“The voluntary delay of an intended action despite the knowledge that this delay may harm the individual”
Dr Tim Pychyl
“We voluntarily put off tasks despite believing ourselves to be worse off for doing so”
Dr Piers Steel
The significant parts of these definitions are:
- The delay is voluntary i.e. We know what we are doing and we are in charge
- We know that the delay is going to cause us pain in some way. And yet we still continue!
When we see it written down in black & white it looks silly. Why would any sane rational person do anything that they know will cause them pain? But I have to admit that I have been a chronic procrastinator and I know I am in good company.
“Across scores of surveys, about 95% of people admit to procrastinating, with about a quarter of these indicating that it is a chronic, defining characteristic. ‘To stop procrastinating’ is at any time among the world’s top reported goals.”
steel: the procrastination equation
What is procrastination…
In my experience (and those of my clients), procrastination is:
- Looking for any distraction to avoid doing something that I know I should be doing at this moment.
- Tidying my desk/office/_____(fill in your own blank)
- Searching for more “input” from the internet and/or books rather than getting started
- Pretending that I have lots of time and that it will do me good and I will return more enthusiastic , motivated and effective if I take a break now and relax
- Staring blankly into space while fantasising about how life could be/will be so much better when I don’t have to do tasks like this
- Feeling bad about myself because I know I am delivering below what I am capable of and letting myself and my loved ones down
Make no mistake that procrastination is a major problem for a very significant number of people.
“People who score high on self-report measures of procrastination also self-report lower achievement overall, more negative feelings and they even report significantly more health problems”
Pychyl: The Procrastinator’s Digest
Given that you are reading this page I suspect that you are one of them and overcoming procrastination is probably high on your agenda. (unless of course that you are just browsing as a distraction to kill some time before you finally abandon your task for the day?)
This site is designed to show you how to beat procrastination and I have deliberately kept it as short and concise as possible because I know from person experience how easy it is to use a search for “how to deal with procrastination” as a great excuse to procrastinate.
Click here to learn how to stop procrastination