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Sábado, 11 / 04 / 20

4 Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination, Backed by Studies.

4 Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination, Backed by Studies.

Jamie Logie, B. Sc.

learning-mind.com

April 10, 2020 .

 
overcoming procrastination strategies.

 

 

How often has the inability to get things done held you back in life? Overcoming procrastination can be one of the most significant things to take back control of your life.
Procrastination can throw a wrench in your ability to work, create, and progress. We all know the feeling; the longer you put something off, the worse it gets. It can reach the point where even the simplest task feels overwhelming and monumental. When you learn to overcome procrastination, you can take back your life.
This article will look at 4 strategies for overcoming procrastination that use science to back them up.

Why Do We Procrastinate?

Why do we put off the simplest tasks? It could be doing the laundry or calling about a dentist’s appointment, but when you are faced with these minimal assignments, they feel like having to move a giant boulder. Why are we more likely to put off even the simplest thing?
Procrastination isn’t about laziness, or being bad at time management – it goes a lot deeper. There are many fields of psychology that all look at procrastination in a slightly different way. Neurophysiologists say it can be more about execution function and failing to do that. This basically means you have a mismanaged way of how you plan ahead or prioritize things.
Social psychologists may consider it more related to emotional regulation problems. It could come down to simply wanting to avoid stress. If you peel back the layers on the human experience, everything we do comes down to two approaches:
  1. Gain pleasure
  2. Avoid pain
Calling to make a dentist’s appointment isn’t a massive trauma, but there is still an obligation, expectation, and responsibility to do it. This is enough to create a bit of stress. And even a little stress is still stress. Your body will avoid it at all costs, and this may be why you procrastinate. From an evolutionary perspective, this may all be about self-preservation.

What Does Science Say about Procrastination?

The one good thing to consider when you look at overcoming procrastination is to know you’re not alone. Procrastination impacts almost every person at one point or another. The issue is how severe it gets and if it becomes a debilitating condition.
Procrastination might even be part of our evolutionary makeup. Researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder looked to see if this issue may be genetic. They asked pairs of twins what specific work habits they had. They looked at fraternal twins (who only share some of their DNA), and identical twins (who share all of their DNA).
All the sets of twins grew up together, so the researchers looked to see if genetics had some influence in their procrastination. They found that about half the time, the differences in procrastination could be because of differences in genetics. What this all means is that procrastination might be built right into us.
So how do you start overcoming procrastination? Here are 4 ways:

1. Start Very Small

Have you ever noticed when you start cleaning up something very small, you then realize you have cleaned the whole house without realizing it? This is the importance of starting small with any task, and it’s probably the most important strategy for overcoming procrastination.
Don’t feel you have to take on the whole thing at once, but break it down into smaller, more manageable chunks. When you start with the smallest thing first, it has a spillover effect that creates momentum and motivation to keep you going.
There’s science behind this too: the research shows that when you start a task, your brain continues to process it even when it’s not finished. You’ll be more likely to return to it and complete it. We remember the tasks we haven’t completed more than the ones we’ve finished.

2. Break Up the Tasks into Timed Intervals

They call this the Pomodoro method, and I’m using it right now to write this article. The brain can only fully focus on so much before it needs a break. Francesco Pomodoro invented the technique in the 80s and it uses timed intervals to help keep you on task.
Every 25 minutes you take a break for 3-5 minutes. This gives your brain a chance to “breathe” before stress sets in. After you have done 4 cycles of 25 minutes, you would take a 15-20 minute break before starting again.
Not only does this help you become more productive and improve your time management, but it also makes you more motivated to start. If you know you have breaks coming up very soon, it’s easier to begin a task or assignment. The prospect of having to work 4 hours straight is an easy way to talk yourself out of doing it.
Another benefit of this technique is that it tells your mind that there is a sense of urgency. Because there is a timer, there is the sense that you better get started. If you feel you have endless time during the day, it makes it much harder to start.

