Why We Procrastinate - Deepstash
Why We Procrastinate

Why We Procrastinate

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Why We Procrastinate

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Procrastination is a lifestyle

20% of people identify themselves as chronic procrastinators. For them, procrastination is a lifestyle, albeit a maladaptive one. 

It cuts across all domains of their lives. They don't pay bills on time. They miss opportunities for buying tickets to concerts. 

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Procrastination represents a profound problem of self-regulation. 

There may be more of it in the U.S. than in other countries because we are so nice; we don't call people on their excuses ("my grandmother died last week") even when we don't believe them.

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Procrastinators are not different in their ability to estimate time, although they are more optimistic than others.

Telling someone who procrastinates to buy a weekly planner is like telling someone with chronic depression to just cheer up.

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It is one response to an authoritarian parenting style. Having a harsh, controlling father keeps children from developing the ability to regulate themselves.

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It is a manifestation of generalized problems in self-regulation. That is over and above the effect of avoidant coping styles that underlie procrastination and lead to disengagement via substance abuse.

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  • "I'll feel more like doing this tomorrow." Or "I work best under pressure." They do not get the urge the next day or work best under pressure. 
  • Another big lie is that time pressure makes them more creative. Unfortunately, they do not turn out to be more creative; they only feel that way. 

They squander their resources avoiding.

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Procrastinators actively look for distractions, particularly ones that don't take a lot of commitment on their part

Checking e-mail is almost perfect for this purpose. They distract themselves as a way of regulating their emotions such as fear of failure.

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  • Arousal types, or thrill-seekers, who wait until the last minute for the euphoric rush.
  • Avoiders, who may be avoiding the fear of failure or even fear of success; they would rather have others think they lack effort than ability.
  • Decisional procrastinators, who cannot make a decision. Not making a decision absolves procrastinators of responsibility for the outcome of events.

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  • Health. Just over the course of a single academic term, procrastinating college students had such evidence of compromised immune systems as more colds and flu, more gastrointestinal problems. And they had insomnia
  • Procrastination has a high cost to others as well as oneself; it shifts the burden of responsibilities onto others, who become resentful. Procrastination destroys teamwork in the workplace and private relationships.

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Procrastinators can change their behavior. It doesn't necessarily mean one feels transformed internally. It can be done with highly structured cognitive-behavioral therapy.

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