September 1, 2015

"Chronic procrastinators often hold misconceptions about why they procrastinate and what it means, psychologists have discovered."

"Many chronic procrastinators believe they can’t get started on a task because they want to do it perfectly. Yet studies show chronic procrastination isn’t actually linked to perfectionism, but rather to impulsivenes.... People may assume anxiety is what prevents them from getting started, yet data from many studies show that for people low in impulsiveness, anxiety is the cue to get going. Highly impulsive people, on the other hand, shut down when they feel anxiety. Impulsive people are believed to have a harder time dealing with strong emotion and want to do something else to get rid of the bad feeling.... Some people claim they purposely leave things to the last minute because they work better under stress, but true procrastinators get stressed out by the delay...."

From "To Stop Procrastinating, Start by Understanding the Emotions Involved/Time management goes only so far; the emotional reasons for delay must also be addressed."

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was going to respond here, but decided I'd put it off until later.

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

There was no such thing as a chronic procrastinator in the Pleistocene.

kcom said...

Actually, I had a major procrastination breakthrough yesterday and today. I finally start working on something I've been trying to get started for two months (and really longer). And it wasn't because of lack of time. It was totally psychological. Actually, I haven't even read the article yet because now that I'm in the groove I need to keep going. I look forward to seeing what it says.

madAsHell said...

I was going to respond here, but decided I'd put it off until later.

The irony of being the first to post the punch line.

Larry J said...

From Despair.com: "Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now."

Or Larry's First Law: "Laziness is the foundation of efficiency."

tim in vermont said...

I'd love to read this but I have work to do.

tim in vermont said...

"Laziness is the mother of efficiency" - Marion Propp, whose entire web presence seems to be based on that one quote.

bwebster said...

My chronic procrastination is due not to perfectionism but to distraction and self-indulgence -- in a word (used a lot in the comments), laziness. Once I actually get myself started on a task that I'm avoiding, I usually think, "Why did I wait so long?"

sydney said...

I am procrastinating right now. Have to return a call to a difficult person. So far I've had a cup of coffee, a handful of M&Ms, watched a soap making video, and now this.

Anonymous said...

Still the best explanation out there.

Freeman Hunt said...

There was no such thing as a chronic procrastinator in the Pleistocene.

Yes. Where is the Just-So Story by an evolutionary biologist to explain how procrastination wasn't bred out of us due to its somehow surprising utility in reproduction?

rhhardin said...

Thurber's "Let Your Mind Alone!" is the bible on mental self-help.

tim in vermont said...

Thanks for this, but if the guy is successful, web commenting will dry up. ;)

Cynicus said...

Freeman Hunt: Procrastinators conserved their energy and spent more time thinking out a solution before doing. They evolved into excellent planners and strategarians and never hustled to the front of the battle.