Believe it or not, this week is National Procrastination Week. You might be wondering why I'm just now making a post about it, on Wednesday? Or you might have figured out already why the topic appeals to me, and why I'm writing about it midweek. Are you always thinking things would be different if you just got organized? Or practiced better time management? Or maybe you've already purchased a dozen different kinds of dayplanners, folders, files, containers and books, but you still delay finishing -- or even starting -- important and necessary tasks.
If this sounds familiar, click here to
If you doubt the effects of procrastination on stress levels, consider a study by D.M. Tice and R.F. Baumeister (reported in Psychological Science 1997, 18, 454-458). The researchers studied the effects of procrastination on health and stress levels among college students in a health psychology course. Although those who procrastinated started the semester with lower stress levels and better health than non-procrastinators, the procrastinators ended up with worse stress levels and health by the end of the semester. Additionally, overall, procrastinators rated worse stress levels and health than non-procrastinators. As the article states, "In the long run, dawdling seems to be self-defeating."
Great. Another habit that's bad for our health. But we know from our own experience that procrastinating causes us stress and anxiety. If you already struggle with anxiety, this is a behavior that will definitely interfere with getting it under control. And though it's difficult, this is one habit we can do something about. It will take a little introspection, however, because it's necessary to understand what's at the root of your behavior; not everyone procrastinates for the same set of reasons.
There are lots of theories out there about why we do it: fear of failure, fear of success, perfectionism, boredom, anger, large tasks or lack of organizational skills. Online Organizing provides every kind of resource imaginable for getting at the root of your procrastination habits: they offer dozens of links for self-tests, strategies, solutions, tips. and worksheets. Just don't let researching your procrastination become another thing you do instead of that other thing you need to do!