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Psychologist Reveals How To Finally Stop Procrastinating

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 04 Apr 2021 15:04
Psychologist Reveals How To Finally Stop ProcrastinatingShutterstock

Whether it’s doing the laundry or finally doing that report for your boss – we’re all prone to procrastination.

Many people have long begged the question of how to stop being victim to it, and a psychologist thinks they’ve cracked it.

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Timothy Pychyl, a professor who studies procrastination at Carleton University in Ottawa, believes procrastination is down to fear, rather than laziness.

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Pychyl says that our avoidance behaviour of doing tasks we might not find particularly fun is ‘giving in to feel good’, meaning we do something more enjoyable instead of the other tasks that need doing and the unpleasant feelings that accompany the task.

I mean, I’m sure we’d all agree that playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons for two hours is much more fun than cleaning the bathroom.

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It’s then a bit of a downwards spiral because the guilt of us not doing the tasks that need doing makes us procrastinate even more until you’re eventually left still feeling bad for not doing it, and still being left with the task undone.

Discussing how to avoid this, Pychyl said, as per Forbes:

It’s about really dealing with our feelings. 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.

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He also gave three tips to tackle procrastination: number one being to acknowledge why you’ve been avoiding it and face your emotions.

Secondly, forgive yourself for procrastinating as it will reduce the guilt you feel about procrastinating, eliminating one of the primary triggers for procrastinating.

Lastly, Pychyl advises to ‘just get started’ and ignore how you feel to focus on the task at hand. He said, ‘Rather than telling yourself, “just do it,” which can be overwhelming, say, “just get started”.’

Best get started with emptying the dishwasher, then.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Life, jobs, Now

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Forbes
  1. Forbes

    You're Not Lazy; You're Scared: How To Finally Stop Procrastinating