school ... essay due tomorrow, i haven’t started. like right now, i just realized ... im commenting on an article. ... i wish i could read those articles about my essay and try to get 2000 words on paper in a day.”

6.2.2. So how do we beat it? Well.. Really it's about being conscious! And setting some ground rules. Making some predesicions around how we're going to manage distractions through the day! These predecisions should make it hard for your to 'Get Started' being distracted.

6.2.3. Some examples: Don't check any social media or email until the first task is done. Turn off your phone when you get home from work. Block all social media apps on your computer and phone. Set a ground rule to not 'Get Started' on surfing the internet.

7. Multitasking

7.1. “On top of all of this is the myth of multitasking."

7.1.1. "I say myth because despite popular beliefs, research indicates that only a very small percentage of people can actually multitask effectively. Humans have a very limited attentional channel. We are better off focused on one thing at a time."

7.1.2. "Tragic traffic accidents are only one example of how potentially dangerous the myth of multitasking can be as texting drivers lose their focus on the road."

7.1.3. "The more mundane tragedy of multitasking is how we deceive ourselves into thinking that we are actually doing our work when in fact we are attending sporadically to our tasks in between email, social-networking updates, Internet searches, ecommerce, and gaming.”

7.2. Most of us feel the need to focus on multiple things at once throughout the day..

7.2.1. Working on a project, checking our emails and communicating via messages. Research shows that this might be the worst possible thing we can do for our productivity! Constant switching from task to task leaves what Cal Newport calls 'Attention Residue' meaning we can never pay full attention to any one task..

7.2.2. The power of flow: When we're focused on more than one thing we can never dip into what scientists call 'The Flow State' which is this magic like power where we are 10x more productive.. All of our attention, creativity and drive goes towards completing one specific and meaningful task. Meaning our projects not only get completed faster but we also produce a higher quality of work.

7.2.3. How can we achieve flow everyday? First we need to know we HAVE to be focusing on one thing. (I like to write the thing down). Next we need to have an end-time. (I like to use an egg timer here). Another helpful tip is to play some instrumental music. (I generally like to listen to lofi-hip hop beats).

8. Compassion

8.1. “This self-change process is uneven."

8.1.1. "We truly do feel like one day we leap ahead and the next day we fall back. Although we have to be committed to change and firm in our efforts to be strategic, we also have to be kind to ourselves during this challenging process."

8.1.2. "We all face setbacks, disappointing moments, and frustrations with our apparent lack of progress. Your attitude toward these setbacks and yourself will be extremely important to your continued progress."

8.1.3. "Be kind but firm with yourself, and be willing to forgive yourself when you do not live up to your own expectations."

8.1.4. "One of our recent studies was about this issue of self-forgiveness and procrastination. It has important implications for each of us as we take the self-change journey. What we found was that self-forgiveness for procrastination was related to less procrastination in the future.”

8.2. Self Compassion is the missing ingredient in the change process for most of us..

8.2.1. Almost all of my coaching clients are extremely tough on themselves! This is a mix of self criticism, feelings of unworthiness and negative self talk. These are in my experience all learned behaviors!

8.2.2. At one point in their lives (probably more than one) this self criticism motivated them to accomplish something. Therefore they pick up somewhere that it's a reliable way to get stuff done! Most of the time they are coming to see me simply because this process eventually short circuits.

8.2.3. Instead of having motivation at the cost of a little self criticism they have a massive amount of negative self talk and no motivation to speak of! That is why practicing self compassion is so important on the change process.. Motivation through self criticism only works for so long.. and it always costs more than it rewards!

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