The Akrasia Effect: What to Do About It

Last week, we showed you why people procrastinate. This week we’re going to give you the Akrasia Antidote.

Here are three ways to beat procrastination:

 

Strategy 1: Design your future actions.

Commitment devices are strategies that help improve your behavior by either increasing the obstacles or costs of bad behaviors or reducing the effort required for good behaviors. You can curb your future eating habits by purchasing food in individual packages rather than in the bulk size. You can stop wasting time on your phone by deleting games or social media apps.

The circumstances differ, but the message is the same: commitment devices can help you design your future actions.

Strategy 2: Reduce the friction of starting.

The guilt and frustration of procrastinating is usually worse than the pain of doing the work. So why do we still procrastinate? Because it’s not being in the work that is hard, it’s starting the work. Once you begin, it’s often less painful to do the work. This is why it is often more important to build the habit of getting started when you’re beginning a new behavior than it is to worry about whether or not you are successful at the new habit.

Put all of your effort and energy into building a ritual and make it as easy as possible to get started. Don’t worry about the results until you’ve mastered the art of showing up.

Strategy 3: Utilize implementation intentions.

An implementation intention is when you state your intention to implement a particular behavior at a specific time in the future. For example, “I will exercise for at least 30 minutes on [DATE] in [PLACE] at [TIME].”

 

And that is how you beat procrastination! You can visit James Clear’s webpage for a recap on everything about Akrasia.

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