What is procrastination? What are the two types of procrastination? What are the causes of procrastination? What are the negative effects of procrastination?

Do not put off until tomorrow what you can do today. This proverb that you have surely rehashed throughout your schooling illustrates a problem as old as the world: our tendency to want to postpone what appears to us as difficult or stressful.

Many language expressions deal with the phenomenon, but it is described by one word: procrastination. Long regarded as an inability to manage one’s time, or even as a defect of character, procrastination has been in the center of the attention of psychologists for the past twenty years.

Because of its explosion among the younger generations in a society that wants more and more productivity. A complicated word that describes a phenomenon we all know.

Who has not rejected a thankless task until the last minute? We hate to recognize it, but we are all subject to procrastinative behavior.

Procrastination is this tendency to postpone. And for about twenty years, it arouses a strong interest among psychologists and researchers. For good reason, this type of behavior would be more and more common among younger generations. So much so that some people talk about it as a 21st-century disease.Negative Effects of Procrastination

I – What is Procrastination?

According to Wikipedia: ” Procrastination (from Latin pro” forward “and” next day “crastinus) is a tendency to routinely postpone actions (whether limited to a specific area of daily life or not). The “chronic retarder”, called the procrastinator, cannot get to work, especially when it does not give him immediate satisfaction.

In other words, it is the fact of postponing all the tasks that must be performed, whether for home, at work, or at school, concerning our surroundings, administrative papers, etc. Why do it right now when we can do it at the last moment?

Nevertheless, we are not all equal in the face of procrastination. On this subject, we note 2 types of procrastination.

II – Procrastination of Situation and Pathological Procrastination

These two patterns of procrastinators have similar symptoms, but the causes of their procrastination are very different.

For the majority of us (80%), this is a temporary phenomenon that we experience when we are confronted with a task considered particularly difficult. Psychologists call this the procrastination of a situation.

We all know the procrastination of the situation. It intervenes when one finds oneself facing a difficult objective. Two things prevent us from getting to work: not knowing how to do it, and the anxiety of not being up to it.

The problem of situation procrastination is that it gets stronger over time. The longer we wait, the more difficult the task seems, and the more we want to push back. An endless loop often untied by a “panic” that ends up putting us at work.

Regarding the remaining 20%, the picture is a bit darker. For chronic procrastinators, postponing to tomorrow is a real pathology. Any crippling task is rejected. Systematically. And this can lead to a real ordeal, in relationships or at work.

Chronic procrastinators have a different problem. They are simply unable to sacrifice the present moment for a future result. We are here for a purely emotional cause. The negative effect of procrastination is that anything that has a negative impact on their present good mood is rejected. Without exception.

But in general, what are the causes of procrastination?

III – Causes of Procrastination: Why Procrastinate?

When we are lazy, we do not do something because we do not feel like it, because we are tired and just want to rest. (Well, that’s my way of differentiating it from procrastination!)

If not, in procrastination we do not do a task, not because we are tired (because we have the energy to do something else instead), but because we are afraid…

There are different fears that can explain our tendency to postpone:

fear of failure, fear of doing wrong, the judgment of others or his own judgment (perfectionism): for example, it is surely this fear that I have to postpone the writing of my articles [laughing],

fear of the unknown: for example, delaying one’s job search when one can no longer support one’s current job,

fear of success: yes, it is possible to be afraid that his professional project works so well that it has negative effects of procrastination on his personal life for example.

Also, other reasons are that procrastinates:

bad self-esteem: we do not feel able to do an action,

the lack of concentration: we are quickly distracted,

the lack of motivation: we do not see the interest in doing this task,

the lack of perspective: we do not know the meaning of the priorities, what task we must do first or we do not know where to start, or we think we will be able to do it in a minute.

In general, we find excuses to postpone the action, we try to convince ourselves that it is not our fault – as it is well to do the lazy (“I do not look for work because anyway it’s the crisis right now “…)

With this, we cannot mention the causes, without thinking about the negative effects of procrastination. So what are the likely negative effects of procrastination?

IV – The Probable Negative Effects of Procrastination

Some consider that procrastination is a “mental” disease that affects 20% of the population.

Psychotherapists say that this is especially about smart people because they think a lot about the tasks to be done; they are very cerebral, make a mountain of things to do. They are also curious people because they are open and want to discover new things (a nice way to say that we cannot stay focused very long). Am I not in this lot of procrastinators? [Laughing] Let’s say for me, as many articles to produce, as much research to do, as many ideas to build, as many works (Roman, essays, booklet …) to produce!

Being a procrastinator can result in more or less unfortunate consequences, such as having a sleepless night the night before an exam (or a blog post [laughing]), having an apartment tidy, or paying a markup. on taxes.

Putting everything back to the next day makes one do the tasks in stress because they are done at the last moment. In addition, since we have less time to do them, we botch them, we are not satisfied with the result, we lose self-esteem, and we are even less inclined to repeat these tasks in the future. This is a real vicious circle.

It can really ruin people’s lives, become a blockage in personal and professional life, and it is at this point that procrastination becomes a “disease”. [If so, do not you think that you need prayer to be delivered from it, to heal procrastination? ] {Laughing}

Now that you have learned (or maybe it is a reminder for you) what is procrastination, its causes and negative effects of procrastination; what do you want to know now: how to stop procrastinating? Is not it? Well, the following lines will help you.

