Recently, someone read my blog post entitled “Maintaining a focused funnel mode”. They wrote to me and said, “I really would like to fine tune to a focused funnel mode and nurture concentration as a skill but most importantly cancel procrastination for good! To optimize my life, develop a strict strategy and redeem my time and ultimately achieve more. Do you have any advice for solving this puzzle? Could i just be paranoid or is it practical?
First of all, yes, it is not only practical but also an effective tool to take control of your destiny. To respond to him and anyone else stuck in a rut of procrastination, I’ll share key approaches I stumbled on as I was seeking practical ways to nail this bug few months ago. I had an opportune moment to sample vast ideas but the most thrilling concepts were widely handled by Piers Steel in his book “The procrastination equation”. Piers is one of the leading researchers on the science of motivation and specifically on procrastination and walks us on practical ideas on how to deal with the procrastination bug.
Piers shares the following fundamental aspects that may transform your life:
Procrastination Equation: Motivation = (Expectancy x Value) / (Impulsiveness x Delay).
Piers affirms that we need to have high levels of expectancy and high value and absolute reduced impulsiveness and delay so as to increase our motivation and handle the task at hand.
Expectancy: this simply means that you expect (you have high intense trust and self efficacy) that whatever you’re working on will succeed. If you cultivate this intense trust and high levels of self expectancy you’re more likely to elevate your motivation and engage in the task at hand.
Value: Piers defines it as “Your perceived meaning”. In this case, if you value something (say a project or so), you’re more likely to engage in it. If you don’t value something, you’re more likely to find it boring and ultimately procrastinate on it. We therefore need to elevate our perceived value on the tasks at hand so as to elevate our motivation and hence indirectly cancel procrastination.
Impulsiveness: Piers says that without impulsiveness there will be no such thing as chronic procrastination in our lives. But the reality is that we’re hard wired to be impulsive. We need to feel good right now. So, when we have a project in front of us, we’re almost always going to be drawn to do the more exciting thing to us right now such as tweet, post an update on Facebook or play pinballs. Playing pinballs in incredibly attractiveness and addictive than studying for our exams and we therefore need to control our impulsiveness if we need to elevate our motivation to handle the task at hand right now.
Delay:This is basically how far into the future we need to complete our project. The further out into the future such as a year or two from now, the lower the motivation to do the task right now. That’s why most us crammed in the university since we ended up procrastinating on some units (or subjects for that matter) until it was too late and hence delay range to the exams being extremely short, we developed acute responsiveness and ended up cramming (nullifying procrastination) and ultimately ended up passing those subjects.
Improving efficiency by 10%: Piers make a point that if you can simply boost your performance by only 10% you’ll literally create more than an extra months worth of work in the course of the year. His idea of doing this is pretty simple. Piers says we should quit distracting ourselves. He says that the number one thing that increases our impulsiveness which decreases our motivation and elevates our procrastination is being distracted. His number one tip is to remove the notifications from your emails and your social sites and simply focus on the task! Piers says that this alone will improve your efficiency by 10%. Consider turning off the push notifications, turn your phone to an airplane mode if it’s the source of your distraction. If you’re working offline, consider turning off the WiFi.
Remember any one big idea can transform your life if you implement it. “The procrastination equation” is a book I highly recommend check it out and as always lets optimize 😉
Question: What other suggestions would you have for someone who wants to cancel procrastination for good? Share your answer on Facebook,Twitter,LinkedIn or add your comments below