What is procrastination?

Have you ever made a million excuses not to get started on a task you don’t want to do? This may be a sign of procrastination. Learn about this behavior and how to get rid of it.

Procrastination is a tendency to put off until later what you could do now, and until tomorrow what you could do today. This applies mainly to the tedious tasks of daily life: housework, work, shopping, appointments to be made… Very often, the activities or actions to be carried out are replaced by secondary and non-urgent occupations.

What are the causes of procrastination?

Most psychologists and doctors agree that procrastination could be caused by a lack of self-confidence, low self-esteem, difficulty concentrating, fear of failure or perfectionism. Faced with an action to be performed, a procrastinator may also consider that it is too tedious and will not bring him any satisfaction.

Is procrastination a disease?

Procrastination is not a disease. It is a term mainly used in psychology to refer to this behavior. On the other hand, most human beings, both children and adults, have been in a situation where they have procrastinated. However, procrastination can be a symptom of other psychological disorders such as anxiety. It can also be a source of stress or guilt, all of which can have a negative impact on daily life.

Get rid of procrastination

A psychologist can always be called in. This professional will help you stop putting off important things and better manage your time. To get rid of procrastination without consulting, here are 5 tips to implement:

  • Make lists of tasks to be done. Target what you need to do and write it down on a piece of paper, this will save you from having to constantly think about it until it is done. The space freed up in your brain can then be allocated to your current task.
  • If it takes less than five minutes, do it immediately. Put dirty clothes in the hamper instead of on the floor, wash the plate and pan used for lunch, clear the table after eating, put away the groceries immediately… By doing all of these small actions as they come to you, you avoid creating a mountain of tasks to do later, which will only make you more disgusted with your daily chores.

We eat a mammoth one bite at a time!

  • Set achievable goals for yourself. When the task is daunting, remember that you eat a mammoth one bite at a time! You have to go step by step and allow yourself small victories at each step. This way you won’t get discouraged by the enormity of the task at hand and you won’t let yourself procrastinate.
  • One task at a time. It’s hard, it’s true. But by focusing on one thing to do, instead of scattering yourself to do ten at once, you will waste less time and energy.
  • Combine hard work with reward. If I complete this task or list, I’ll treat myself to a nice dinner out tonight.
  • Make time for relaxation. Doing a task you don’t want to do eats up more energy. Allow yourself some rest too!
  • Set a deadline for yourself. If there’s one thing procrastinators know how to do, it’s get eight weeks’ worth of work done in eight hours, because they’ve put it off as long as possible. Well then, choose this last minute moment. Set deadlines that will force you to finish a project quickly.
  • Create optimal conditions to concentrate (calm, solitude…). Put the phone away from you. It is so tempting, this little technological rectangle. We figure it doesn’t hurt to take a quick look on Twitter or Instagram. And then we send a message to friends, we check something quickly on the Internet. And in the end, more time is wasted going from app to app than doing the work you’re trying to avoid. To avoid any temptation, leave your smartphone in another room.

What is the opposite of procrastination?

The opposite of procrastination is precrastination. It is a tendency to do everything right away, even what is not important or what can wait. A pre-crastinator likes to measure the number of tasks he or she has completed by checking off actions in a list, for example. However, he is often faced with the feeling of being overwhelmed, of not having enough time. Like procrastination, precrastination is a source of stress because of poor time management.

Finally, is procrastination really bad? For the American philosopher John Perry not necessarily! When a procrastinator tries to avoid a task, he or she will do many others to keep busy and justify the inaction. It becomes much more productive. Good thinking and if you think you are procrastinating, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with one of our professionals by clicking here!


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John Perry, Philisopher