Procrastination is much more than a symptom of poor time management. It may not surprise you that procrastination is linked to depression, anxiety, stress, loneliness, and low life satisfaction. But a study published in January 2023 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Online Network correlates severe mental health problems, disabling pain, unhealthy lifestyle behaviors, worse psychosocial health factors – and even heart disease.
The bad news is that procrastination is bad for your health. The other bad news is how lifestyle experts jump in with tactics to help you overcome it, creating a vicious cycle of pressure to perform that perpetuates procrastination.
I am one of those “experts”. I wrote a bestselling CD when that was a thing. overcoming procrastination Contains concrete recommendations based on effective time-management and goal-setting principles. Decades later, I updated my approach with what I thought was a well-conceived Article Revealing the (real) secret to overcoming procrastination.
but after reading Article In response to the new JAMA study mentioned on a national news event, I feel compelled to tackle the topic from a different angle. The author suggests techniques for overcoming procrastination based on your personality type. For example, if you’re a perfectionist, lower your standards. I wholeheartedly endorse awareness of your behavioral patterns (personality type). But this approach has the same problem as most solutions to latency, including mine.
To solve the problem of procrastination, you need to understand the underlying psychological reasons you procrastinate – whatever your personality type.
why do you delay
First of all, let’s consider that if you are suffering from the list of ailments in the first paragraph, then why do you procrastinate! The JAMA study acknowledges that negative health symptoms and procrastination can be bidirectional. Therefore, to say that you procrastinate because you are unwell or that you are unwell because you procrastinate can both be correct. However, I’m addressing the latter perspective because reputable studies show that psychological treatments for procrastination reduce mental and physical health issues.
Let’s say you’re an average Joe who procrastinates more than he should. Take me as an average Jane. I’ve delayed invoicing a client for work I did last October. Yes, I need money. Of course, I think it’s unprofessional. Yes, I’ve moved it from one to-do list to another week-by-week for four months. Yes, I enjoy checking items off my to-do lists. In fact, I feel guilty and stressed for not getting it done. Still, it remains the same.
We may rationalize our procrastination by hoping to find energy somewhere. We can bribe ourselves by rewarding ourselves and muster our willpower. We can call for discipline. but Research Shows that none of these work—even in the face of fear, threats, or retaliation. If, by chance, one of these strategies helps push you into action, you still pay the price of getting sick which affects your mental and physical health.
As I write this to you, I am also saying this to myself: It is time to practice what I teach about mastering motivation.
Applying the Science of Motivation to Get to the Bottom of Why We Procrastinate
We procrastinate on a task or goal because it fails to meet one of three psychological requirements necessary for optimal motivation. Without optimal motivation, you cannot generate the vitality needed to take action.
try this. Take a task or goal that you’ve been procrastinating on and ask yourself:
- do i need Like worn out? can i passed Achieving Goals or Taking Action – Do I Feel Like I Have No Choice? Do I feel compelled by the pressure to perform? Am I afraid of what might happen if I don’t do it? Do I feel bad for doing this?
- do i need Relation failed? Am I struggling to align goals or tasks with meaningful values or a sense of purpose? Do I feel alone or isolated? Am I afraid of disappointing someone important in my life? Have I put undue pressure on myself to live up to someone else’s – or my own – expectations?
- do i need ability Weak? Are my skills insufficient to meet the goal or task? Do I need more time to make up for my lack of skills, or do I feel it isn’t worth the time to learn? Do I have nothing to learn from achieving this goal or doing this task?
Answering “yes” to any of these questions may reflect sub-optimal motivation—explaining your lack of energy for the goal or task. The underlying cause of your procrastination is a weak sense of choice, a weak sense of connection, or a weak sense of competence – or all three!
When you understand the root cause of procrastination, you can deal with it psychological sense: The skill of actively making choices, relationships, and abilities.
Understanding the Root Cause of Procrastination Leads You to the Solution
I written On mastering your motivation by making broad choices, relationships, and abilities. Now I am going to put my work to work. Remember that challan I delayed submitting by four months? I will answer questions in real time.
- Near me Like, I don’t get paid for the work I do. I’m sure my client can find a way to make use of the unpaid fees.
- Near me Relation, As the CEO of a startup I’m passionate about, money has a meaningful role to play in subsidizing the work and people in our enterprise.
- Aha. i don’t think i have ability, The new invoicing process confuses me. I can’t even remember my login or password. Thinking about having to jump through all the hoops of learning to submit an invoice takes away your sense of competency.
The remarkable thing about the skill of inspiration? Taking the time to understand the underlying cause of my procrastination reinforced my psychological need for choice and connection—generating the vitality I needed to cope with my feelings of inadequacy. My motivation simply shifted from sub-optimal to optimal. So, sorry; I am taking a break to deposit my challan.
Greetings. I’m back. Took a little longer than I anticipated. But something remarkable happened. I got stuck in the process and called a colleague for help. Brent walked me through the invoicing process – teaching me as we went along. I haven’t talked to Brent in months. He told me that he misses me and how much he values our friendship. He was honored I had reached out to him! My lack of competence enhanced his sense of competence – and deepened our connection. I would appreciate getting paid for my work, but experiencing choice, connectedness, and ability to overcome my procrastination is a worthwhile and healthy bonus.
Susan Fowler, CEO of Mojo Moments, is the bestselling author of “”.Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work…and What Does: The New Science of Leading, Engaging, and Energizing People, His latest book, “Master Your Motivation: Three Scientific Truths for Achieving Your Goals,” presents an evolutionary idea: Motivation is a skill. She is also the author of bylined articles, peer-reviewed research, and eight best-selling books.Self Leadership and the One Minute Managerwith Ken Blanchard. For more information and a free What’s Your MO? survey to discover your motivational attitude, visit susanfowler.com either MojoMoments.com,
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