Tech HowTo: How to Delete Your Facebook Account: A Checklist

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Let’s talk about that elephant in the room: Facebook’s recent disclosure that attackers got their hands on access tokens for an unknown number of Facebook accounts is a big deal, since it’s the kind of hack that you, a happy Facebook user, could not prevent.

Have a great, strong password? That’s nice. Wouldn’t have helped. Set up two-factor authentication using an app instead of just receiving a login code via a text message? Awesome. Keep doing that. Your account still could have been compromised.

Do you have Facebook alert you if someone else is trying to log into your account? Do you religiously check your “Where You’re Logged In” listing to make sure someone isn’t accessing your account that shouldn’t? All great security practices; all completely unhelpful with Facebook’s latest “access token” issue, at least based on what we learned from Facebook’s vice president of product management, Guy Rosen, in a September 28 press call:

“It depends on how that access token was being used. If they went through what is a technical step of creating a — what we call a full web session — from that access token, it would indeed have shown up [in “Where You’re Logged In”]. There are some other cases where it may not have shown up if it was used, similar to how a developer might access a certain account only in order to perform certain very limited parts of the functionality.” 

Do you have a headache? I have a headache. Maybe it’s time to make a change—a big change.

Deleting your Facebook account is easy—too easy. But I’m unconvinced that the process actually does everything you want it to do. Yes, your account goes away and people can’t tag you in things anymore. Yes, Facebook should delete all the data you’ve associated with your account. But does it really do that? Really? I’m cautiously optimistic.

According to Facebook, deleting your account means:

“You won’t be able to reactivate your account.

Your profile, photos, posts, videos, and everything else you’ve added will be permanently deleted. You won’t be able to retrieve anything you’ve added.

You’ll no longer be able to use Facebook Messenger.

You won’t be able to use Facebook Login for other apps you may have signed up for with your Facebook account, like Spotify or Pinterest. You may need to contact the apps and websites to recover those accounts.

Some information, like messages you sent to friends, may still be visible to them after you delete your account. Copies of messages you have sent are stored in your friends’ inboxes.”

To get started, all you have to do is click this link, find the “Delete Your Account and Information” option, and let ‘er rip. Don’t log into your account while Facebook is removing all your data from its servers, which could take up to 90 days for Facebook to finish. After that, your account is gone for good—and all your data, too, one hopes.

Like I said, it’s easy to nuke your account from orbit, but you have no way to be sure that Facebook isn’t saving some of the data you’ve given it. Or, worse, that your friends aren’t helping the service create some kind of shadow profile about you—some hidden chunk of related information that Facebook could easily associate with your personal information should you ever decide to rejoin the service again.

This sounds a little tin-foil-hat, I realize, and there’s no way of knowing that Facebook isn’t archiving every single data point you ever send to the service—making any attempts to obfuscate or delete it somewhat pointless. But I think it’s OK to be more skeptical than accommodating in today’s digital world. If I was deleting my Facebook today, this is how I’d do it:

Phew. Did I leave anything out? Are we feeling better yet?

Tech HowTo: When It Actually Pays Off to Be Vulnerable at Work

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Workplace culture varies widely across fields, but most people would agree that there isn’t a lot of room for human weakness in most offices. For the emotionally intelligent person, however, a little vulnerability can actually give you a surprising amount of power.

Writer Gwen Moran spoke with leadership consultants Peter Bregman and Mike Robbins for Fast Company about why they counsel their clients to let their feelings show. They find that stronger leaders are more open and, most importantly, they know when to ask for help. Weak leaders won’t share “relevant concerns” about projects or other uncertainties, because they’re so desperate to hold onto their perceived power. That can cause problems, as you might imagine.

As a new employee, there are a few pieces of advice you’ll hear over and over again: Come in with a

However, vulnerability shouldn’t include sharing “unnecessary travails, being falsely modest, or making the issues all about you and your concerns.”

“Vulnerability is risk, emotional exposure, and uncertainty. If you think about those three things, there’s really nothing meaningful or important that we can accomplish or experience in our lives, both personally and professionally, that doesn’t require one, two, or all three of those things,” explains Robbins.

Here are a few benefits that may just encourage you to open up a little at just the right moment.

Being able to admit you don’t fully understand something takes guts, especially if you’re supposed to be in charge. You’re showing that you have a firm grasp of your own abilities and identity, and a willingness to grow. You also seem to trust that no one will be able to take advantage of you in this moment of vulnerability—because you’re strong as hell!

