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WSJ: Stop Procrastinating, Look to Science of Mood Repair

Hmmmm be mindful of your emotions… 

WSJ:  New Approach Focuses on Helping People Regulate Their Emotions

Researchers have come up with a playbook of strategies to help procrastinators turn mood repair to their advantage. Some are tried-and-true classics: Dr. Pychyl advises procrastinators to “just get started, and make the threshold for getting started quite low.” Procrastinators are more likely to put the technique to use when they understand how mood repair works, says Dr. Pychyl, author of a 2013 book, “Solving the Procrastination Puzzle.” He adds, “A real mood boost comes from doing what we intend to do—the things that are important to us.”

He also advises procrastinators to practice “time travel”—projecting themselves into the future to imagine the good feelings they will have after finishing a task, or the bad ones they will have if they don’t. This remedies procrastinators’ tendency to get so bogged down in present anxieties and worries that they fail to think about the future, says Fuschia Sirois, a psychology professor at Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Quebec, and author of a forthcoming 4,000-person study on the topic.

Time Travel: If you are rebelling against the feeling of having to work, try projecting yourself into the future. Imagine the good feelings you will have if you stop procrastinating and finish a project (or the bad feelings you will have if you don’t finish). Kyle T. Webster

‘Just Get Started’: If you are feeling frightened of possible failure, just get started. Tell yourself you don’t have to do the whole project. Just do the first one or two steps on it. Kyle T. Webster

Forgive Yourself: If you are feeling guilty about procrastinating, stop beating yourself up. Replace the negative thoughts with something more positive. Kyle T. Webster

Easy Things First: If you are feeling a lot of dread about one task in particular on your to-do list, start with something else, preferably the task you feel most like doing. The momentum you gain will help you start the toughest task later. Kyle T. Webster

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