3. Overcoming Procrastination by Understand Your Limitations

If you are someone who can read for an hour, that’s working within your limitations. If an hour seems overwhelming, consider the effort you’re willing to commit to that task. They call this “finding your resistance level.” If the hour seems too much, what about 25-30 minutes? Narrow this amount of time down until you get to the point where you feel more willing to undertake the task.

4. Look at the Costs of Your Procrastination

Some procrastination doesn’t have significant repercussions – but some can be extreme. If you’re putting off bigger tasks, make a list of the things that will happen if you do not get this thing done. When you see this list looking back at you, the consequences of not completing it appear more clearly.
This can work on a small scale too, such as not doing your laundry. Issues from this could be:
  1. The build-up of more and more clothes to wash and more time to have to commit
  2. Nothing clean to wear to work
  3. Having to wear the same thing on multiple days which can lead to embarrassment
  4. Wearing clothes that smell which is even more embarrassment and shame
A simple task can spiral out of control. So take a few minutes and write a list of how not getting started on something will hurt you in the long run.

Final Thoughts

Overcoming procrastination won’t happen overnight, but it is very achievable. Another bonus tip is to free yourself from distractions before starting a task. There are so many things vying for our attention, so make sure you limit what can reach you. This could mean turning off your phone or turning it to airplane mode to avoid distracting notifications that prevent you from starting (I’m also doing this right now while writing this article).
Procrastination is nothing to feel bad about. It’s natural, part of the human experience, and also appears to be genetic. By getting a better understanding of procrastination, and using these strategies, you will be more likely to overcome and conquer it.
References:
  1. https://www.psychologicalscience.org/
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/
  4. https://hbr.org/
 

About the Author: Jamie Logie, B.Sc.

Jamie Logie is a certified personal trainer, nutritionist, and health & wellness specialist. He holds a bachelor of science (B.Sc.) degree in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario, studied sociology and psychology at Western University and has a counseling diploma from Heritage Baptist College. He has run a blog and top-rated podcast on iTunes called "Regained Wellness". Jamie is also a contributing writer for places like the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, LifeHack and has an Amazon #1 book called "Taking Back Your Health".

COPYRIGHT © 2020 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.
 



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publicado por achama às 04:29
Quinta-feira, 30 / 05 / 19

What Is Time Management Matrix and How It Helps You Be More Productive ~ Francesca F.

What Is Time Management Matrix and How It Helps You Be More Productive.

By Francesca F.

May 30, 2019

 
 
 
The time management matrix is one of the best tools to help you prioritise and get productive.
Productivity is something we all struggle with and we can end up procrastinating even when we’re trying to be productive. It might be that you end up spending too much time on the less important tasks. It might be that you end up giving more attention to a small part of a task than is necessary.
Whatever the problem, there is a solution: the time management matrix. It helps you to figure out what you need to be doing with your time as opposed to what you want to be doing with your time.
By utilising the time management matrix, you will be able to prioritise your work so that you keep on top of everything.

What is the time management matrix?

The time management matrix was popularised by Stephen R. Covey and is based on the theory that our time is spent on a four-quadrant matrix. These quadrants are:
  1. Urgent and Important
  2. Urgent and Not Important
  3. Not Urgent and Important
  4. Not Urgent and Not Important
Each of these quadrants has its own characteristics and should be dealt with differently. Once you know where tasks fit, it will be much easier to use the time management matrix to improve productivity.

How will the time management matrix benefit me?

time management quadrants
The most obvious answer to this question is that the time management matrix will boost productivity. However, there are a number of added benefits which make it even more beneficial.

Better Performance

By implementing the time management matrix, you will learn how to more effectively manage your time. This is because you will be learning which tasks are important and which tasks just seem important.
You will also be able to spend more time on important, urgent tasks so you can work to a higher standard. This allows us to take more pride in our work and reap more substantial benefits from the time we spend.

