Don’t Fall Into the Trap of Stopping

We live and work in a culture that values ​​productivity (and in turn, profit) above all else. But we’re also big fans of instant gratification. (Isn’t it best to make a checklist to add a few things you’ve already done so you can check them off right away?) As it turns out, when you mix the pursuit of productivity with our love of instant gratification, you can fall into the trap of “stopping. “. Here’s what this concept means and how to avoid it.

What is cessation?

Dr. David Rosenbaum , a professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, first coined the term “prestination” in a 2014 article in the journal Psychological Science . He describes this as “speeding up the subgoal, even at the expense of extra physical effort,” but this can be applied to tasks (eg office work) that are not associated with manual labor.

Basically, you will stop if you decide to put in the extra effort in a rush to complete the task (and mark it on your to-do list), which may not be necessary if you have a little more time and planning. Chris Bailey, a writer for CNBC’s Make It vertical, gives the following example:

You and your team are preparing for a challenging project, and they sent out several emails asking for clarification on certain points. Instead of wasting time thoughtfully and deliberately answering or scheduling a call for discussion, you send back a series of half-baked responses.

The task is completed, right? Not really. While you may have temporarily sorted out a few items on your to-do list, your ambiguity raises additional questions. As a result, it takes extra effort to get everyone back on track.

How to avoid termination

The key point here, according to Bailey, is determining when getting things done quickly is a good idea, not when it really costs you more time in the end. Here are his recommendations for working without stopping:

  1. Ask yourself: Will this task benefit from the extra time? Termination occurs when we are on autopilot. While this may seem counter-intuitive on busy days, stop and consider all the things that are on your plate. For those who require creativity, thoughtfulness, or emotion, a slow response will be better.
  2. Know what tasks you may be rushing on. If a task only takes a few minutes to complete, it can be helpful to complete it quickly to make room for attention.
  3. Keep a calendar and to-do list. It may not sound like a revelation, but extracting from yourself what clutters your mind is a wonderful thing. Keeping track of appointments, tasks, distractions, and ideas with a notebook or smartphone app lets you step back and organize. In addition to freeing up mental space, these tools can help you decide where to direct your energy in the future.

Ultimately, to avoid stopping, you need to work with intention – and if that means slowing down, so be it.


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