“The people who don’t have a lot of self-confidence, don’t often afford themselves the ability to be vulnerable. But the people who do have a lot of self-confidence, are actually willing to show more of themselves, right? They’re willing to be vulnerable because they’re not afraid that someone might come in and take advantage of that,” Bregman says.

Sharing something honest and open encourages the people around you to do the same, which creates connections. As a leader, that’s beneficial, because people are more likely to work hard for people they feel a connection with. Bregman says it makes co-workers feel like you’re being a “real human being with them.”

What he’s talking about is authenticity. While most people would probably want the boss to project confidence and control, pretending there are no weak spots in your skills or knowledge makes you seem fake, because no one is without weakness. You may as well get the benefits of those weaknesses through relationship building and teamwork.

I had my first panic attack at 19. It was in the middle of a presentation for my internship. As I…

If you’re feeling nervous, other people in the office likely are as well, whether they’re picking up on your vibes or just experiencing general stress. Robbins shared an anecdote from his time playing professional baseball, admitting that he hid his nervousness about playing only to discover his teammates were all doing the same thing.

Sometimes speaking out loud about what’s worrying you can alleviate the worry, and Robbins says they can then perform better. You feel safer knowing everyone is on the same page, and that means they can focus on their work. Much better than sitting in your seat and wondering if you’re the only person freaking out.

Asking for guidance, perspective, and answers creates more opportunity for new ideas to circulate. If you’re in charge, acting like you have everything locked in will not allow space for growth.

Employees feel valued and part of the process. Because you’ve inspired trust, your team feels more invested in solutions and is more willing to contribute, Bregman says.

Vulnerability is a complicated concept that requires a strong sense of self to maneuver. If it’s something you’ve never tried, it might be because you’re not as powerful as you think.

Tech HowTo: Learn Code for Free at Your Local Apple Store Next Month

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Starting December 1st, you can learn a bit of code for free at your local Apple Store. The retailer’s annual ‘Hour of Code’ event runs December 1 to the 14th.

In order to take advantage, you’ll need to sign up for an hour on Apple’s website. The sessions are available for people of all ages, and there are also ‘Kids Hour’ sessions for children ages six to 12.

If you want to learn how to code, taking your first steps into this huge universe might seem like a

What’s offered will vary from store to store.

You can see what’s available on your local store’s page on Apple’s website. My store, for instance, is offering a course on how to get started coding as well as one for coding with Swift Playgrounds, and there are also a few options for learning how to code robots. For kids, there’s an option to do a Sphere Maze Challenge.

In the case of San Francisco where we have a number of local Apple stores, it lists all the courses that are a reasonable distance from me, not just the ones at the specific store I chose. If you find one you like, you just click on it to start the signup process (you need to sign up to attend).

You’re definitely not going to walk out of any of these classes ready to start your own app company, but if you’ve been toying around with giving coding a try, this could be a nice (free) way to get your feet wet.

Tech HowTo: Customer Service Chat Services See Everything You Type, Whether You Send it or Not

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In the latest (or, really, most recently unearthed) instance of the internet being creepier than most users realized, it has come to our attention that the text box you use to communicate with customer service reps at most websites doesn’t work the way you expect it to. In short: it would seem that a lot of companies that let you live chat with customer service reps all utilize a service that allows said reps to see everything you type into the text box, whether or not you press send.

We (I) always assumed that, like when we text someone or use Facebook Messenger, the rep would see the traditional word bubble with ellipses in it. But no. Chances are they’ve seen you every change you’ve made, as you compose, fix typos, and possibly strategize about how to best convey your problem and get support.

In a recent blog post titled “Hardening macOS,” Ricard Bejarano offers an extensive list of…

The problem was recently brought to light by Hmm Daily, where editor Tom Scocca wrote about an interaction in which a customer service rep reacted to a request for a coupon within less than a second. This prompted him to do a little digging and discover a service that advertises this functionality—which feels like a serious breach of privacy and trust—as a “value add.”

In the piece, Scocca also mentions that, while consumers may find the idea of a “message sneak peek” repulsive, customer service professionals don’t see any problem with it, a fact that’s easily confirmed by skimming through forums where employees of retailers discuss these types of services.

