Understanding the Psychology of Procrastination and Overcoming It
By Anne Bachrach
A.M. Enterprises (The Accountability Coach)
Procrastination is defined as the act of “putting off or delaying an action to a later time.” Most people know the term procrastination and have been guilty of this behavior at some point. Unfortunately, procrastination is not an effective coping behavior. The most severe cases of procrastination can result in strong feelings of guilt, compromised productivity, anxiety, disapproval from others, and in the end, much more stress. Of course the idea of all this negativity is worrisome to the anxious personality—in fact, it may drive he or she into even further procrastination.
What can be done about procrastination? It largely depends on whether it is considered a temporary defense, a self-limiting condition or even a behavioral disorder. Everyone does experience some episodes of procrastination. Thankfully, they are able to identify this behavior and overcome it by setting some goals, and some even might incorporate others in the mix to help them follow-through.
What really prevents you from taking action and making necessary changes in your life? Do you have a bit of a perfectionist streak? This is a common cause of procrastination, and is not a reason for concern. Do you tend to negatively evaluate your own performance as well as the outcome of an endeavor? Examine your surroundings…are you surrounded by hobbies, personal achievement records and completed books? Doesn’t this evidence prove that you can accomplish something if you set your mind to it? All most people need is a little help to get moving in the “right” direction.
Overcoming procrastination will always involve taking action—whether it is action coming from you, or from the help of others. Take action now, and start living, and enjoying the life that you really want. You can do almost anything you set your mind to achieve.