20 January 2016

Death by procrastination

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We are now well and truly in the year 2016. How have your New Year resolutions been going?

For me, I am starting to feel the guilt as I think about the gym sessions, eating habits and excercising the dog promises that I swore would (finally) happen in 2016. I’m sure I can’t be the only one guilty of procrastinating.

Research shows that 20 percent of us are chronic procrastinators. Psychologist Sharon Draper discusses that chronic procrastinators constantly avoid difficult tasks by looking for distractions. With the availability of the many social media channels in today’s world, this has made distractions much easier.

Joseph Ferrari, PHD and associate Professor of University of Chicago identifies 3 types of procrastinators:

Thrill Seeker
The thrill seekers enjoy the feeling of working against a deadline and so they feel they can procrastinate.

The avoiders procrastinate as a means of avoiding judgement, whether it is success or failure.

The indecisive procrastinators are usually perfectionists but procrastinate to shift responsibility from themselves.

So the question is, how do we beat procrastination?

Luckily for us procrastinators, psychologists have come up and put together 3 strategies for us to get our work done. 

Count the time left until the deadline

Researchers at University of California have discovered that if we view their deadlines in terms of days rather than months or years, we will start working on our goals 4 times sooner.
An example raised was if someone was planning to pay for their baby’s university fees, by thinking it as 6570 days, rather than 18 years, will help them kick start a savings plan sooner.

Start from the little things

Pier Steel, psychologist from University of Calgary suggests we should create artificial deadlines to ensure we are working towards the big goal at the end.
For example, if you are trying to write a 100,000 word book, the large amount of words is likely to scare you and hence scaring you into procrastination. Instead, you should focus on a smaller target such as 500 words per day, which will make the goal seem more achieve-able.

Delete distractions

The internet has played a huge part for today’s procrastinators, whether it be scrolling through social media channels, reading the news, or like me, finding more sources for my research! To combat this, it is worthwhile to find an app like Freedom, which will help block the internet whilst you work.
Sometimes, it is more productive to move yourself to another environment, such as the library or a quiet corner in the office so you can work in silence and not be distracted by those around you.

 “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone” – Pablo Picasso

Being brought up in a typical Chinese family in Australia, Vivian takes pride as an ABC (Australia-born Chinese) where she happily embraces both the Chinese and Australian cultures. 
In high school, Vivian wanted to become a fashion designer, however she has developed a passion for running events after working backstage for multiple live shows. Prior to starting at Akolade, Vivian worked 4 years in the wine industry and she misses the wine tasting sessions and openly drinking on the job. As the Marketing Coordinator, Vivian enjoys using her creativity to design unique and fun campaigns for each event. In her spare time, Vivian loves to spend time with her two adorable cat and dog. 

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