Want to save this page for later?

NextGen Magazine


I'll Come Up With a Headline for This Article About Procrastination Later

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Oct 4, 2017
Deadline alarm clock

Pretty much everyone struggles with procrastination. A recent article in the Harvard Business Review looks at why this is and what we can do. 

Research has found that the reasons behind procrastination aren't very complex or mystical: the less you want to do something, the more likely you are to procrastinate on it. More specifically, people are more likely to procrastinate on tasks that seem: boring; frustrating; difficult; ambiguous; unstructured; not intrinsically rewarding; or lacking in personal meaning. These terms could be used to describe pretty much all work in every job today, as jobs are basically things that are so unpleasant that the only way to get them done is to pay someone. But that seems to be the nature of this economic system we're in. So how can we stop dragging our feet and actually get these unpleasant tasks done? 

The article suggests, based on the author's own research on the matter, turning around these procrastination triggers into something positive, such as making a game out of it. It was also recommended that you understand and work within your "resistance level" (how long you're willing to focus on a particular task). Another possibility is to do anything at all to get started and get our minds into the idea of being on-task. The author also suggested keeping the costs of procrastination in mind by thinking of all the things you won't be able to do because you put this one thing off. Finally, try disconnecting from devices, which reduces the number of possible distractions.