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Chronic Procrastination- The Puzzle Pieces

There are three main parts to the procrastination puzzle.

  1. Activation Event: This refers to the task you are putting off.
  2. Belief System: These are your hidden feelings about the task or for whom you are performing (or avoiding) the task
  3. Consequence: This is what happens when we postpone or ditch the task

Procrastination is counterproductive behavior. We discussed possible causes in a previous post, i.e. fear of success, low sense of self-worth, self-defeating behavior, depression, ADHD, etc. Now let’s look at what this chronic procrastination might costs us.

Procrastination may result in:

  • Lowered productivity and declining job performance
  • Loss of job
  • Loss of home, cars, credit cards (procrastination with bill-paying)
  • Marital problems and/or divorce
  • Strained friendships
  • Feelings of guilt and shame
  • Depression
  • Stress…leading to poor health

Many procrastinators do not seek help and support because of social stigmas attached to procrastination. Psychologists refer to Chronic Procrastination as “task-aversion”, which, in our workaholic and puritanical society is inappropriately characterized as “laziness”.

It is said that 20% of the population identify as being chronic procrastinators. Many psychologists believe that procrastination comes about as a response to an overbearing parent. It often is a way to show “control”, much like some eating disorders. Remember, chronic procrastination is a maladaptive behavior and is not just a problem with time management.

Next we will look at ways to begin to overcome procrastination

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Judy W Bell

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