While it’s all certainly unsettling, in this case, there’s an easy enough way to protect yourself. If you’re truly concerned about a rep seeing your drafted responses before you send them, instead of typing directly into the chat, compose your messages in a word processorif you have a Mac, this is what Notes was made for!and paste your presumably pristine responses into the text box. Does it take an extra second or two? Yeah. Sadly, most companies are happy to charge you time in exchange for privacy at every turn.

Tech HowTo: I’m Novelist Ausma Zehanat Khan, and This Is How I Work

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In The Black Khan, Ausma Zehanat Khan’s latest fantasy novel, a resistance group struggles to overthrow a cruel patriarchy led by a tyrant. You know, escapist stuff. Khan’s work has been compared to George R.R. Martin’s, but it also explores issues of cultural divides and conflicts inspired by the contemporary and historical worlds. We talked to Khan about leaving a career in law to write, how she gets and gives help from fellow novelists, and how writing a book transforms the room she works in.

Location: Colorado 
Current gig: Author of The Khorasan Archives fantasy series and the Khattak/Getty mystery series
Current computer: HP Spectre x360
Current mobile device: Samsung Galaxy S8
One word that best describes how you work: Prolifically

I’ve been writing all my life on the side, but I ended up as a full-time writer through a non-traditional career path. First, I spent what feels like a lifetime in school pursuing graduate studies in law. I practiced immigration law and taught international human rights law. Then there was a period where I worked with an amazing Canadian publisher to establish the first magazine targeted to Muslim girls and young women—we had distribution throughout North America, and for a short time the magazine was also a bit of a global phenomenon. As editor in chief of that publication, I began to write more consistently, and got in the habit of ferreting out intriguing story ideas.

As all this was happening, my husband and I were moving around quite a bit, so instead of taking the bar exam or trying to round up a teaching position everywhere new I moved to, I took some time off to work full-time on a novel. I chose to write a crime novel first because this genre lends itself well to writing about global human rights issues—I wanted to write about what I know and what intimately concerns me to this day, and crime fiction was a perfect fit with that.

My Khorasan Archives fantasy series also encompasses human rights issues, but in a very different way. With my Khattak/Getty crime series, I’m looking outward at intersections and points of conflict between different communities. With The Bloodprint and The Black Khan, I’m looking inward at the communities I come from, and attempting to be reflective and self-critical. I ended up writing both series simultaneously because I felt like I had so much to say and that there was no better time to say it than now.

So I write full-time, but I also try to remain engaged with my field, and to do the kind of community activism that allows me to utilize the different aspects of my background.

I wake up early and spend roughly an hour and a half managing my household. On a day that’s going well, I might squeeze in a half hour for exercise. Then I spend two hours responding to email and updating my social media or taking care of any administrative issues—you’d be surprised at how quickly these issues pile up. From 10 a.m. on, I spend the next six hours writing. Before I write anything new, I review and edit the previous day’s writing. Then I break down the scene I’ll be writing next, so I know what action and background it needs to convey. Often, when I’m not making the progress I want, I’ll take a break to listen to some music or read some poetry, in hopes that that will unlock something.

I take a break for dinner, family time and housework, then later in the evening I read, watch some television, take a walk, and handle anything else that can’t wait. On deadline, I’ll put in several more hours of writing or editing.

When I’m not on deadline, I spend a fair bit of time on publicity requests. This can include writing talks, doing radio interviews, participating in book clubs or Reddit AMAs, going to conferences, writing short pieces for publication, or chatting with my readers on Facebook or Twitter. Unless I have to physically travel somewhere for a talk, I’ll be doing one or more of these things on the same day that I have to make daily word count. It’s a constant juggling act. The most important thing is to try to keep my mind fresh enough to write and write well. I am a chai addict so that helps.

I am not much of a gadget person, but I love my very out-of-date iPod Nano and I am overly fond of pretty journals. My favorite actual writing tool is a Foray blue ink pen, 0.5 mm. I wish they sold them in twelve-packs. I’m sad to say that I’m also extremely reliant upon my Citizen calculator to tally up daily word count, so I can see the never-ending amount of work that’s left. Slack is a really useful app for larger conversations with writers’ groups, and I have been bewitched by Twitter, where I’ve met so many amazing writers and built a real community. Writing is a lonely profession, so Twitter helps alleviate that. I learn a lot not only from other writers, but also from historians, archivists, human rights activists, journalists and so on. There is always so much to read, which is why I find Twitter irresistible.

