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When you don’t feel like doing something, you may decide to take a nap, or postpone the task to a later day (most likely tomorrow). This seems like sound logic, but it usually disregards the fact that when the time comes to actually do the task, you will not feel anymore desire to do it than, than you did the time you postponed the task. And you will likely postpone it again.

There are situations in which putting things off is OK, or even the best solution at the time (i.e., too drunk, etc), but most of the time, you might be postponing something simply because you haven’t given it much thought yet and have no idea where to begin. The task seems overwhelming, or because the task just provides no immediate pleasure.

“I’m too tired” and “I’ll take a nap” are excellent excuses because we imagine waking up refreshed, energetic and ready to take on anything. This is almost never the case. In fact, when I have a lot of things piled up from the prior week, I definitely don’t want to get out of bed. This becomes worse when more todo-list items, especially ones of high priority, are all reaching their deadlines or are already past due.

Always give tasks a thought on what the exact steps required are to complete the task, and about how long it will take, before postponing it. If it takes less than 10 minutes, why not do it right than and there? It will end up taking much longer than 10 minutes if you’re going to postpone it multiple times and potentially suffer a consequence.

An analogy would be being too lazy to login to pay your credit card bill, but all the while worrying about it, and finally getting a late fee and lower credit score.

Posted in Procrastination at December 12th, 2009. Trackback URI: trackback
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