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How to get over precrastination

Gaëlle Coudert Apr 26, 2022 10:47:41 AM
How to get over precrastination

You may know about procrastination, that is postponing tasks to the next day. But have you ever heard about another problem: the contrary of procrastination? In this case, you will try to have everything done very quickly! This is called “precrastination”! Here are some explanations and tips for those for which it may ring a bell!

What is precrastination?

You may know a couple of colleagues (or it may even be you!) who usually let their to-do list get longer and longer and decide that any boring task can be postponed, although this may generate extra stress. But do you also know people who do the contrary? Who cannot bear to see their to-do list get longer and longer and would rather do everything as soon as possible, even if this means that they may rush through the task and be exhausted at the end of the day? Or is this something that you may even do? This is called “precrastination”. The concept was brought out by an American psychologist, David Rosenbaum. He explained that precrastination is to accelarate attaining a goal despite an extra effort. At work, this can correspond to wanting to get rid of a task as soon as possible, in order to reduce one’s mental load. The difficulty in this is that it can lead to trying to do several things at a time and getting scattered. This can also generate extra stress and exhaustion, when trying to do more than requested.

Tips to get out of precrastination

  • Set up a schedule and stick to it!

It is important to follow the schedule that you have determined. For example, you can plan a couple of hours to work on a particular case, then an hour to go through your emails and schedule the further tasks that have been requested: they do not necessarily need to be done right now! You can also decide to schedule one or two hours every day for urgent matters and to get quick tasks done.

  • Stay concentrated / disconnected

Schedule some moments where you will not be disturbed. You can log out, and suspend notifications from your emails and telephone, or even tell your colleagues that you wish not to be disturbed. This will help get one job done at a time and be more efficient.

  • Breathe to get back to the present moment

If you feel caught up in all sorts of requests and try working faster and faster to get everything done, you will get tired and may then not be as good as you could be. Take a moment to breathe deeply (inhale for 5 seconds, exhale during 5 seconds and so on) and concentrate on your body sensations before getting back to your current task. Try to finish it before starting another one!