I have three sets of crammed-to-the-brim bookshelves that comfort me when I need breaks from writing. I look at other books and my mind relaxes. It also helps that my desk faces a pair of windows with a partial view of the Rocky Mountains, so there’s a lot of light in my home office, and I get to see people walking their adorable dogs.

What else? I have an oversized AOC monitor so my eyes don’t have to strain too much. And I use both an agenda and a desk pad calendar to keep track of my deadlines and events.

There is no greater gift to a writer than the online thesaurus. I use it fifty times a day to try out new words or just to spark ideas.

I’ve been writing two books a year, so my process is very intense. I have to write a lot every day, and my focus needs to be absolute. Sometimes, when things are going well, I’ll forget to get up, walk around, take breaks, eat, but I honestly prefer not to work like that. One day, they’re just going to find a shadow of me in my chair.

I have a two-desk situation going on when I’m working on a book. The primary desk is the desk that has my laptop, monitor, desk pad, agenda, notebook and pictures of my family. The secondary desk is a glass map desk, and it is actually more critical to my writing routine. I look at the map on the desk constantly to keep track of locations in my books. But it’s also the desk where I stack the books I’ve read as research, my handy reference manuals that I can’t do without, my folders of original research, plus any drawings or maps. Another stack of papers or files on the map desk consists of my novel outline, character sketches, plot overview and running scene outline, to which I make continuous changes.

There is a lot of traffic back and forth between my two desks, but I make no attempt to clean up either desk or put things away until the first draft is finished. Then I start shelving and organizing my research and putting it away. But I don’t clear my desk until my editor and I have finalized a draft. When the map desk is completely clear, that means the novel is done.

My agent, Danielle Burby, solves a lot of problems for me, and goes far above and beyond at every stage of putting a book together. The editors I work with do so much to improve my books—I’ve never had a suggestion from any of my editors that doesn’t make my books better. And I could not handle all my publicity commitments without the help of the amazing marketing teams I work with at Harper Voyager, Minotaur Books and No Exit Press.

I also have a little writing circle. We jokingly call ourselves the Sisterhood of the Pen. (We’ve also tried out the name #blahblahplot). Uzma Jalaluddin and S. K. Ali share useful career advice, Uzma reads my work as I go along and helps me figure out what’s working and what isn’t, and we just generally enjoy each other’s company and love chatting about writing. They really help me remember that I’m not alone, and their advice on writing and on life is so helpful. I also love when that process is reversed and I’m able to help with their work.

And of course, my family and friends cheer me up when I’m in crisis mode. They support me so strongly by attending all my events and helping spread the word about my books.

I sketch out my whole year in advance, so I know which weeks I’ll be writing, which weeks are free for promotion, which are free for family commitments, travel and so on. Sometimes I’m unlucky and all these things overlap, but I keep a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly planner. Before I accept any new commitments, I look at my overall schedule and determine whether I’m capable of doing a good job with anything new I take on. I write in my agenda every day, and compulsively cross off completed tasks. This may sound like a well-organized and chaos-free life, but truthfully, new things come up all the time that don’t fit into my planner, and I still have to make them work. For the last three years, I’ve basically been managing on a wing and a prayer. If I don’t commit myself absolutely, it will all fall apart.

I go home to Toronto, eat my mother’s cooking and bask in my mother’s love. With more free time, I take a long trip with my husband. With less free time, I collapse on the couch and watch The Office to get my mind off the serious subject matter of my books. And whenever weather permits, I take a nice long walk outdoors. I also like to look at pictures and videos of other people’s pets because it’s very soothing.

I am plotting out a long-running series set along the Silk Road, so reading up on the history of the Silk Road is something I love to do. I make notes and lists of names, and I collect photographs and maps. This is deeply enjoyable because I am a complete history nerd.

I’m reading a fascinating biography called Muhammad by the scholar Juan Cole.

And I recently finished The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang, which was so earth-shattering that I can’t stop thinking about it. In crime fiction, Brothers in Blood by Amer Anwar was such an exciting debut. Also in crime fiction, I will recommend any book by Deborah Crombie, Louise Penny or Peter May.

Other books I’ve recently read and loved include Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin, Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali, Mirage by Somaiya Daud, and Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. Possibly my favorite writer of all time is Amin Maalouf—every single one of his books is enthralling, but if I had to choose, Samarkand is my favorite.

