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Busy All The Time? It May Mean You Postpone Being Productive

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Busy All The Time? It May Mean You Postpone Being Productive

True procrastinators— those who habitually engage in prolonged and ongoing bouts of procrastination— have perfected the art of putting things off until later. Procrastinators actively look for distractions and the most common and effective way to procrastinate is through “busyness.” Procrastinators dilly-dally in other— less productive— endeavors and trick themselves and others into believing that they are simply too busy to tackle a task.

Overcoming procrastination

Procrastination is a learned behavior that has little to do with time-management or planning. It’s about self-discipline and impulse control. And while learning to regulate behavior can be difficult, there are some things you can do to make it a bit easier.

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First, recognize when you are procrastinating. For most habitual procrastinators, it is a habit. You slip into these behaviors without even recognizing what you are doing. You begin your day with the best intentions, but before you know it, you’ve slipped into “busyness” and the day is spent. Recognize and acknowledge when you find yourself off task, or when you are avoiding doing your real work.

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Second, establish habits that target and address your procrastination. Building a habit is simply harnessing an impulse. For new habits to stick, you must create a clear trigger, make the behavior easy to do, and ensure it happens regularly. Keep it simple. If the behavior requires a high degree of intentionality, effort, or deliberation, it is not a habit. Benjamin Gardner[1], psychologist and professor at King’s College in London explains it this way:

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“Habit works by generating an impulse to do a behavior with little or no conscious thought. Habits are simply how the brain learns to do things without deliberation.”

Time’s up! Stop procrastinating and get ‘er done.

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Reference

[1] Journal of Health and Psychology Review: Defining and measuring the habit impulse: Response to commentaries

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