More Effective Work

As you begin to use the time management matrix on a regular basis, you will start using your time more effectively.  This also minimises the frustration we can sometimes feel at the end of a busy day when we feel as though nothing has been done.

More Time

By categorising tasks according to the time management matrix, we spend more time in the right places. This frees up a lot of extra time to spend on more important things.
When urgent tasks are complete, we lower our stress levels and can enjoy other things. This might be ticking some tasks off the important and non-urgent to do list, or maybe freeing up a little more personal time.

Health Benefits

Our day to day lives can be stressful, especially when we feel we are making little progress. Stress can lead to a number of negative side effects on our body. Not only does it negatively affect our mood, but it can be seriously detrimental to our health.
Boosted performance and spending time more effectively has a positive effect on mood and stress which, in turn, benefits our overall health.

The Four Quadrants

time management priorities matrix
The time management matrix splits our time into four quadrants, each with their own characteristics.

1. Urgent and Important


The urgent and important items are those which must be dealt with immediately. Any time you spend on this quadrant is non-optional. Most of these tasks should be reactional and not due to poor planning.
The use of quadrant 2 will significantly minimise these tasks so that you are only acting in this area on an emergency basis.
Examples of tasks which fall into this category are family emergencies or emergency work deadlines.

2. Not Urgent and Important


Not urgent and important tasks are those which do not need your attention right now but should be planned for.  According to Covey, this is the quadrant which we should spend most of our time in. This quadrant allows for long-term achievement of goals and the proper planning of deadlines.
Use of quadrant 2 significantly limits the use of quadrant 1 so that you can reduce your stressand work at your own pace.  When you are aware of deadlines, make sure to properly plan for them. To maintain your health, factor in a little bit of time for exercise or planning healthy meals.
Don’t be fooled by these tasks, as they may seem urgent, but are really only important.
Examples which fall into this category are things like exercise, maintaining relationships, working towards a goal or deadline.

3. Urgent and Not Important


Urgent but not important tasks are those which need to be seriously limited or eliminated altogether. These kinds of tasks usually come from other people who may be asking for help or wasting time in a meeting.
They may also be very simple tasks which take more time than they are worth. These tasks add no value to your day but can still take up a lot of time. To limit these tasks, it is useful to learn how to say no to people in order to prioritise your time.
Examples for this category are useless phone calls, interruptions and other people’s emergencies.

4. Not Urgent and Not Important


Another quadrant which should be severely limited is that for non-urgent and non-important tasks. These are tasks which don’t have to be done within a certain timeframe and add little or no value to your day.
These tasks are often trivial and are the primary contributor to procrastination. These tasks usually completely waste time but are surprisingly the tasks we can spend the most time on.
Examples which fall into this category include scrolling on social media, watching too much TV and general bad habits.

How to use the time management matrix

Now that you have a better understanding of the four quadrants, you can start to categorise your tasks and plan for your goals. By spending a little bit more time in quadrant 2, you can begin to plan for things properly.
When we have our goals and deadlines planned and we can spend a little bit of time on them each day. This reduces the last-minute rush and improves performance overall.
By reducing the rush caused by leaving these projects too late, we reduce the stress they can cause when they become urgent. Then, by reducing the time spent on tasks of little value, we increase the time we have for more important things.
This can take a little bit of time to get used to, and it takes a lot of practice of self-control. Remember that you are the best judge of what is important to you.  Once you get into the swing of it, however, you will find your productivity increased and your stress reduced.
With proper use of the time management matrix, you can improve your productivity and spend more time on the things that matter. With a little self-control and reflection on different tasks, you will quickly be able to differentiate between importance and urgency.
The time management matrix helps to make more time for what counts and free up the time we spend on tasks of little value. It is a great tool to have in your arsenal to get into the flow of working better and working smarter.
References:
  1. https://oaa.rice.edu
  2. https://extension.uga.edu
 

About the Author: Francesca F.

