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Is procrastination getting in the way of your work? Take 20 minutes now to identify why you do it and set yourself up to overcome procrastination in the future. Author and Kelley School of Business lecturer Brenda Bailey-Hughes shows you how to separate procrastination from other behaviors, identify your stalls, and address your procrastination head on with strategies that will help you get more done.
The most common reason for procrastinating is that we just dread the job that’s in front of us. You hate it. You know it needs to get done, but you just don't want to do it. What strategies can possibly help us get past that? Well I know at least three. First, try rewarding yourself. For accomplishing the task. if you get a little bit of the task done. Give yourself a little reward. Do a big chunk on the task, bigger reward. This strategy works so well for making the breakthrough on procrastination.
Because, the end result is you get the prize, the treat, the reward you give yourself. And the double bonus of feeling that sense of satisfaction that a part or all of this job is done. A second strategy is called the ten minute promise. You decide you will work on that task for at least ten minutes. Set a timer. At the end of the time, when that timer beeps. You can be done. But first ask yourself, are you still really hating the job as much as you thought? What often happens is once we kind of get the ball rolling, the task isn't as heinous as we thought it was going to be.
And we just keep ploughing through that undesirable task. The last strategy that I want to share with you for getting over the hump of hating a job is called pawn it. Pawn it comes from some interesting research in the field of exercise physiology. Two groups were asked to exercise three times a week for eight consecutive weeks. The first group, that was the total set of instructions. At the end of those eight weeks, only 18 people out of the original group were still exercising three times a week.
The second group Also asked to exercise three times a week for eight consecutive weeks. But they were also asked to give the researchers $100 before they started. They knew that if they were still exercising at the end, they'd get their $100 back. What happened to that second group? A full 82 of the original group were still exercising at the end of the eight weeks. There is just something about putting your money where your heart isn't. That's really motivating.
My friend and fellow trainer Paul Wesleman, has taken this exercise research to an interesting and effective new level. He recommends that we call the procrastinators to take a chunk of money. Enough that it's going to hurt if you don't get it back. Now give that money to a friend and say I'm going to have a certain project done by this deadline. I need to come back to you and report in at the end of that time. Here's what happens, if you get the project done and you report back and to your friend by your designated deadline. Congratulations.
You get that money back. But if you don't, your friend is going to donate that money to an organization that you despise. That's right. Whatever group you completely despise, that's where your money will be if you don't stick to your deadline. Can you imagine how quickly you would get that task done? A friend of mine lost grocery money for a month when she didn't meet her self-proclaimed deadline of making 15 new business contacts in a week.
I handed her money over to her university's arch rival knowing that it pained her. But also knowing that she will never miss a Pawn it deadline again.
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