Procrastination Station: What Are You Supposed To Be Doing?

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Procrastination

procrastination

Procrastination, as we all know, is the act of carrying out more pleasurable tasks instead of doing what we really need to do.  Essentially, it is a way of putting off what we need to do in favor of what we want to do.  Obviously, this is extremely common.

I’m willing to bet every single person reading this article right now has procrastinated at some point in his or her life.  Leading experts on procrastination estimate that about twenty percent of people consider themselves to be chronic procrastinators.  But why does procrastination occur?

According to a study done by Psychology Today, there are three main types of procrastinator:

– The “thrill-seeker”, who waits until the last second to do things because of the adrenaline rush.

avoiders

– The “avoiders”, whose fear of failure prevents them from ever getting started.

avoider actual
– And finally, the “decisional procrastinators”, who cannot make a decision and flounder back and forth until the deadline is past and a decision is made for them.  

decisional

It can also occur as a result of having a rigid, controlling parent while growing up, or could even occur as a form of rebellion in some cases.  

No matter what the reason behind it, procrastination has many adverse affects on individuals, from psychological health to physical.  The most common related health affliction is high levels of stress and anxiety.

fry freakout

Waiting until the last minute to get something done can be stressful for anyone.  However, for those “chronic” procrastinators, the effects can be long-lasting and much more deadly.  They are more susceptible to colds and flu, gastrointestinal problems, rashes and even insomnia.  

Chronic procrastinators are also more likely to drink more, due to the self-regulation problem that actually causes their procrastination in the first place.  This also can lead to health issues, such as liver and kidney problems and psychological issues such as anxiety and depression.

drinking gut

Additionally, procrastination affects many more people than just the procrastinator.  It affects parents, children, co-workers, other family members and friends.  The real problem with procrastination is that it causes people to mistrust the procrastinator.  They get a reputation for not doing what they say they’ll do, and this can spread to every aspect of the procrastinator’s life.

broken trust

Procrastinators can change their habits, but often it isn’t easy.  People who suffer from procrastination problems first need to recognize that they have a problem in the first place.  

Often, procrastinators lie to themselves about why they’re putting things off.  “I work best under pressure” or “I’ll feel more motivated tomorrow” are common fallacies that a procrastinator might say to him or herself to justify putting something off.

definition of tomorrow

In order to stop procrastinating, procrastinators need to stop lying to themselves.  Then, they need to learn to prioritize.  Keeping a daily list of tasks that need to be completed can often help them not get overwhelmed and completing more than they usually would.  

to do list

Another thing that helps chronic procrastinators is to remember that it doesn’t have to be perfect.  Getting some work done, even if it’s only a first try, is better than not doing anything because you’re afraid it won’t be perfect.  Nobody is perfect on the first try!  The most important thing to remember is that everybody needs to start somewhere.  The only way to fail is by never starting at all.  

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Read part 2 to find out what you can do to minimize procrastination in your life!

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