Francesca is a freelance writer currently studying a degree in Law and Philosophy. She has written for several blogs in a range of subjects across Lifestyle, Relationships and Health and Fitness. Her main pursuits are learning new innovative ways of keeping fit and healthy, as well as broadening her knowledge in as many areas as possible in order to achieve success.
 
 
 
COPYRIGHT © 2018 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.
 

 
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publicado por achama às 19:23
Terça-feira, 30 / 04 / 19

How the Flow State Supercharges Your Brain and How to Get into It ~ Francesca F.

How the Flow State Supercharges Your Brain and How to Get into It.

By Francesca F.

April 29, 2019

 
 
 
We all want to be a little bit more productive and we’ve all experienced the extreme focus of flow state, but most of us don’t know how to utilise it.
Productivity can fluctuate for a number of different reasons. Maybe you’re tired, hungry, or stressed. It might just be that you struggle to find your focusFinding your state of flow is the best way to counteract this lapse of productivity. It will help you banish the temptation to procrastinate so that you can start making positive progress.

What is the flow state?

First, we need to understand what the state of flow actually isIt is a term from positive psychology, which is essentially the study of what makes life good, worth living, and how we can flourish.
This state of mind is commonly known as being ‘in the zone’. It is the state where we feel completely immersed in the task at hand, with complete concentration and even enjoyment in the task. When you’re experiencing it, it is common to lose track of your surroundings, even the time.

Flow state and hyperfocus

Flow state can sometimes be confused with hyperfocus, however, the two are entirely different. Hyperfocus is an intense mental concentration or imagination, which often distracts individuals away from tasks.
Although the two are similar in terms of concentration, hyperfocus is concentration on the wrong things, such as videogames and focussing only on a small part of a task. For these reasons, hyperfocus is a common symptom of ADHD and has been proposed to be linked to other conditions.

How to know if you are in the state of flow?

While this state of mind is a somewhat abstract concept, some psychologists have proposed some indicators of experiencing it:

1.Intense and focused concentration on the present moment

When you are experiencing the flow, you are entirely focused on what is going on right there and then. You lose sight of future commitments and past events.

2.Merging of action and awareness

Again, somewhat of an abstract concept, the merging of action and awareness essentially means that your actions feel like an extension of your mind.

3.Loss of reflective self-consciousness

A key indicator of flow state is that we lose the awareness of ourselves in some way. Simply put, it means that we feel less self-critical and self-aware.

4.A sense of personal control over the situation or activity

We may not be in control of the result of a project, but when we are experiencing this state while performing a task, we often feel in complete control.

5.A loss of sense of time

The most common indicator of flow state is a complete loss of time. We’ve all looked up from the clock and wondered where the time went.

6.Experience of intrinsic reward

We don’t even need to know the outcome of a particular task and project. When we are in the state of flow, we receive an intrinsic reward from simply performing the task in the first place. We typically feel as though we have more potential to succeed in the task at hand.

7.Other needs become less important

When experiencing the flow, it is common that we forget about other needs. We may forget we are hungry, thirsty, or tired. We might even come out of flow realising we desperately need the bathroom!

How can the flow state benefit you?

flow state focus
The most obvious benefit you will get is boosted productivity. We all want to get a little bit extra done, improve our focus and make progress on our goals. Finding your flow state is an incredibly useful tool in getting things done, but it also has some unexpected benefits.
A surprising, but not entirely unexpected, result of reaching this state is greater happiness. This is because of two reasons. First, when you are experiencing the flow, you are not necessarily happy or unhappy, you are simply neutral. Then, once the project is finished, you receive the personal reward of finishing a project.
Secondly, the state of flow also tends to give you better performance because your brain is more relaxed, similar to post-meditation. This allows you to achieve greater insight with a project. Moreover, the flow state allows for the release of dopamine, which enhances your ability to notice patterns by heightening our attention and decreasing distractions.
This aspect of being in the flow allows us to also the external rewards from bosses, or project completion. All in all, this gives you a greater proportion of positive emotions and studieshave found that those in flow also tended to improve in levels of self-esteem and self-image.

