How to stop Procrastination

Procrastination, a habit that can slow down the growth of even the most skilled people influences each of our lives. What is the point of our potential if we waste all of it by procrastinating?

Piers Steel came up with a motivation equation that can help us better understand procrastination and overcome it.

Equation- Expectancy x Value / Impulsiveness x delay

We want to increase our expectancy and values, and decrease our impulsiveness and delay.

Expectancy refers to how much you expect to succeed at doing the task and thereby getting the anticipated reward. The more success we expect, the more we will be motivated. Following actions can help you increase your expectancy:

  1. Get clarity on what you want and study or talk to someone who has already done that.
  2. Divide the entire task into small goals that are easy to accomplish. Write down your daily task in the morning and focus on accomplishing those
  3. When you feel stuck up, remind yourself of why you started in the first place. Success will not be served to you on a silver platter. You will have to prove your worth by staying consistent
  4. Believe in yourself

Value- How much do you enjoy doing the task and, how much you will enjoy the result. The task you assign yourself will not always be fun. But knowing that by accomplishing these tasks, you are taking a small but firm step towards your goal will give you enough motivation to proceed

Impulsiveness- Impulsiveness here refers to distractions. We procrastinate only when we find something better to do than actually finishing our task. You need to make sure that your work environment has fewer or no distractions, especially, digital distractions. Social media can be highly addictive and can add to your habit of procrastination

Delay-Delay occurs when we feel that we have a lot of time to do something which can be done in lesser time. Have you ever noticed when you are given two hours to finish a work, you will finish it in two hours? But, when you are given an entire day to finish the same task, you will drag it on. This is called Parkinson’s law. It states that work expands to fill the time allotted to it. So this means that we can use it to our advantage. By setting a realistic but short deadline, we can save more time and get more things done. 

All the above steps would be effective but the foremost step is determination. You have to make up your mind and put in conscious effort to overcome the habit of procrastination. But one thing is for sure, the result will be worth the effort.

Let me know your views on this.

Published by Sruti Shivakumar

An architect from India on a journey of self exploration

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