Why do we procrastinate?

Funny enough, the idea of this piece came from the fact that I procrastinated on this assignment. Even though life has been crazy lately, many of us have more time to work on fun projects. I’m surprised and embarrassed by the projects I’ve pushed off, even though I enjoy doing them. I love writing and working on these pieces but I often push it off to the last minute. Why is that?

According to the New York Times, “Procrastination isn’t a unique character flaw or a mysterious curse on your ability to manage time, but a way of coping with challenging emotions and negative moods induced by certain tasks — boredom, anxiety, insecurity, frustration, resentment, self-doubt and beyond.”

Which would make sense, that during this very uncertain year, we would put off many tasks, even if they bring you joy? I hope that makes you feel a little better. There’s a scientific reason for your habit of procrastination! 

I could give you all the tips in the world for productivity but without finding the root cause of your procrastination they won’t help. Unfortunately, we can’t just tell ourselves to stop procrastinating.

What we can do is shift our mindset and emotions to overcome this habit. We need to give attention to our emotions and why we’re feeling this way. You need to forgive yourself in the moments of procrastination. Self-forgiveness supports productivity. It helps you to move on from the negative emotions you’re feeling and moves you forward to achieve goals. Several studies show that self-compassion supports motivation and personal growth.

So instead of beating yourself up for not completing your tasks, forgive yourself, make a plan and choose a reward that motivates you to finish sooner rather than later – for me, that’s a delicious cupcake that’s calling my name! 

More Insight: You might also enjoy this helpful article on how to empower yourself!

Author: Jessica Clerke is the digital editor for HUM@Nmedia, the parent brand for Optimyz Magazine. She is also a writer nd is based in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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