You’ve been there before, you’re sitting on the computer, you’ve got your to-do list of things that are priority and important to do in your day, but you’re just sitting there scrolling and looking at Facebook, or you’re in your inbox. The worst thing is, you know you’re not really doing anything. You’re just farting around or what we like to call ‘faffing’ around!
Well, the first step is to think about what are the things that are taking your attention away. This is a real challenge in the modern day because we’ve got so many notifications in our world and they’re so addictive. Before we go into the tips about procrastination, let me give you an understanding as to why these types of notifications are so addictive and how hard it is to break away from these habits.
How the human brain works is there are all sorts of chemicals that are going on. When you’re scrolling through Facebook for instance, and you see something that excites you, whether it’s a picture, whether it’s a bit of juicy gossip, or a bit of information, like wow, that sets off a chemical trigger in your brain called dopamine that says, “This information is good” which feeds the craving for wanting more and more. That’s why it’s so addictive for us to scroll continuously.
Have you ever had that feeling when you’re scrolling, and you stop to ask yourself, “What am I even doing? There’s nothing here; it’s boring.” They’re just saying the same stuff but yet we keep scrolling in the hope of feeding that same ‘feeling’ we got once. Then before we know it we are back at the same point we remembered looking at last night.
The reason is that your brain associates the fact that one time you saw that really cool information which set off that chemical reaction and made you feel good. So now you remember that feeling and are searching for it again, that’s why it’s addictively looking for that next fix.
We’re addicted to these notifications that are around us, and these are the things that have the tendency to distract us. So it all comes down to eradicating your notifications, so that have the tendency to distract you. Now that you understand this here are two tips to help you stop procrastinating and get you focused on your big task for the day.
It all comes down to eradicating your notifications that have the tendency to distract you.
For me, this is my biggest distraction. I’m probably getting about 150-200 notifications or pings per day through Facebook and Instagram and also through emails.
With Facebook, you can actually get an application that turns off your news feed. It’s called a news feed eradicator. That means if you have the tendency to, while you’re working you pull up another tab and you go to Facebook, it appears that there’s nothing there in your news feed and your brain goes, “Oh well, nothing here to see today,” and you close that, and you get back to work. That’s playing on the fact that you know that something’s going to be able to distract you.
If you’re not at our computer, it is more likely than not that you will have your mobile devices on you, which I hate to say it, but it is an automatic magnet for distraction and procrastination!
If things become out of control and you really need something to change, I recommend you either log out of these applications, so it makes it harder to click back in or even delete them off your phone completely.
At the end of the workday or the end of the week, you might have to form a habit of removing those ‘procrastination apps’ from your phone.
Set your phone to airplane mode! That means no phone calls will come through; no notifications will come through, and then you can reward yourself by turning it back on at the end of that job or end of that task and go, I wonder what happened in that last 20 minutes. What once caused you procrastination can be turned around and become your reward!
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