Acute Procrastination Syndrome — and How to Cure It with 3 Tips

Figure 1. An accumulation of drafts.
  • The scope of a project is too big
  • You have many things to work on, but do not know what to prioritize
  • There is no urgent deadline for the project
  1. Break down (quantize) the project into phases, and limit the scope. Once the phases of a project are identified, you can break it down further into standalone, relevant, bite-sized tasks. This will help you get over the initial procrastination barrier and consistently get you into a flow state. It will also help you continuously make progress, which encourages you further to complete the project. Taking the example of writing articles on Medium, I narrowed down the scope of the broad topics I had in mind by avoiding topics that I have no significant experience in.
  2. Learn how to prioritize among tasks using The Ranking Table Method I published earlier. I highly recommend reading through it and practicing this method a few times. It will help you identify what criteria is important to you and effectively prevent you from procrastinating critical tasks. Once you are familiar with this method, you can develop intuition for prioritization, which improves your productivity tenfold.
  3. Set your own deadlines for small tasks. By picking a small task, you can estimate how much time it takes more confidently than a big undefined project. For example, a small task may be to write a paragraph for a topic, which we can estimate to be doable in 15 minutes. By using this thought process, we can then schedule this task on our calendar as a 15-minute event and almost guarantee that we will make progress towards this project.

Conclusion

By identifying the forces that lead to procrastination, I have identified 3 important tips (quantization, prioritization, and setting deadlines) to tackle this problem. In this article, I have thoroughly described these tips and listed examples that show how these tips work in my own experience.

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Justin San Juan

Justin San Juan

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Award-Winning Software Engineer | Business and Web Consultant