My list is very long and yet not long enough! In alphabetical order: Saladin Ahmed, Stephanie Barron, Chris Bohjalian, S. A. Chakraborty, Deanna Raybourn, Danny Gardner, Kellye Garrett, Uzma Jalaluddin, Amin Maalouf, Anthony Marra, Sujata Massey, Kate Morton, Sahar Mustafah, Gigi Pandian, Anthony Ruiz-Camacho, Nalini Singh and G. Willow Wilson.

Humorously: how to clone myself so I have more time and energy to work on the many books in my head.

Seriously: how to make more of an impact as a writer. Specifically, how to get my mystery series on the radar as part of anti-racism curricula at universities.

Tech HowTo: Students Can Get YouTube Premium and YouTube Music for 50% Off

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If you’re a student that’s been contemplating a YouTube Premium or YouTube Music subscription, now might be the time to buy.

YouTube is currently offering both plans to students for half off. That means you can score YouTube Music Premium for $5/month (a subscription is typically $10/month) and ad-free videos for $6/month (a subscription is typically $12/month).

Are you an educator? You might have trained your cat to play fetch, but that doesn’t necessarily…

The YouTube music deal is a long-term deal, while the YouTube Premium deal is a promotion that only works if you subscribe by January 31, 2019. After then students can still get a discount but will pay $7 a month.

In order to qualify for either deal you’ll need to be a full-time student at an accredited college or university in the United States. Google also plans to make the discounts available for students in other countries in the future.

Sign up doesn’t require a .edu email address like many other similar programs, but your enrollment status is verified through SheerID, which is pretty hard to game.

And if you’re new to the student discount game, you might also want to check out Hulu and Spotify’s offering (you can score both for $5/month).

Tech HowTo: Your Neglected Christmas Tree Is a Huge Fire Hazard

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If you haven’t watered your Christmas tree since you forgot about it on the 26th, now is the time to get it out of your house. Unwatered Christmas trees are a huge fire hazard, as this video from the National Fire Protection Association clearly shows.

Fires that start with a Christmas tree are also deadlier than the average house fire, according to a report by the same group. If you like keeping your tree around, though, keep it watered from the start. The second tree in the video was re-cut immediately before being put into its tree stand, and was watered routinely. It can still catch fire, but it’s a slow burn rather than an instant conflagration.

Christmas Tree Fires Can Turn Devastating and Deadly Within Seconds | National Fire Protection Association

Tech HowTo: Make Sure You’re Watering Your Christmas Tree Enough

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If you’re committing to a live tree this holiday season, I hope you’re ready to do a lot of watering. That big boy’s going to need a gallon or more per day, and no additives or spray-on stuff can change that. Keep your tree watered. Otherwise, it becomes a huge fire hazard.

If you haven’t watered your Christmas tree since you forgot about it on the 26th, now is the time…

Your tree stand should be able to hold a quart of water for every inch of trunk diameter, according to Rick Bates, an actual Christmas tree expert from Penn State’s Department of Horticulture. That’s a gallon for a tree with a 4-inch trunk, more if it’s bigger.

But the tree is really the boss here: if it’s thirsty, it drinks. Make sure there is always enough water that the bottom of the trunk is submerged. You’ll probably have to refill the container at least once a day, but it’s safest to make like Santa and check it twice.

First, if the tree has been sitting around a lot all day, ask the tree people to cut a disk off the end. A quarter inch should do it, but you can ask for an inch. If you know when the tree is cut and you can get it into water within 12 hours, an extra cut isn’t necessary.

Don’t try to get fancy. Maybe you cut roses at an angle before you put them into a vase, but a tree should be cut straight across. No angle, no V shapes, no drilling holes in weird places. That makes it harder for the tree to actually get its water.

It’s actually the outer layers of wood that suck up the water, not the center of the tree. Think of this layer as a bunch of straws. If any of the straws are above the surface of the water, the tree can’t drink through them. (The reason we cut off that disk earlier is to make sure the ends of the straws aren’t clogged up with sap.)

So make sure the entire end of the tree is in water, and definitely don’t whittle down the bark to fit the tree in a stand.

If you bring the tree home a day or two before you plan to set it up, just stick the whole trunk in a bucket of water and keep it in a cool place. Your garage, if you have one, is perfect.

