Beat Procrastination by Pre-Committing

Remember your college days, where everyone would brag about how they were able to pull off a miracle all-nighter?

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Although cramming is far from optimal in terms of the quality of work that is produced, it is quite useful in getting a fire lit under our asses, isn’t it?

According to a study on procrastination, this last-minute hoorah is inspired by the fact that there is no way out.

Better yet, this feeling can be controlled (without the worry and paranoia) by ‘pre-committing’ to a task before it’s begun.

There are a couple of ways to go about this:

  1. The Extreme One of the more extreme (and highly creative) alternatives is a web app called stickK, which allows you to pre-commit to a goal that you must complete by a certain deadline. Before you can set a goal up, you have to lay down some cash, and if you miss your deadline the money becomes locked and is donated to a charity that you hate!

  2. The Middle Option Make a public commitment. Share your plan with a friend or email someone “I will have that for you tomorrow by 5 PM”. Leave a healthy amount of time for emergencies, but don’t give yourself a week when you really need a day or two

  3. The Less Extreme Write down when and where you will complete a task. Students who did this were far more likely to complete assignments