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When you think of AI and procrastination, you might not immediately see a connection. But what if artificial intelligence could be the key to finally conquering those procrastination habits that hold you back?
With a growing number of useful apps for procrastination and the introduction of new ones driven by AI algorithms, the fight against procrastination is entering a new era. In this article, we’ll explore 9 ways AI could become your ultimate ally in productivity.
Top-3 AI tools for procrastination
Can AI cure procrastination?
While AI doesn’t offer an instant cure, it provides a robust set of tools to understand and combat the underlying causes of procrastination. You can leverage AI tools to understand your procrastination patterns and work on overcoming them.
AI can take over some of the boring, repetitive work you resist doing, help you set SMART goals and break them down into manageable steps, keep you focused for longer, and do a bunch of other things that make getting work done a less stressful process.
Whether you struggle with distractions, motivation, or organization, there’s an AI solution out there crafted to make life easier for you.
The role of AI in overcoming procrastination lies in its ability to empower you with personalized tools and strategies. While it won’t cure procrastination overnight, the integration of AI can create a more intuitive and responsive work environment, easing the stress and anxiety often associated with procrastination.
The result is a more productive and satisfying workflow that turns procrastination into a conquerable challenge. AI isn’t the cure, but it’s a powerful ally in managing and reducing procrastination.
How AI can help you fight procrastination
The fusion of AI with everyday tasks has unlocked new ways to combat procrastination, making it a challenge of the past rather than an ongoing struggle.
Here are nine ways AI can help you procrastinate less:
1. AI can help you set and track goals
Do you ever feel that setting goals, especially long-term ones, is like shooting arrows in the dark? AI-powered goal-tracking tools like Tability are able to turn the lights on and give you full clarity on your journey until you reach your desired destination.
Whether it’s a fitness regimen or a business project, Tability ensures you have the right metrics and timelines. It helps you convert your vague goals into SMART ones you can actually measure and generates action items required for you to get there.
As you work on your projects, Tability tracks the progress of each task and visualizes the overall progress on your dashboard in various ways. You can zoom in to see detailed updates about each task or zoom out to see the big picture.
With smart tools like weekly check-ins or statistics insights, Tability makes sure you are on track to meet your goals.
Remember your New Year’s resolutions? Tability doesn’t let them gather dust. It allows you to break down your big dreams into tiny doable steps and walks you through the entire process.
For example, if your goal is to write a book, Tability can remind you to write a certain number of words each day. Having a friendly nudge when you’re losing focus turns your mountainous goals into a delightful hike, one step at a time.
2. AI can create a focused environment
Distractions are the most common time-wasters in everyone’s life and work. From typical distractions at home to coworker interruptions to smartphone addictions, there is no lack of things that can defer your focus from what you need to do.
But what if you had a powerful protection tool to ward them off? Brain.fm, an AI-based background music tool for focus, does just that. It generates stimulating soundscapes you can listen to while working that are scientifically proven to help you concentrate.
Imagine wearing an invisible helmet that blocks out everything irrelevant, leaving only you and your work. This tool has the ability to put you in the zone faster, especially if you’re someone who thrives on focus but lives in a chaotic environment.
Whether you work in a busy cafe, a bustling office where the chatter around you is too distracting, or the quiet home office where you find your own ways to procrastinate, you can leverage a smart anti-procrastination tool like this to stay laser-focused on your task.
With brain.fm, you can tailor the noise to your needs, creating a bubble of focus. This is not just random music; it is designed scientifically to engage the brain in a way that promotes concentration. So next time the world gets too noisy, put on your headphones, and let brain.fm tune out all the outside sounds, turning your workplace into a pleasant focused environment.
3. AI can organize your calendar
Is your calendar looking like a battlefield? Do you feel like you’re spending more time planning and rescheduling than you are actually working?
If your calendar gets so overwhelming that it’s causing you to procrastinate and leave projects unfinished, AI can give you a helping hand and take some weight off your shoulders.
One of the particularly useful AI tools for scheduling is called Motion. In a way, it’s like having a really smart personal secretary without having an actual person involved in your business.
This AI app saves you a ridiculous amount of planning time as it takes all your to-dos, events, and meetings and creates a perfect schedule for you. All you need to do is to see what’s next on your calendar and start working on it.
Similar to other timeboxing apps, Motion sets a time limit for each task to discourage wasting time on unnecessary perfectionism.
It can even reschedule the tasks that didn’t get done and notify you if something doesn’t seem to meet an upcoming deadline.
Forget the dread of double-booked appointments; Motion organizes your schedule so neatly that you might just fall in love with planning. And the best part? Motion is intelligent enough to adapt to your preferences over time, so your planning process will get more effortless the more you use it.
4. AI can limit distractions
A 2023 study published in the “Computers & Education: Artificial Intelligence” journal evaluated the role of AI assistants in online learning and found that students have been spending noticeably less time on online entertainment when they had an AI watching over them. The study involved setting specific learning goals and limiting time on the most distracting websites.
As evident from this experiment, AI doesn’t solve procrastination completely, but it can help you stay on track and be more focused on your goals.
