A Closer Look at Your Worst Enemy: Procrastination

We all have been known to suffer from procrastination now and then. Some of us worse than others. Whether you’re trying to start a paper and end up scrolling through YouTube videos of old viral vines or you’re one of those sneaky productive procrastinators who will clean their whole room and organize their desk before they even start to think about getting to the gym like they intended… it gets in the way. So why do we do it?

An article featured in The Washington Post explains some hypotheses for why people procrastinate.

We procrastinate to avoid negative feelings.

Psychologists may identify procrastination as a version of avoidance. When a paper deadline begins to loom and our anxiety starts creeping up, we turn to a more mindless, enjoyable distraction. This is a quick fix to calm one self, but it sparks a cycle of regret, shame, and guilt. Some people are still successful in this version of procrastination, and that last push of pressure the night before is enough for them to complete the task at hand. Unfortunately, others are not so lucky and will find themselves avoiding the stress-inducing project until the very end, with nothing to show for it.

We procrastinate due to inconsistent thinking about the present vs. the future.

People are much better at making choices for their present self over their future self. We like instant gratification, we want to feel good now. Fighting procrastination requires overcoming that desire for instant gratification for that delayed gratification of completing your task (often a tedious task).

Understanding where procrastination comes from can help us fight the urge to procrastinate and further understand ourselves better.

Information obtained from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/04/27/why-you-cant-help-read-this-article-about-procrastination-instead-of-doing-your-job/?utm_term=.ce777a7e9859

Image obtained from: www.pixabay.com

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