Another Reason to Procrastinate

confusedWhile I agree with the pain avoidance theory, I believe another reason that I procrastinate is lack of knowledge.  There are times I simply do not know what to do or where to begin.  Avoiding the task all together is just easier than asking for help or conducting the research required.  Am I the only one who procrastinates when the beginning of the task remains a mystery?

One technique I have adopted includes determining my first task for tomorrow.  This approach has proven effective when I would rather waste just one day this week.  Naming my starting point before I go to bed at night prevents the waste of time that often occurs when one works from a home office.  I used to work from a To Do List for the entire week.  On Monday, I would work too long and complete 90 percent of the list.

Another approach for unknown tasks has been to set aside time every afternoon to dissect tasks that are new to me.  I will define the steps within the task and prepare a checklist to be completed later the same day or the next day.  I find that I am able to make greater progress when the unknown steps are discovered during the normal workday.

Obstacles that stop my progress cause frustration, but I tend to push through barriers to my progress.  The middle of the process seems to be easier to recover since I have already started on the series of tasks.  I am not sure why it works that way.

How do you get started on tasks that are completely unfamiliar to you?

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— Mialei


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