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5 Strategies To Overcome Procrastination - Self-development
5 Strategies To Overcome Procrastination - Self-development

Video: 5 Strategies To Overcome Procrastination - Self-development

Video: 5 Strategies To Overcome Procrastination - Self-development
Video: Procrastination – 7 Steps to Cure 2023, December

The opposite of "must - want" seems to us as obvious and natural as "black - white" or "day - night". And yet there is nothing "natural" in such a division: it is just one of our habits - a very old one and not the most useful one.

A brief history of "must"

At first we were small and everything we did was good. Everyone liked how we gag, and how we crawl, and even how we sit on the pot. We ourselves decided what we needed: when we wanted to sleep, it meant that this was exactly what we needed to do, and we fell asleep; when we shouted, it meant eating or changing diapers. There was no difference between "want" and "need".

Then we went to kindergarten, and the first adult thing we learned there is that our desires are not important. If it’s time for sleep, then you’ll sleep now, for lunch time, you’ll eat. Whether you like it or not, it doesn't matter: you will be "through I don't want to."

If we spend a lot of energy on unnecessary, then they are not left for the necessary

Emile Durkheim

We learned in school that our value is not absolute, but relative. Somewhere there is a scale, or rather, many scales by which you can determine how good we are. There are special people who know what we are worth and tell us about it using the numbers in the diary. Unlike the punishments that we received for some specific behavior (beat up a brother - you won't go for a walk), grades mean much more. They now denote who I am: "poor", "slob", "well done", "future janitor", "humanist", "bright head", "capable", "brake", etc.

Moreover, unlike behavior, which to some extent depends on me (I myself decide whether to beat my brother or not), all these qualities and abilities do not depend on me in any way. If I have a "talent for music" - good, but I have nothing to do with it; if a “bear stepped on my ear” is bad, but I still have nothing to do with it. Either there are abilities or they are not.

For fifteen years - in kindergarten, and then in school - we were forced and forced, until we learned to force ourselves. And now there is an internal division in each of us: the internal “force” is waging a war with the internal “shorter”, and this lasts so long that we may have already forgotten that we can do something differently than “through.


Such a situation can have only three outcomes: the victory of the “forcing agent” (workaholism), the victory of the “shirker” (slovenliness), or a protracted conflict with a temporary advantage of one or the other side (procrastination).

Such different attitudes

In psychology, there is a special term - installation on a given (fixed mindset). This is the belief that the cards that nature gave us are not subject to return and exchange. The only thing we can do is to envy those who are better than us; look down on those who are worse than us; and try in every possible way to convince others that we have more trump cards in our hands than we really do.

Contrast - installation on the development (growth mindset). It is the belief that any ability can be improved with enough effort. People with a development mindset don't see failure as the final verdict on their value. For them, any failure is just the failure of one of many attempts, with each of which they get better.

Defend your boundaries

The introduction of "must" is perceived as an encroachment on personal boundaries. The natural response to such an encroachment is rebellion. The child resists, he says: “I will not do it! I won't go to your stupid school! I do not want!" - he tries to defend his boundaries. If this resistance is effectively suppressed, then at the end we will get the dream of hardened teachers and bad parents - an excellent student who persistently and obediently does what they tell him, does well in school, helps around the house …

The problem is that he completely abandons his own desires to please the system. He regularly reacts to external influences, but lacks internal impulses. In adulthood, such a person can do well in a system where diligence and diligence are encouraged. True, there are great chances that his achievements will not be to his joy. After all, he does not know who he is, what he wants, what makes him happy - he gave up thinking in such terms a long time ago.

If the only motive for our actions is the desire to show our freedom, then we cannot free ourselves from the bonds of necessity

David Hume

The opposite extreme is a person who has thrown all his strength into resisting the system. Yes, he did not break, but often this is his only achievement. When the outside pressure is strong enough (and our educational system is capable of this), then all the energy is spent on the defense of the borders, there is no force left for the development of forces. In school, these are "difficult children" whose main occupation is to constantly challenge the authority of parents and teachers, to violate social norms and to show how all this does not bother them at all.

