Hey! Hope you had fun at Destressor Week and all the fun events we had planned. This is Shal, for Saturdays with Shal. Today I wanted to focus on procrastination since I know this becomes everyone’s favourite word during the end of the semester. "If it’s not the due date it’s not the do date", as I’ve heard so many times. According to Seth Gillihan, a clinical assistant professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania, there are two main drivers for why procrastination happens: it’s going to be a pain and I’m not going to do a good job (psychologytoday.com). After all, why start something that you think is hard and you’ll do terrible at (i.e., my PSY230 paper)? But this is where you can improve, because Gillihan provides 7 steps to break procrastination habits.
1) "Create manageable pieces." So start at the start. Make a plan of how you’re going to break that big paper or studio project into smaller tasks that are easier to work with.
2) "Decide to start." Honestly, just jump right in. There’s nothing worse than being in that mindset of, “I can start this right now, but first I’m gonna relax with 1 episode of Grey’s Anatomy.” Before you know it, you’ve lost half the day because you keep putting off starting. Start now, start now!
3) "Make space.” This one is a must for us studio workers. I’m looking at you 665 dwellers! Clean up your space before you work so everything is organized and less stressful. And most importantly, CLEAN UP AFTER YOU’RE DONE!
4) "Set alarms and reminders." When we're avoiding a task, it's easy to forget to do it. We're much more likely to do something when we've set aside a specific time to do it and have put it in our calendar with an alarm.
5) "Build in accountability." Telling at least one person about our plan to complete a specific task by a certain date can raise our odds of doing it, if only to avoid the discomfort of being asked why we haven’t.
6) "Reward yourself." We can also motivate ourselves with small rewards for meeting a goal. The specifics will depend on the individual and might include snacks, entertainment, or socializing. All I can picture are those memes of cats being all pampered, and the meme saying, “me after a long day of doing the bare minimum.” Try not to go overboard and fall back to step 2.
7) "Practice acceptance." It's difficult to change our habits, and accepting that it's hard work can go a long way toward increasing your willingness to do it. Remind yourself why you wanted to procrastinate less, and how uncomfortable you're willing to be in the short term to feel better in the long term. So that’s everything that he said on this (I just see practice acceptance as knowing you suck at not procrastinating, but don’t be like that too).
There you have it, 7 steps toward less procrastinating and more success. And much to my sadness, next week is the last SWS. In celebration of a great year, I have a nice surprise for it (and there will be no dogs named Danny involved). Have a great weekend Daniels, keep it classy out there.