For decades, psychological research has been able to explain procrastination as a functioning problem, not a consequence of laziness.
Procrastination isn’t about being lazy. Being curious about the underlying issues of procrastination, rather than judging the behavior, can be very helpful. For instance, delaying action can be a symptom of feeling that our action won’t be acceptable.
Dithering may be a result of not knowing how to take the first steps or not having the innate capacity to divide a large project into smaller, manageable pieces.
Before judging, consider that a person may seem to be procrastinating when they’re actually struggling with mental health issues or a difficult home environment.
People don’t want to fail or disappoint. There are always barriers, whether we see them or not.
Affirmation: I will take a deeper look at procrastination.
Coaching questions: Why do you procrastinate? How do you judge others who procrastinate? What’s a step you’ll take to discover the underlying cases of your procrastination?
Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. William James, American philosopher and psychologist, offered the first psychology course in the United States.
Procrastination is a common ailment. As James suggests, procrastination is fatiguing and can keep us from being our best selves. Procrastination often happens when we fear or have anxiety about the important task awaiting us. To get rid of the negative feeling, we procrastinate and move on to something more pleasurable. We may feel better temporarily but reality returns with a vengeance. Shame and guilt can ensue.
Sometimes, as we procrastination (I’m writing this blog in order to put off editing my book), we actually accomplish things. Some people procrastinate to the point of urgency which is the only way they get difficult or important things done. One of the important things you can do as a procrastinator is to forgive yourself because procrastination is linked to negative feelings. Remember—you don’t have to be in the mood to do a task, sometimes you just have to grit your teeth and do it.
Affirmation: I get important things done in a timely way.
Coaching questions: What is one thing you procrastinate about? What is something you can do to break the cycle and get things done at the appropriate time?