5 elements of reaching the flow

productivity and happiness
There are five aspects which fit together to create a state of flow:
  • self-control
  • environment
  • skills
  • purpose
  • reward

Self-control is a key element of being in the flow.

To be able to utilise flow more often, we need to be able to gain control of our willpower. Nathan DeWall, a psychology professor who utilised the science of self-control to become a marathon runner, suggests three ways to develop our self-control:

1.Find your standards and set some goals.

These may be big or small, but are usually things such as hitting a word count, running a certain distance, or drinking a certain amount of water. They are the small goals on the way to the ultimate goal.

2.Set up how you will monitor your goals.

Self-control works best with immediate feedback, and this comes in the form of tracking your goals. Find ways to constantly track your goals, but be flexible enough to alter them if you need to.

3.Be aware of your energy levels.

Our energy fluctuates throughout the day and, with it, so does our willpower. Typically, we will have more self-control and willpower when we have more energy, and these are the times we should practice getting into the flow state.

Environment is an interesting feature when finding your flow.

Although it may seem counterintuitive, the best way to practice flow is to push yourself slightly out of your comfort zone. This allows your body and mind to adapt to more challenging environments. As a consequence, when you do reach the state of flow, you will be less distracted by more challenging environments.

Skills allow us to begin the task in the first place but should be well matched with a good level of challenge.

To experience the flow, we need enough knowledge to complete a task and feel as though we are deliberately using them. That is to say that we must be present when applying our knowledge and do it on purpose, rather than just going through the motions.

Purposeful work is much more likely to get you into the flow state.

When we feel connected and passionate about something, we pay much more attention to it. Consider what you are creating, who you are creating it for, and what is the expected outcome. The more something stimulates us, the more motivated we become, and this is an essential element of finding your flow.
If a task doesn’t feel so important to you, find ways of making it important. Maybe it will help your job performance, improve your physical capability, or just make you feel good about yourself when you finish.

Reward is the last element of finding the state of flow.

In its essence, reward simply a by-product of flow state but links all of the rest together. Understanding the reward of your work will almost always help you find your purpose. It will also motivate you to apply your skills, develop self-control and put yourself out of your comfort zone. The reward is the motivation to see a task from start to finish.
Finding and practising these elements will help you successfully enter flow more often and reap the incredible benefits. Not only will it boost your productivity, but it will also holistically improve your life.
References:
  1. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  2. Find Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life – Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5855042/
  4. Scientific Secrets for Self-Control – C. Nathan Dewall
  1.  

 

 

 

 

About the Author: Francesca F.

Francesca is a freelance writer currently studying a degree in Law and Philosophy. She has written for several blogs in a range of subjects across Lifestyle, Relationships and Health and Fitness. Her main pursuits are learning new innovative ways of keeping fit and healthy, as well as broadening her knowledge in as many areas as possible in order to achieve success.
 
 
 
COPYRIGHT © 2018 LEARNING MIND. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. FOR PERMISSION TO REPRINT, CONTACT US.
 



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Discernment is recommended.

 

All articles are of the respective authors and/or publishers responsibility. 

 

No religious or political belief is defended here. (Investigate yourself)

 

Individually you can be helped to find your Truth that is different of everyone. 

If you use discernment you are free to research with an open mind. 


More @ http://violetflame.biz.ly and 
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publicado por achama às 15:43
A Luz está a revelar a Verdade, e esta libertar-nos-á! -Só é real o AMOR Incondicional. -Quando o Amor superar o amor pelo poder, o mundo conhecerá a Paz; Jimi Hendrix. -Somos almas a ter uma experiência humana!

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