Scary Hour: The secret to beating procrastination

by Mar 21, 2022

At the time of writing this blog, I have successfully avoided:

  • Replying to an email a classmate sent a week ago
  • Booking my car in to renew its registration
  • Rearranging a date to meet a friend
  • Taking the growing collection of cups in my room to the kitchen

…and that’s about a quarter of the actual tasks becoming long overdue.

I’m sure you’ve been there as well. But why do we keep putting things like this off? Easy. They’re not particularly exciting, they require energy to complete, or maybe they’re even just a little bit scary.

The problem with putting things like this off, though, is that the longer you delay the more tasks begin to stack up. Having a list constantly at the back of your mind is stressful, and often the putting off process is way more anxiety-inducing than simply completing the tasks in the first place!

So how can we end this cycle of avoidance and pressure?

TikToker and copywriter Laur Wheeler has a solution! She calls it ‘Scary Hour’ – a deceptively easy way to battle procrastination and generate action.

Source: [x]

It’s super simple: just set a timer for 60 minutes, and spend the hour doing all those “scary” things that you’ve been avoiding. Setting aside time like this is a great way to trick your brain into giving you the focus to complete tasks, and once you get started you’ll see how easy it is to churn through things that seemed tricky at the outset.

The main thing is to ensure that hour is spent only on the tasks you’ve been putting off. No social media scrolling, no getting up to feed the cat for the third time, just Scary Hour.

Wheeler’s tip is to start with the less scary tasks, and work yourself up to the Big Scaries™. This will be different for everyone, and may even change from Scary Hour to Scary Hour.

For me, sometimes just replying to messages can feel like a monumental task, and as my inbox fills up the more stressed I become. Scary Hour has helped me realise that in just an hour you can achieve a lot, and the relief of completing seemingly inconsequential tasks is immense.

While replying to DMs felt like the scariest thing for this particular round of Scary Hour, on other weeks my tasks have been bigger things like updating my resume, being vulnerable and asking for help from uni tutors, or completing my tax return. Big or small, Scary Hour can help!

The best thing about this system is that once the hour is up, you’re done! If you’re on a roll, you can keep on tackling your to-do list, but if you’ve had enough the tasks can roll over to your next Scary Hour.

Basically, you don’t have to let your fear and anxiety rule your mind. It’s totally natural to feel overwhelmed or stressed when your plate starts getting too full, but I promise if you give this productivity-hack a go you’ll find out just how easy beating procrastination can be.

Take it at your own pace, and remember we’re here to help! If one of your Scary Hour tasks is getting on top of your career, we’ve got you covered.

And if you’re reading this blog as a form of procrastination, grab your phone and set a timer. Scary Hour is about to begin.


Featured image courtesy of Pexels

Lily Cameron

Lily Cameron

Communications Assistant

Lily Cameron is a writer and editor based in Sydney. She is a UTS Communications (Creative Writing) graduate, Master of Arts in Creative Writing student, and current Communications Assistant at UTS Careers. She is passionate about telling stories, both hers and others’, and the way digital and social media is changing the literary landscape. Her writing has appeared in Voiceworks, The Brag, and elsewhere.