The Real Reason Why We All Procrastinate

The reason why we procrastinate all boils down to something called perceived value.

Perceived value is how much we feel something is worth based on emotion and our accumulated experiences, rather than what it’s actually worth.

Take family heirlooms for example. Something your great-grandmother passed down, a picture frame, a telescope, a pocket watch, all of these could be considered irreplaceable items, but only to you. To anyone else, those items won’t carry the same sentiments and might not be worth anything at all.

You see, your perceived value is entirely subjective. It comes from a cumulation of how you live your lifestyle, your past experiences and who you are as a person. Your perceived value is unique only to you.

When we have a low perceived value of a task, we’ll choose to procrastinate on it, consciously or subconsciously because we’ll feel that that task isn’t important enough to justify completing immediately.

Our perceived value determines whether or not we’ll procrastinate; we’re less motivated to spend time on things we don’t care about.

To solve procrastination, we need to change our perceived value.

We need to take the value from something we care about and objectify it. We’ll take what motivates us and use that to reshape the perceived value of tasks that we procrastinate on.

I pay a significant amount for my gym each year, not because I particularly like it or that it’s the best in the world or anything — I pay because by doing so, by paying such a large amount of money, I’ll feel guilty if I skip going to the gym for even a single day.

In that way, the perceived value I had of going to the gym changes. I used money, which to me holds a higher value and applied that to going to the gym, something I cared less about to stop myself from procrastinating. It worked.

This can work for you as well. As long as you’re creative and honest to yourself about what motivates and drives you, there’s no reason why you can’t take what has a higher perceived value and apply it towards something you’re procrastinating on.

If you’re struggling to work out on your own, pay for a personal trainer. Use money as the key to keeping you committed.

If you’re having trouble writing new posts, compete with other writers on the number of posts you can write each week. Use competitiveness to your advantage.

If you’re unmotivated about house cleaning, invite in-laws or someone who’ll make a big deal out of it to your home. Use the fear of looking bad to motivate yourself.

Tasks that you increase the perceived value of becomes a lot easier to accomplish immediately, because the cost of procrastination becomes more than the cost you’re willing to bear. When that happens, you stop procrastinating.

Stop procrastinating and change your perceived value. Think about what motivates you and use that to your advantage.

About the author

Jon Lee

I travel the world in search of lessons worth sharing. Addicted to culture shock and transparency. Currently working on heeyy and duuck.

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