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What can I do to fight procrastination? I'm looking for general advice, professional research and useful tips.

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closed as not constructive by Dori Jun 26 '11 at 22:43

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This question is a bit too broad, a more concrete / focused question may yield better answers. –  TJB Jun 22 '11 at 20:41
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This would be appropriate for the faq or community wiki. –  Huperniketes Jun 23 '11 at 5:16
    
There we go, I hope this edit is better. Flagging for CW... –  Tom Wijsman Jun 25 '11 at 10:07
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This is far too vague to be answerable. Please ask concretely answerable questions. How to Ask and How To Ask In Private Beta might be helpful to you. –  HedgeMage Jun 26 '11 at 22:46
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The primary issue is that asking something as broad as "how to fight procrastination" on a productivity site will only leave users guessing how to help you, exactly. Procrastination is a very broad topic and a large part of what this site is about. It's better to ask very specific questions which can be reasonably answered in this type of Q&A format. –  Robert Cartaino Jun 26 '11 at 23:30
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4 Answers 4

THIS well written and well referenced look at procrastination, should contain a wealth of information to get you started. Summarizing, the basic issue of procrastination is viewed in the article as a formula:

Motivation = (Expectancy x Value) / (Impulsiveness x Delay)

Thus, one has four methods of attack for procrastination (increase the two in the numerator, decrease the two in the denominator):

  • Increase the expectancy that you will succeed. Many procrastinate because they don't think, they will achieve success as an outcome.
  • Increase perceived value. When we don't value the outcome of the task we should do, we will choose other things to do instead.
  • Reduce impulsiveness. Making plans, putting things like StayFocused or LeechBlock into place, having accountability confidants, etc., will help.
  • Reduce delay. The longer you put off something you should do, the easier it becomes to keep putting it off.

This is just the overview; read the rest for far more information and helpful suggestions, as well as for a wealth of referenced works on the subject from the available scientific and self-help literature.

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thanks for a great link and very well written overview –  haps10 Nov 14 '11 at 17:04
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You need to find what works best for you but here goes what's been working for me.

Make a list

Open a document and describe in short sentences everything you have to do today. Take notes on what you're currently working on, at what time you started and finished. By the end of the day you're gonna have a good overview of how much of your time you're spending on things that actually matters.

Why it works?

  • You don't waste time thinking the next thing to do once you finish a task, the options are right there waiting to be chosen.
  • For the most distracted people like me, it's easy to resume whatever you were doing before you got distracted or something you didn't finish doing the day before.
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If you don't need the internet, turn it off. If you can do what your need to do without a computer, then do it without a computer. I find that when I am connected to the internet or even using a computer, I often get distracted by a blog or an app or a game, which doesn't help if I need to meet a deadline.

Obviously I can't completely avoid using a computer/the internet, but I try to minimize my computer use as much as possible (for example, I try to write my drafts on paper first and them type them in to a computer).

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And close all tabs in browser, close IM. –  Denys P. Jun 22 '11 at 20:32
    
@Denys P. I have an annoying habit of re-opening IM and the tabs with time wasting sites after I've closed them. The best way to avoid them, in my opinion, is to turn off the internet and/or the computer when you don't need them. –  Christofian Jun 22 '11 at 20:34
    
When I'm developing, I need Inet sometimes. –  Denys P. Jun 22 '11 at 20:59
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Just three simple steps:

  1. Choose life goals.
  2. Make plan to reach goals.
  3. Work. If you want something, you will.

But don't forget to have active rest. It is very important. If you are tired, you can't work effective.

And I want to recommend you good book: Napoleon Hill - Think and Grow Rich
Good luck!

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