In psychology, procrastination refers to the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of low-priority, and thus putting off important tasks to a later time. Some psychologists cite such behavior as a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision.Other psychologists indicate that anxiety is just as likely to get people to start working early as late and the focus should be impulsiveness. That is, anxiety will cause people to delay only if they are impulsive.
Schraw, Wadkins, and Olafson have proposed three criteria for a behavior to be classified as procrastination: it must be counterproductive, needless, and delaying. Similarly, Steel (2007) reviews all previous attempts to define procrastination, indicating it is “to voluntarily delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay.”
Procrastination may result in stress, a sense of guilt and crisis, severe loss of personal productivity, as well as social disapproval for not meeting responsibilities or commitments. These feelings combined may promote further procrastination. While it is regarded as normal for people to procrastinate to some degree, it becomes a problem when it impedes normal functioning. Chronic procrastination may be a sign of an underlying psychological disorder. Such procrastinators may have difficulty seeking support due to stigmatic beliefs that task-aversion is caused by laziness, low willpower, or low ambition.
Traditionally, procrastination has been associated with perfectionism, a tendency to negatively evaluate outcomes and one’s own performance, intense fear and avoidance of evaluation of one’s abilities by others, heightened social self-consciousness and anxiety, recurrent low mood, and “workaholism“. According to Robert B. Slaney adaptive perfectionists (when perfectionism is egosyntonic) were less likely to procrastinate than non-perfectionists, while maladaptive perfectionists (people who saw their perfectionism as a problem; i.e., when perfectionism is egodystonic) had high levels of procrastination (and also of anxiety). Accordingly, meta-analytic review of 71 studies by Steel (2007) indicate that typically perfectionists actually procrastinate slightly less than others, with “the exception being perfectionists who were also seeking clinical counselling.”
TOP TIPS FOR PREVENTING PROCRASTINATION
Tip No. 1 – ADD YOUR SUPERVISOR TO FACEBOOK!
After a couple of years of pretending my supervisor isn’t popping up in my ‘people you might know window’ with alarming regularity I took the plunge and added her. I know this will seriously curtail my activity and prevent me falling back into bad procrastination habits!
Tip No.2 – Will come later … he he he
Look out for more top tips in the future!
If you identify with the definition above and most definitely do not consider yourself to have a deep underlying psychological disorder please link to your blog in the comments box and I shall add you to the Pimpernel’s P.A. Honour Roll.
INTERVENTIONS: When things are getting out of control just post here and I can organise an intervention to get you bad on track! Join our Facebook Page