How to Beat Procrastination

These two tips stuck the most for me:

1. Realize that procrastination is primarily about “feeling good now”

2. Avoid vague tasks, don’t say “working on my thesis”, instead you should say “reading 4 pages of a textbook to understand a concept i need to summarize in my thesis” (have a concrete, broken-down goal)

The thread is about a one hour long video, it is a lecture about procrastination by a professor. He states that by knowing how procrastination works, you won’t get tempted to do it. I think it is ironic because a procrastinator won’t watch a whole 1-hour video. But luckily, a redditor provides a good comment that summarizes all of the points:

comment by daktuno – 1.6k points – 1 year ago – edited 1 year ago


If you don’t want to watch the whole thing, 54:11 has the most valuable “technique” discussed in the video. Summary of points that stood out to me:


– Managing emotions: you need to be able to recognize your negative emotions associated with approaching tasks you tend to procrastinate on, and realize that procrastination is primarily about “feeling good now”.


– Realize that the good feelings you get from accomplishing a task should be used as motivation to continue to work and make progress, not an excuse to celebrate/procrastinate more, e.g. work late for an essay due the next morning, then do nothing about your exam next week after you turn in your essay since you feel good about having accomplished one assignment.


– Procrastinators often suffer from lack of identity, don’t know what they want to achieve, or why they want to achieve it.


– People who are ‘social perfectionists’ and are motivated to work because of other people’s/society’s expectations rather than their own sense of accomplishment are more likely to procrastinate.


– At a high level, tasks often seem insurmountable since they are so vague. e.g. “working on my thesis” or “studying for my class” often means doing nothing, whereas “reading 4 pages of a textbook to understand a concept i need to summarize in my thesis” is a concrete, broken down goal.


Most important technique introduced at the end 54:11: Be intentional about your implementation. Instead of “I’ll work on my task all day saturday” (which few people ever do successfully), use the formula: In situation x, I will do y to achieve subgoal z. By identifying your situation, action, and goal, you have broken down the task into an easily achievable, chewable piece.

The original video lecture:

Original comment:

1 hour lecture by the world’s leading Professor on Procrastination(2012): He claims if you know how it works, you won’t do it ever. So I decide to post it on the one site meant for procrastination. RePost from Documentaries