Such people face the classic problem of the heroes of the victorious revolution - they rebelled against so long that they have already forgotten what they are for. And since rebellion is the only thing they know how, they are frantically looking for someone to fight next.

Praise the kids correctly

How to give your children a development mindset? They just need to be praised correctly! In one experiment, a group of children was given a math problem of moderate difficulty, which everyone eventually got through. All of them were praised for this, the only difference is that half of the children were praised for their abilities ("bright head, you clearly have a talent for mathematics"), and the other half - for diligence ("I see you took your work seriously, did not give up when it didn't work right away ").

After that, the students were offered a more difficult task. The children who were praised for their abilities gave up faster. But the children, who were praised for their diligence, not only tried harder, but also tried to choose more difficult problems, they were no longer interested in solving simple ones.

In addition, children with a fixed mindset are more likely to lie about their results - because if you are “incapable,” then the only way to save your self-esteem is to pretend to be capable. Children with a development mindset understand that if something has not worked out today, it means “I don’t know how yet, I’ll learn and I’ll learn.”

The wonders of diplomacy

Since both options are equally sad, most of us choose the intermediate one - underground resistance. We take the necessary minimum of actions to only be left behind. We try to cheat in every possible way in order to simplify our life. In general, we are doing everything that has recently been called the beautiful word “procrastination”.


If you are used to doing everything according to the word "must", then try to achieve your own goals in a known way - to force yourself. And to do so is a disastrous business. As long as we are trying to force ourselves, there will be no changes on the domestic front, because we have a wonderful defense mechanism to fight against forcing machines - a "portable automatic shirker". It is impossible to break it, but it is possible to make it so that it does not turn on in certain situations.

And for this you need to understand how and why it turns on. Here are five of the most common causes and strategies to overcome them.

1. Obligation

One has only to hear the words "must", "must", "should", as the brain turns on the alarm and the defense mechanism for each such "must" responds with weighty "right now, that's just …".

What to do?

Replace “must” with “want and will”. Behind every "must" is "I want" - it remains to find it. Behind the need to cook food is the desire to eat or feed, which means that since I want to eat in half an hour, now I will cook. So you gain control over the situation and now you are free to choose: either to give up your desire, or to take actions leading to its satisfaction. Well, if “I want” is not found, it means that someone else’s “want” is behind your “need”. It's good that you found out about this.

2. Perfectionism

If the “forcing agent” says: “If you do, then do it perfectly,” then the “shirker” answers: “An ideal is impossible in nature, which means that you shouldn't even start working”.

What to do?

Shift the focus from perfect to flawless. Tell yourself: "I will approach this task with all responsibility and will do everything in my power."

3. Gigantophobia

The task is so large and complex that it is not even clear which side to start from.

What to do?

If you find yourself doing a task that seems overwhelming and overwhelming, divide it into small and easily digestible parts. How do you eat an elephant? Piece by piece! Divide until the pieces are small enough not to panic.

4. Finishism

When you think about what you need to complete, finish, the defense mechanism begins to look for ways not to bring this task to a result.

What to do?

Your goal is not to solve the problem completely, but to start working on it. Catching yourself thinking about a victorious, but very distant ending, ask yourself, "When can I start working on the next little piece of this problem next time."

5. Prisonness

If you say to yourself: "Until I finish, I will have to limit myself in all sorts of pleasant things" or "I have to work, I do not have time to rest," then the natural solution would be to first have a good rest for the future.

What to do?

He who rests badly does not work well. The correct mantra is: "I will take time to rest and recuperate." If the planned time worked flawlessly and did not have time to finish, this is not a reason to sit for an extra two hours, and the next day to come to work sleepy.

Perhaps by observing yourself, you will find your own strategies for action. But even working with these five will be enough to conclude an inner peace between “want” and “need”.