There is evidence for something called the Zeigarnik Effect, which is an intrusive cognitive “need” to complete a task once it has been started. The uncomfortable cognitive struggle is only terminated once a person returns to the task. Now you know why you feel distracted when you procrastinate; it literally causes a physiological drag on your consciousness.
If you tend to procrastinate, here are two often cited “hacks” for getting on with it:
- Start using a timer. If you avoid tasks like cleaning the house, set the timer on your stove or phone for 10 or 15 minutes, then make an agreement with yourself to clean like mad for just those minutes. The timer has a way of making the task more bearable because it has an end point.
- Use the Just 5 technique. If you avoid boring, difficult, or icky tasks, commit to doing just 5…just 5 push-ups, 5 dishes, 5 minutes, 5 clothes folded, etc. By committing to just 5, you start your task without feeling like you’re going to be stuck with it for a long time. Once you get started, it’s likely you’ll continue.
Overwhelmed with the home buying or selling process. Give me Just 5 minutes of your time on the phone to schedule a meeting with me to discuss what you’re looking for!