Putting the Pro in Procrastination

Research shows it can have emotional and physical costs, like insomnia and gastrointestinal disorders. Waiting until the last minute can produce lower quality work which can impact personal and professional relationships. Unresolved stress can lead to anxiety and depression.

woman in a chair holding a class of wine, phone and tablet

How can I stop procrastinating? Fortunately, the article from Psychology Today had some suggestions that work for me. First, break that large job into achievable chunks. If writing a chapter seems daunting, I can write two sentences or a paragraph. Often this is enough to get me into the FLOW, and suddenly the words pour out onto the page. Second, limit access to social media and the internet. I can power down my electronics of turn off the notifications. It’s easier to focus on writing when I don’t have any distractions. (If only I could power down my husband!)

The third takeaway from the article was the concept of present self vs future self. My present self gets a temporary benefit by avoiding the disagreeable task but my future self suffers from stress or punishment. Developing as much empathy for your future self as you would for a close friend is an important first step in changing your mindset. Your future self will sleep better if you make a concerted effort to get the difficult task done in a timely manner.

After reading about all the negative effects of procrastination, there is an upside to all this. One good thing about procrastination is that you always have something planned for tomorrow.

Now I’m going to take care of all my procrastination problems. Just you wait and see.