Why do we procrastinate?

Procrastination is probably your worst enemy when revising, it feel good when you do it but the aftermath is worse when you realise you still have the task to complete. I researched about procrastination and in this blogpost I will be giving you the summary of why we procrastinate and how to stop it.

Procrastination isn't a time management issue but an emotional issue. Dr. Fuschia Sirois says;

“People engage in this irrational cycle of chronic procrastination because of an inability to manage negative moods around a task.”


Understanding that the lack of time management isn't the issue to why we procrastinate but the negative emotions we have towards the task is. A negative emotion could be boredom, insecurity, frustration...ect.


Having feeling like "I am so dumb I'll never pass", " I am not smart enough to do this essay", "writing is so hard" is what is making you leave the task and do something else, but of course the negative feeling we have towards the task will remain and we new feeling like stress and anxious, also self-blame will form. This then ends with a vicious cycle of procrastination as the task becomes more of a burden.


This short lived relief we feel from procrastination is what makes it an on going cycle as we repeat the behaviour to feel this relief but at the end of the day we are doing more harm than good. Chronic procrastination has been linked with chronic stress, symptoms of depression, low life satisfaction and anxiety.


So how do we stop procrastination?

You must understand that procrastination stems from a emotional desires and not due to time management.


Self-forgiveness, you must accept at times procrastination will take over a study showed self-forgiveness supported productivity by allowing “the individual to move past their maladaptive behavior and focus on the upcoming examination without the burden of past acts.”


Change your emotions towards the task eg for studying say " I am excited to study as this gives me the potential to past" changing your mindset is what will reduce chances of procrastination as task will appear less daunting.


If you feel like you are gong to procrastinate, then make it harder to procrastinate, eg if you use your phone to procrastinate then switch it off and place in a different room. This will make it harder to procrastinate as it requires more effort. On the flip side make the task you want to do easy eg have a clean desk with your work already set out, this limits the energy you need to prepare and reduces actions you need to take to start the task.


Where I got my information from - https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/smarter-living/why-you-procrastinate-it-has-nothing-to-do-with-self-control.html


This is a rather important blogpost in my opinion, fully understanding why we procrastinate can help you stop it. Thank you for reading.

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