While the tool mentioned in the study was designed for the sake of research and is not available to the public, there are multiple AI-powered tools on the market that operate in a similar way.
My favorite AI-powered distraction-blocking tool is RescueTime. It tracks how much time you spend on every website and blocks access to sites that are considered a distraction during a focus session.
Of course, you have full control and can let AI know if a site is important for your work. But it’s actually pretty good at figuring it out, and I personally only had to do it once. (You can read my full RescueTime review here)
5. AI can brainstorm with you
Various examples in history and across industries showcase that two heads are better than one. Sadly, if you are a freelancer or a solopreneur, chances are you don’t have anyone on your team to brainstorm with or bounce ideas off.
Surprisingly, artificial intelligence is not only here to automate your tasks and take over trivial work (it is called intelligence for a reason). There are actually many tools available today that can become your brainstorming partner, whether you need to figure out the details of your novel’s plot or solve a tricky business problem.
One such tool is Ayoa. This AI-powered mind-mapping tool pours fuel into your creative process, helping you break down complicated concepts and extend your horizons.
In a way, brainstorming with AI is even better than brainstorming with a real human. The tool will never shut you down or tell you that your idea is dumb. It will suggest additional ideas based on your input, intelligently match your intention, and assist you in your creative thinking.
The best part is that Ayoa is available whenever inspiration strikes: you can use it online or download it on your devices and brainstorm on the go, even offline. For writers, entrepreneurs, or even party planners, Ayoa can turn your scattered thoughts into a beautiful mind map and often generate ideas you haven’t thought of.
6. AI can make project management easier
If you are someone who juggles multiple projects, you know how difficult it is to keep track of everything in your head. At some point, using a project management tool becomes a necessity if you want to avoid becoming overwhelmed and inevitably procrastinating.
There is no lack of good AI tools for project management in 2023. Here are some of the most prominent ones:
- Taskade AI offers a complete productivity suite, including task management, AI chat, mind maps, and team collaboration functionality. It employs AI to enhance project oversight, streamline communication, and simplify complex tasks. (Read my full Taskade review here.)
- ClickUp is a popular project management tool that recently introduced a bunch of new AI features to help you speed up daily tasks related to ideation, summarization, writing, and more.
- Wrike AI can become your own digital assistant, prioritizing your to-do list based on urgency, automatically generating subtasks, and sharing with you insightful statistics about your team’s work progress.
With AI tools, procrastination doesn’t stand a chance. These platforms adapt to your workflow and turn project management into a seamless process, empowering you to achieve more with less stress.
7. AI can do some work for you
Working harder is not always the answer. There are only so many hours in a day and only so much energy in you. The key is to find smart ways to make the most of the time you have and leverage your most productive hours for the most important work.
One of the ways to work smarter is to let AI tools take over some of your work. Most procrastinators don’t even realize that they can actually delegate some of the most unpleasant tasks to smart software tools and spend more time doing the work they enjoy.
Depending on the type of work you do, you can create a little army of virtual helpers:
- Otter AI is a powerful meeting assistant that makes your life a whole lot easier if you have a lot of customer calls or team meetings. Otter can transcribe those meetings pretty accurately, take notes, highlight the important parts, and generate action items. It can even join meetings on your behalf and give you the gist of everything that was discussed.
- Sanebox keeps your inbox free of clutter and helps you focus on important communication. It’s a super simple tool that saves you a lot of time and energy that is usually wasted during the day on dealing with endless distracting emails. You can teach it to recognize the type of email you want to see and hide the annoying or spammy ones that you don’t.
- Notion AI is a best friend to students, entrepreneurs, writers, and other creative folks. It can summarize your notes, sort data into tables and databases, analyze meetings to outline key takeaways and generate action items, and so much more.
The best part? These helpers will never call in sick or ask for a day off. They are at your command 24/7, aiming to make your work easier and never complaining. Who knew technology could be this considerate?
8. AI can help you overcome blank page syndrome
A blank page can be a writer’s worst nightmare, but AI writing tools can eliminate it completely or even write for you.
Jasper is the favorite AI writing tool of most bloggers I know. It has been around long before ChatGPT entered the picture, and it can write all kinds of high-quality content for your blog, social media, landing pages, and more.
One of the really cool features Jasper has is called Brand Voice & Memory. You can teach it about your company and products, your brand identity, and your unique voice, and it’ll keep it in mind as it generates content for you down the line, consistent with your brand’s style and tone.
Sudowrite is a life-saver for fiction writers. It can craft detailed scene descriptions, generate plot twists and character stories, and even give you actionable tips to improve your own writing.
Outside of writing itself, Sudowrite is able to generate images to visualize your writing and suggest unique character names.
The best thing? It learns to write in your voice and can continue crafting the story whenever you get stuck.
Rytr is a simpler and more affordable tool (compared to Jasper) for those who don’t write as much or aren’t tech-savvy.
Rytr AI can help you write emails, generate website copy, product descriptions, ads, or social media posts.
Outside business content creation, it has a wide variety of use cases from writing cover letters to generating song lyrics.