V – Tips to Avoid Procrastination

1. Prepare the Ground

First, you must be really ready to change, to get back on track. The desire must be there to take action. I appeal here to your “want”, have this desire to heart. […]

To do this, focus on the benefits: procrastinating takes time, money, and stress because of the things you end up managing at the last minute. Is it worth it? Is immediate pleasure better than the benefit you could get from a job done?

Then, identify your most productive moments. If, for example, you are more concentrated in the morning, devote this period to the most complex projects.

Finally, make you feel guilty! It does not matter if you’re not always motivated, sometimes you want to do nothing or do something other than what you have to do, and that’s perfectly normal!

However, just wanting to stop procrastinating, looking at this “problem” is already a step. And of course, the first step to avoid the negative effects of procrastination.

2. Change the Way You Think

Yes, change your way of thinking! Adopt a new mentality. Okay, it’s not something that can be done in a snap, but just knowing that no one is perfect, it does not matter if you miss an exam or nobody does not read his article allows relativizing.

Thus, now that we know that there are causes for procrastination, we can try to analyze what blocks us, realize that fear does not avoid the obstacle and that, on the contrary, more we wait, the bigger the obstacle.

Change the words we use: no longer say “I must” or “must” but “I want”. If the task is seen as an obligation and not as a desire, it will be difficult to get started. Imagine if the question “do you want to marry me”, we answer “yes, it must”, we have less desire for a sudden! […]

3. Be Organizedthings to do list

Everyone knows you have to make lists. This means you do not have to think about it all the time and be afraid to forget about it. On the other hand, a list that goes on without being emptied can also be a source of stress where we cannot know where to start, so use caution!

For example, make a big global list and small lists of 2 or 3 tasks a day maximum. The goals must be achieved so you can divide a big task into smaller ones.

In addition, we are referring to splitting the tasks. You understand that the smaller the task, the easier it will be for you to get started because it is often when you feel overwhelmed that motivation decreases and you give up. That’s why break down the job into several small tasks and schedule a deadline for each task.

Make a to-do list: a list of tasks to perform, or for the most creative, a bullet. You will note all the actions you must take. Sort them by priority and schedule a time for each task.

In addition, set yourself three to five priorities each day … and stick to it! One of the reasons for procrastination is the lack of guidelines and visibility. “Every day, set yourself between three and five priorities.” This marked waybill will avoid scattering you. Not so innocuous. Because knowing exactly what you have to do on a day or a week makes sense of its action.

Another thing: Always keep the time you put in doing a task. You will avoid disappointment, which could discourage you.

4. Listen to Your Body

Work at the time of day when you are the fittest. Eat balanced, sleep enough. The more you know how to listen to your body in this way, the more resources you have to start a task.

Have you ever thought that being hungry, or having insufficient sleep can prevent you from working?

5. Motivate YourselfReward for the motivation

Instead of seeing the task as a chore, make it a reward with something you like to do: at the end of each article written, enjoy one (or 2) squares of chocolate; at the end of the dishes, watch an episode of your favorite series … Generally, I like to have a cocktail or a cup of milk, when I finish writing an article. And when it comes to writing a part of my work, then I give myself the pleasure of going to a glacier to take ice cream for example! Just a way to savor an exploit! It brings joy! Make this experience and you will give us new ones!

As you know what awaits you at the end of the task accomplished, you will do it with more desire, and more speed too!

6. Do the Hardest and Most Demanding Task First

Easier said than done, but the rest will seem much easier to achieve! Get rid of the toughest tasks first. When you have completed an important or complicated activity, you will feel more productive and it will give you the courage to tackle other tasks.

7. Cut off Sources of Distraction

I understood why the word procrastination was not used before: there was not as much distraction as today since the era of the web and new technologies! Only 10-15 years ago, there was not as much SMS (it was not unlimited!), No social networks, Youtube videos, emails that appear at the bottom right of the page screen…

But today … Phone, emails, Facebook, Twitter … So many sources of distraction that must be avoided. Shut them down or turn them off whenever possible and allow yourself some set times. “Work is work. After work, it does not work. Before work, it does not work. The hour of work must be devoted to working. ”

8. Find “Starters”

In the same way that an athlete prepares before a competition, observe a beginning ritual that will become an automatism.

This may be tidying up your workspace, serving you a cup of coffee …

Find these preliminary tasks that will facilitate the action.

In general, from the moment you start something, it’s easier to keep taking care of it.

For example, you have a long report to write, start by writing a sentence and you will end up writing for an hour.

Do you have to read? Tell yourself that you will read the first page and even before you know it, you will have read three chapters.

9. Take BreaksTake a break from work

When you cannot concentrate, do not bother trying, take a break. Do what you want to do, to take it off your head.

But ideally, allow for breaks between each completed task and see them as “rewards” for each completed step. They prevent drowning.

You can use the “Pomodoro” technique, which consists of working in periods of 25 minutes, punctuated by long and short breaks.

“Pomodoro” means tomato in Italian, but means a timer, often tomato-shaped, used mostly in cooking. With the Pomodoro method, you stand at 25-minute work periods, measured by the timer. The ringtone warns you of the end of the work session. After 25 minutes, you can reward yourself by doing something else.

Therefore, even the example of tomatoes can help you along the way to beat the negative effects of procrastination.

We would be happy if you shared your experiences with us regarding your procrastination situation. Did you know? ” The experience of others is a source of knowledge for some,” says Thomson Dablemond. If you liked this article too, nothing more than sharing and/or commenting on it! Thank you.


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