The tree will need a ton of water its first week, and less afterward. Check the stand multiple times a day to make sure it doesn’t dry out as it’s getting acclimated.

Here are a bunch of things that don’t work to keep your tree fresh: putting a penny in the water. Putting aspirin in the water. Putting vodka in the water. Putting gel beads in the water. Spraying the tree with flame retardants. Spraying the tree with stuff that says it will reduce evaporation. Dosing the water with cut flower food or even tree preservatives. Adding honey, molasses, bleach, 7Up…you get the idea. Your tree wants water. Save the 7Up for yourself.

A well-watered tree will stay fresh and healthy for three to four weeks, according to Bates, so if you haven’t bought your tree yet, check the calendar. You may be best off buying your tree in mid-December, then chucking it promptly after the holidays or when it gets dry—whichever comes first.

To check, run your fingers over the needles. A healthy tree won’t mind. The needles of a crispy, dry tree will come off in your hand.

If you screwed up, there’s no way to bring it back to life. Mulch that fire hazard. Then get yourself a new tree and water it better this time.

Tech HowTo: How to Donate to Toys for Tots Using Alexa

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You can now use Alexa to donate toys. On Tuesday, Amazon rolled out a new feature for its virtual assistant that allows you to donate a toy to a child in need by saying, “Alexa, donate to Toys for Tots. When you do, Alexa will suggest actual toys you can purchase to be sent to the organization.

Once you make a selection, Amazon will send along your gift directly to Toys for Tots. And just like any order, you can track the shipment and see when it reaches its destination, TechCrunch reports.

Amazon launched a new feature for the smart assistant today that allows you to donate anywhere…

If you were considering making a donation to the organization already, then the feature can certainly streamline things. Instead of ordering an item and then taking it personally to a drop-off location near you, you can remove a step by doing it this way.

You’ll also be doing a little more good: Amazon is matching Toys for Tots donations through December 31st, up to $100,000. So instead of donating just one Monopoly game, you’ll actually be responsible for sending two games to the organization.

The new Toys for Tots feature builds on the charitable giving feature already available with Alexa. With that feature, you can make cash donations between $5 and $5,000 to organizations such as The American Cancer Society and St. Jude’s using your voice. You can check out a full list of supported charities here.

Tech HowTo: Why Procrastination Is Bad For Your Brain

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Procrastination is a vice many of us indulge in, and there’s a reason it’s so hard to quit. However, the long term effects of putting things off are actually hurting your brain.

Part of the reason we love to procrastinate is because it literally makes us feel good, as discussed in this recent video from Business Insider. There are two things happen when we decide to delay an annoying task. There’s the activity in your pre-frontal cortex, which is the part of the brain that regulates self-control and makes us do things like fold laundry and pay bills.

On the the other side is the limbic system, which is basically a pleasure center. The limbic system is saying that doing something more fun is better, and when you listen to it, you get a little chemical happy reward. That’s why it feels so darn satisfying to delay! But wait, there’s more. Under that pleasure there is building guilt and anxiety, which leads to a variety of ailments:

…Several studies have found that undergraduate college students who procrastinated had a lower GPA in the latter half of the semester compared to non-procrastinators.

They were also more likely to get sick, based on their healthcare visits.

And procrastinators are more likely to feel “low self-confidence, low energy, and depression.” This was backed up by Vox in an interview from 2014, who spoke with Professor Joseph Ferrari, who has been studying procrastination since the 1980s.

“Chronic procrastinators have low self-esteem, low self-worth,” says Ferrari. “They are high on self-consciousness, high on self-handicapping. Experimentally, they handicap, they do worse, and they know it too. That’s an experiment we did. Procrastinators were poorer in self-regulation, and they knew that they were poor in this, as well. And relationships suffer. So there’s nothing positive.

There are things you can do to help yourself get out of this pleasure and pain loop of procrastination. The most immediate is visualization. Picture yourself as you will be when you complete the task, and then if you don’t. Having a concrete image of the consequences in your head will be better motivation than just vaguely knowing you should do something. This is especially effective with deadlines for things that can always be put off—like saving for retirement.

Ferrari also recommended that we rely on public accountability:

Surround yourself with people who are doers. People who are into social media, publicly post what you’re going to do so you’re held accountable by other people.

I may find posts about gym goals and small accomplishments a bit annoying on my newsfeed, but for the people posting them, it’s changing their life. It could change yours, too, if you would just get around to it.