Beat Procrastination From the Inside

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Over at Lifehacker is some interesting advice I might try the next time I catch myself procrastinating. Eric Ravenscraft takes the lead of the advice site Barking Up the Wrong Tree and calls this "taking the inside view":

[T]here are two ways to view any task. The "outside view" which is what the task look like from an outside observer, and the "inside view" which is what it looks like when you're doing it. We have a tendency to forget the latter, even if we've done that task before. Maybe mowing the lawn looks like a hassle from the outside, but maybe you also enjoy listening to music and getting a workout in on a nice day outside when you're actually doing it. The task doesn't look as bad once you're in it. If you're struggling to find motivation, take the inside view...
This reminds me of another good technique, which is to try to imagine or recall the desirable results of getting the task done -- or even the inconvenience or disappointment of not getting started. But what's nice about the "inside view" is that it provides another means of incentivizing the task, which can be handy if there is no urgent need to do it and the results aren't that rewarding on their own. (Mowing grass is one of those for me.) In other words, this technique is good in cases where the other might not quite be enough.

-- CAV

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