Break free from procrastination excuses


  1. List down your common excuses.
    Awareness is the first step toward change. Start by identifying your common excuses, such as "It's not due for weeks" or "I work better under pressure." Write them down to become more aware of your patterns.
  2. Understand your tendency to prefer short-term rewards over long-term rewards.
    Acknowledge that our brains are wired to favor immediate gratification over future benefits. To avoid this, write down the long-term benefits of completing your current tasks, like career advancement or improved health. Place this list where you can see it often to stay motivated.
  3. Plan realistically by considering the planning fallacy.
    Make a note of the time required to complete previous tasks and use this information to create realistic plans. For example, if writing a report usually takes you three days, allocate sufficient time for similar tasks in the future.
  4. Overcome self-handicapping behaviors.
    To avoid creating excuses for poor performance, make it a habit to start your tasks early. Reflect on times when you delayed tasks to protect yourself from potential failure. Remind yourself that starting early gives you more time to do quality work. Set an early start date for your next task and commit to it.
  5. Challenge the preference for tomorrow over today.
    Make a list of tasks you usually delay and set clear deadlines for starting them today. For instance, if you have a report due on Friday, schedule time to work on it today. Remind yourself that starting now is always better than postponing.
  6. Question your irrational thoughts.
    Identify and challenge your irrational beliefs that might be holding you back. These could include thoughts like "I need to be perfect" or "My self-worth depends on my success." Ask yourself if these beliefs are realistic and how they affect your behavior. Replace them with balanced, rational thoughts, such as "I can learn from mistakes" and "My worth is not tied to my performance."


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