Sunday, March 16, 2014

Procrastination, part 2

In one of Kevin Hogan book's author described the study that tells us something very interesting. Basing on this book I will present you in a while very accurate way of dealing with procrastination. The study was carried out by Dr. Sean McCrea at the University of Konstanz in Germany. The experiment was conducted on a group of students. In the first study, half of the group was asked to write why anyone would like to open a bank account or write a diary. The second half had to write a few sentences about what you need to do to open a bank account or write a diary. In the second study, half of the students was asked to name the members of a group, such as specific types of birds. The second half was supposed to name general categories, which include birds. In the third study, all students had some time to look more closely at the picture from the 19th century. Half of the group received detailed information about the method, which has been used to paint this picture. The other half heard a general description of the style of painting, not knowing the method of the painter. Afterwards, both groups evaluated subjectively other pictures in the context of a style that was previously described.

The results of all three studies were very clear. It turned out that almost all students who received the task in explained and accurate form (they knew exactly what to do) have done their job. If the instructions were general and vague, the task done only half of the group.

The presentation of the task determines whether you even start doing it. If something is defined too broadly, there is a small chance that you will take the action. The more detailed the job is, the easier it will be to accomplished it. Let me show you an example. For instance, you would like to sign up for foreign language classes. Thinking about it, you do not see what the task really is and you get a feeling that this is something big and serious. You do not know exactly how to handle with  it, what is the first step? And what the next step is. So you postpone it. What if you know that signing up for classes consists of a greater number of smaller tasks so that you better understand how to do it. You know what course you are looking for. You do know which school to choose. You know your level etc. You are aware that every next step will be a single, small task, and you have the vision in your head. It does not scary you.

Show yourself that your challenge is not a big watermelon, which you must eat at a time. It is rather a dozen of small pieces that you can easily crunch for a dessert, one after the other.

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