How To Use Rewards to Beat Procrastination

Use Rewards to Beat Procrastination

When it comes down to the answer how to beat procrastination, we all know the answer.
Why put off today what you can do tomorrow?

Procrastination is something most humans will experience during their lifetime because new things make us feel good, while routine and mundane tasks, well… just don’t.
But although procrastination may be inherent in human nature, it is a hindrance when we just need to get things done.
There are ways to beat procrastination and optimize our daily functioning, though.

A simple reward system can get even the worst procrastinator back on track.

Positive reinforcement works well when it comes to performance and progress.
Very often, we criticize ourselves when we don’t get things done but punishing ourselves too harshly can lead to more procrastination.
Setting up a system of reward and punishment can be helpful, though.
Small punishments like taking away games and toys or anything that could be a distraction coupled with rewards for completion of a task can be a powerful motivator.

The system of reward and punishment will be unique to each person.
It’s important to pick things that will inspire you.
For instance, if you’re a chocolate lover, a creamy, moist cupcake might be your reward, or no chocolate for a week if you fail.
As you complete more tasks and reach more goals, up the rewards and punishments and make them stronger.
Keep a list of the rewards and punishments close by as a reminder.
It’s important that whatever you pick, both reward and punishment evoke strong emotions.
You have to want the thing you’re rewarding yourself with, or the pull won’t be strong enough.

By turning the job or chore into a game or competition with oneself, the mundane task turns into something fun and challenging.
For instance, set the alarm to go off every 30 minutes to keep yourself on target.
Decide how much of the task needs to be done within that period.
Then, if the task is complete, reward yourself in some small way.

If you don’t complete it, then a small punishment will get you moving again.
Then when the job is done, a big reward will not only feel good, but it will motivate you to do all the other tasks on your list you may have been putting off.

Breaking promises to ourselves is much easier when there aren’t any consequences.

By setting up a reward/punishment system, even if the reward and punishment involve simple emotions like pride and guilt, there’s now a plan in place.
Goals are much easier to achieve when we have a plan on how to get there.
Starting a routine, boring task is hard but with the expectation of a pleasurable reward ahead, even the most mundane jobs can be fun.

I hope you have enjoyed this article about “How To Use Rewards to Beat Procrastination“.
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Raymond has a masters degree in Economy and Clinical Psychology.
He reads a lot and loves to cycle and run (when the sun shines).
He enjoys travelling and cooking amongst many other things.
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