Written by Dr. Nicola Eccles on 09 May 2023
Procrastination is defined as an irrational tendency to delay required jobs or tasks despite the negative consequences this may have. It is a common behavioural tendency but the fallout is much worse because of the guilt we feel as a result of not doing ‘things’. We associate procrastination with failure. From the perspective of our mental health, telling ourselves we are a failure is really detrimental. So, ‘procrastination’ can actually have some serious consequences, not so much because we miss deadlines but because of how we view ourselves as a result of the procrastination. Research on procrastination has increased significantly in the last couple of decades. The impact of digital technology and the distraction of new media is very clearly linked to increased procrastination in certain environments. We live in what is classed as a ‘media pervasive environment’ which is difficult to manage. How can we avoid procrastination? Think first about whether it is context based? Do you procrastinate in certain environments, or situations? When and why do you procrastinate? On the other hand, when do you really find you are in a flow state with tasks and jobs? What does that positive environment or situation look like for you? Assessing the landscape of procrastination as it is specific to you, is a critical first step. Then you need to equip yourself with a toolbox of tricks and skills to support yourself day after day until ‘not’ procrastinating becomes a normal state.
There are a whole range of resources on Aspire to help with procrastination, planning, and getting organised. They are all designed to help put you in the driving seat and help you get started to progress whatever it is you are working on. There are also some fantastic visualisation tools to help you work out what your goals are and motivate you to start working on those things that are important to you!