Procrastination trigger checklist
This checklist by Dr María Machón includes typical triggers for procrastination, along with possible solutions for each trigger.
|Tackling a project (consistent on more than one task) instead of a task||Ask yourself: What is the immediate next physical action? Example: Brainstorm ideas for your article.|
|Lack of information||Gain clarity about what is missing with a mindmap. (What’s a mindmap? Get some examples here.)|
|Support needed||Analyze your resources and find out if you need support and what kind. Example: Ask an experienced colleague to help you design an interview.|
|Unrealistic deadline||Ask yourself: Is such a deadline necessary? Try to make an honest estimate and, if necessary, collect arguments to speak with your boss. Example: You need an extra day to let a native speaker review your text.|
|Undefined task||Find answers to these questions: what, where, when, with whom, for whom, why? Example: Who will be the audience for your talk? What are their interests?|
|Fear of failure||Imagine the worst case scenario. Design a strategy for this case. See also “Perfectionism.” Example: If I don’t get the grant I am applying for, I will get a job.|
|Fear of success||Imagine the worst case scenario in case of success. Design a strategy for this case too. Example: If I am selected for the conference I will have to speak in front of hundred of experts. Ask experienced colleagues to support you in case you succeed.|
|Perfectionism||Ask yourself: What level of perfection suffices for this stage of the project? Example: Orthography is unimportant in a first draft. It can
be corrected later.
|Unappealing task||Ask yourself: How can I make this task more appealing? Example: Go to a nice café for reading articles.|
|Too tired||Get some rest, or take a break and get some fresh air.|
This article by María Machón PhD was first published on November 9, 2010, and this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. It has been slightly modified from the original.