With the rise of generative AI, I personally feel much more productive in my writing work, even though I don’t churn out full AI-generated articles like some other bloggers do. These tools help me fight the urge to procrastinate, forget about writer’s block, and nudge me in the right direction when I can’t think of the next sentence.
9. AI can chat with you when you feel stuck
Unless you live under a rock, it is likely that you have played around with ChatGPT by now. People have mixed feelings about it, and the negative feedback usually comes from those who simply don’t know how to prompt it right.
However, there is plenty more fish in the sea that don’t have the annoying ChatGPT limitations. For example, Copy.ai is a similar tool that not only has real-time data (ChatGPT’s knowledge ends in 2021) but is designed with business use cases in mind.
Having a chat-based AI assistant on your side is very beneficial, especially at times when you feel stuck with anything. Whether you’re planning a marketing strategy or writing a speech, talking to Copy.ai can provide the insights, encouragement, or even the hard truths you need.
It has a bunch of useful pre-built prompts, from summarizing the blog post from a given URL to drafting a personalized email based on someone’s Linkedin profile.
Sometimes I even ask the AI chatbot to be my motivational coach when I feel low, and it surprisingly succeeds in bringing me back on track.
With AI always being there when you need someone to talk to, you’re never alone in your creative journey, even as a solopreneur. Copy.ai is literally ready to listen and respond 24/7. If you can’t determine the right angle or find yourself out of ideas, this tool will provide insights, examples, and whatever else you need.
Negative effects of AI on procrastination
While AI can be a powerful ally in the battle against procrastination, it is not without its pitfalls. Each AI tool comes with a learning curve, and certain aspects might even make you procrastinate more if not handled properly.
Understanding these negative effects and how to navigate them ensures that you’re using AI to its full potential without falling into new traps. Here’s a closer look at three of these challenges:
1. The need to fact-check everything
AI tools have transformed how we access information, but they are not always reliable. The phenomenon of hallucinations where AI produces inaccurate or fabricated information is well-documented. These errors can lead you down rabbit holes of confusion, wasting time and causing frustration.
It is crucial, therefore, to approach AI-generated content with a critical eye. Always cross-reference facts and consult trusted sources. By maintaining a healthy skepticism and using AI as a starting point rather than the final word, you can harness its power without falling victim to misinformation.
2. Looking for the perfect tool
More than two thousand AI tools have been launched in 2023 alone, and it’s easy to waste a lot of time just trying to explore them all.
The search for the perfect tool can lead to analysis paralysis, where you spend days on research, get overwhelmed, and end up not using anything at all.
The solution is simple: pick a couple of tools that do what you need, and stick to them! As a recovering perfectionist, I know very well the idea of finding something better, but I learned to sometimes accept “good enough” and move on.
It’s better to have a few reliable tools that you know how to use than to constantly be in search of the latest and greatest. Keeping your AI productivity toolbox lean and functional ensures that AI serves your goals rather than becoming a distraction itself.
3. Overreliance on technology
One interesting study found that being dependable on AI can impact decision-making over time, directly leading to laziness.
While AI can assist in many of your day-to-day tasks, overreliance on these tools can cause complacency, hampering critical thinking and initiative. That’s why it’s important to see AI tools as helpers that can improve your workflow instead of instruments that will do your work instead of you.
Incorporate AI into your work, but do not let it replace the very skills that make you valuable. Setting personal boundaries and maintaining conscious control over your decision-making process will help you tap into the power of AI without losing your edge.
Procrastination and AI FAQ
AI operates based on algorithms and can not procrastinate by itself. Unless you specifically program it to mimic the procrastination behavior of a human, it will not be able to do it. It is usually designed to generate outputs and find solutions to problems by following user instructions, and it doesn’t have any biological processes that stimulate procrastination as we have in our brains.
Technology itself doesn’t directly cause procrastination, but the way it is used can contribute to a person’s impulse to procrastinate. For instance, constant notifications, social media, games, or other online distractions can lead people to delay or avoid doing less fun tasks.
Technology can have both effects, depending on how it is utilized. On the one hand, it offers tools and automation that can make daily tasks easier and more efficient, enabling you to be more productive. On the other hand, easy access to entertainment, social media, and passive consumption of content often leads to habits that might be perceived as laziness.
The impact of technology on laziness or productivity largely depends on individual choices and how technology is integrated into your lifestyle.
Artificial intelligence doesn’t kill innovation; in fact, it can be a tool that drives innovation further. AI can analyze large datasets, identify patterns, and suggest novel solutions that might be overlooked by human researchers. It can be your brainstorming partner to fuel your creativity.
However, overreliance on AI without critical thinking or human insight might lead to stagnation or a narrowing of creative possibilities. The relationship between AI and innovation is complex and depends on how AI is employed, integrated, and balanced with human creativity and judgment.
AI’s role in combating procrastination opens doors to new ways of thinking, organizing, and executing tasks. It offers the promise of a more focused, productive, and creative future. But like any powerful tool, it requires careful handling.
Understanding both its potential and its challenges allows for more balanced and effective use. Embracing AI is not merely about finding shortcuts but about enriching our workflow, expanding our thinking, and embarking on a continuous journey of growth and discovery.