Beeminder Forum

Questions to ask when procrastinating

The other day I came across these 5 questions and I think they are rather good. So good I have a hard time coming up with decent answers quite often:

  1. “Why am I avoiding this?” (Is it boring? Am I anxious? Confused on what to do next? Afraid of failure?)

  2. “What’s it gonna take to get me to do it?”

  3. “How good am I gonna feel when it’s finally done?”

  4. “What’s the first step I can take? What small thing(s) can I do right now?”

  5. “How will I know when I’m done?”

I put them here so you don’t have to go on Twitter and get sucked into its distractions and drama.

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So good!

Another question might be “When will I do this first step / first 5 minutes / whatever?” to complete the if-this-then-that implementation intention.

Somewhat related, attributes of tasks that invite procrastination:

  • Boring
  • Frustrating
  • Difficult
  • Lack personal meaning and intrinsic rewards
  • Ambiguous (you don’t know how to do it)
  • Unstructured

If you can identify which of these attributes apply to the task at hand, it may be useful to brainstorm ways to alleviate those problems for that specific task.

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