What Exactly is Procrastinantion and How to Overcome It?

Procrastination is the Thief of Time

 'Procrastination is the thief of time' is one of the best-known proverbs in the English Language. This phrase was made by writer Edward Young. The phrase means that when a person continually put-off his important tasks which result in ultimately achieving very little. 

What exactly is Procrastination? 

Procrastination is the habit of unnecessarily and voluntarily delaying or postponing something important despite knowing that there will be some negative consequence as a result. 

According to Joseph Ferrari (Professor of Psychology at DePaul University, Chicago) said no matter how committed or well organised you are you will always come in a state frittering away hours on unimportant pursuits like watching TV, shopping online or unuseful tasks. However, you should be spending your time wisely on important tasks that will grow you in your dreams or career. 

Whether you put off completing work projects, avoid chores, or ignore household chores, procrastination can have a major impact on your job, grades, and life.


1. Poor Emotional Regulation
“Emotional regulation, to me, is the real story around procrastination, because to the extent that I can deal with my emotions, I can stay on task,” says Pychyl. For procrastinators, emotional repair is essential. Its objective is to alleviate the current negative emotional state by postponing the task to the unknown future.

2. Unexciting Tasks
You probably have some tasks that you don't have any interest in or they are too tedious. Many times, the idea of ​​doing these tasks is more unpleasant than reality. Again this can be linked to poor emotional regulations.

3. Perfectionism 
Perfectionism is linked with the ability to engage in tasks and projects. Of course, you want to provide high-quality work, but when you set impossible goals and inevitably fail to achieve them, problems arise. 
 Constantly putting pressure on yourself will reduce productivity and efficiency, leading to self-criticism. 
 If you feel that your failure is due to not working hard, then the cycle will start again. Progress, not perfection.

4. Depression 
Procrastination can also be the result of depression. Feelings of despair, helplessness, and lack of energy can make starting (and completing) the simplest tasks difficult. Depression can also cause self-doubt. When you don’t know how to deal with a project or feel uncertain about your abilities, you may find it easier to postpone it and deal with other tasks.

Danger and Negative Effects of Procrastination

Understanding dangers are essential so you know how and when it is affecting you. Moreover, being aware of these issues can increase a person's ability to overcome them.

1. Worse Academic Performance
For students, procrastination can have a lot of negative effects like worse exam scores, increasing course failure and increasing the possibility of course withdrawal. These issues are related to the fact that protestation eats most of their time. 

2. Reduced Wellbeing
Procrastination can reduce a person's wellbeing and lead to frustration, guilt, shame and sadness. 

3. Affects Mental and Physical Health
Procrastination is linked to various mental health problems such as stress and physical health problems and higher prevalence. 
 Additionally, certain types of procrastination are linked to certain types of health problems. For example, bedtime delays, including unnecessary delays to going to bed, are linked to problems such as poor sleep and increased fatigue. 
 Additionally, procrastination is also linked to various illnesses, such as depression and insomnia, but it is unclear whether these associations are related or causal. If it is causal, then in what direction, that is, it is not clear whether procrastination is directly related. It causes these problems.

Different Types of Procrastination

Researchers have divided procrastination into two main types: passive and active.

Passive Procrastinators- Delay tasks due to trouble making decisions and act on them. 
Active Procrastinators- Delay tasks intentionally because working under pressure causes a feeling of being challenged and motivated. 

Others define the types of procrastinators based on different behavioural styles of procrastination, including:
  • Perfectionist: Putts off tasks out of fear of not being able to complete tasks perfectly.
  • Dreamer: Don't do tasks because they are not good at paying attention to details.
  • Defier: Don't think someone should set your schedule
  • Worrier: Delaying tasks for fear of changing or leaving comfort "known"
  • Crisis Maker: Delays tasks due to working under pressure.  
  • Overdoer: Take so many tasks under control that you struggle to complete tasks on time. 

How to Overcome Procrastination?

If you are tired of this disastrous habit and want to quit then I recommend you to read all of these tips carefully.

1. Set Goals:
To help you keep on track you should create a timetable with short goals to help you be on track. Consider placing a deadline for each task. 

2. Take One Step at a Time:
Break down goals on your list into short, manageable tasks so that your tasks don't seem massive goals. 

3. Recognise the Warning Signs: 
Pay attention to any thoughts of procrastination and try to resist the urge. If you start to think about procrastination, force yourself to spend a few minutes completing the task.

4. Get Rid of Distractions:
Think about what pulls your attention when you are completing your tasks. Eg, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube. It is better to keep your phone out of sight so that you don't get distracted. 

'Out of Sight Out of Mind'.

5. Congratulate Yourself: 
When you completed any tasks on your to-do list on time. It is good to congratulate yourself and celebrate your achievement. This will help you stay motivated. 


“While everybody may procrastinate, not everyone is a procrastinator,” says Dr Ferrari. 
So whether you are a chronic procrastinator who can hardly cope with yourself or a boring procrastinator in a simple situation like this... 
 At least you know the main reason for procrastination and how to overcome it.


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