Procrastination Isn’t About Laziness

Hands up if you have procrastinated?  Everyone has put off doing something in their lives, whether it is cleaning a closet, finishing a project, or just doing the laundry.  The default view of procrastination has equated it to laziness, basically an assumption that putting things off is a kind of character weakness.  However, is it true?

unknown person sitting indoors

A powerful article in the New York Times recently gave me a new perspective on this topic.  Author in her piece Why You Procrastinate (It Has Nothing to Do With Self-Control), argues based on the scientific evidence that people procrastinate due to the powerful effect of negative emotions.

“Procrastination isn’t a unique character flaw or a mysterious curse on your ability to manage time, but a way of coping with challenging emotions and negative moods induced by certain tasks — boredom, anxiety, insecurity, frustration, resentment, self-doubt and beyond. …

“In a 2013 study, Dr. Pychyl and Dr. Sirois found that procrastination can be understood as ‘the primacy of short-term mood repair … over the longer-term pursuit of intended actions.’ Put simply, procrastination is about being more focused on ‘the immediate urgency of managing negative moods’ than getting on with the task, Dr. Sirois said.”

Read the rest of this fascinating article now – don’t put it off a moment longer!

 

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