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.
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.
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.
They squander their resources avoiding.
People tend to procrastinate to avoid emotionally unpleasant tasks - so they choose to focus on something that provides a temporary mood boost.
This creates a vicious cycle: procrastination itself causes shame and guilt — which in turn leads people to procrastinate even further.
We put off small jobs, like a quick email to a colleague or menial paperwork. We keep putting it off. We waste time thinking about how annoying the task is, but it does not go away.
These small tasks take up a considerable amount of space in our minds. But there are simple ways to bring them back to size.
Studies show low mood only increases procrastination if enjoyable activities are available as a distraction. In other words, we're drawn to other activities to avoid the discomfort of applying ourselves.