After seeing this article on the BBC about procrastination, and reading the comments on Hacker News about it – I found this lecure by Tim Pychyl.

Fancinating stuff – here are the notes I took…

Procrastination Definition

  • not doing something
  • doing some other task (eg tidy office) rather than the task we should be doing
  • not taking control of ones lift
  • coasting
  • give in to feel good now, rather than feeling good later when something done.

Delay isn’t procastination. Some things belong to tomorrow.
Death regrets – thoughts of those left behind “we intended to do this but didn’t”.

Procrastination isn’t a time management problem.

procrastination, time management, and the action gap

Negative reinforcement -> if I avoid the hard work for now I’ll feel better.

I have negative emotions about the task -> if I avoid the task, I feel better. Negative reinforcement.

Ask myself : What negative emotions do I have associated with project or task x,y,z? Answer them. Come up with solutions.

Personality Types

Conscientious – dutiful, self disciplined – doesn’t procrastinate.

Impulsivity – procrastinators

Perfectionism – social perfectionists – procrastinators
Trying to live up to others expectations

  • unrealistic standards
  • other peoples standards
  • on social media
  • trying to keep up with others

High emotional inteligence – don’t procrastinate

Develop emotional intelligence
Learn to manage emotions -> manage procrastination.

Emotional intelligence – drive work from other places – rather than boredom, use curiosity


Aversion to do task – boredom, frustration, resentment
3 parts to tasks

Inception + Planning : problem – lack of meaning
Solution : find meaning

Action – lack of structure
Solution : give task structure.

Abstract thinking – brain thinks do it tomorrow
Concrete thinking – do it today!
Break it down – make it concrete.

Value affirmation

Why is it important to get this done?
Or a reward! Do this, get that!

Implementation Intentions

Vague intentions -> procrastination

Goal intentions -> Implementation intentions

In situation X, I will do behaviour Y, to achive sub goal Z.

When I finish my lunch, I will write 4 sections of the article, to achive the sub goal of publishing the guide.

Mindfulness Meditation

Do mindfulness meditation

  • strengthens attention
  • strengthens willpower

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