The Procrastination Paradox


Last week, in my Procrastination. Sigh. Nuff Said  post, I really tried to sell you the value and benefits of exercise. I hope you started moving more 🙂 Exercise is a very tangible and possible way to positively impact your mood and increase your overall motivation. You need motivation to deal with procrastination. Exercise is the first step. The paradox is that the more you procrastinate the worse you feel adown_the_rabbit_hole_by_jcjessica-d5kqxq7.jpgbout yourself. Your emotional state lowers, you feel like your are a horrible person and then you procrastinate even more. The downward spiral into the procrastination black hole begins.


Get moving for your motivation!


procrastination-drinkWouldn’t be awesome if there was an easy way to get rid of procrastination, magically get stuff done with ease?

Ya, me too. If there was a magical way, believe me, I am the person to have found it! Love an easy way out 😉

Since there is nothing easy, own that fact and commit to starting some relatively easy steps toward building the procrastination combat skills you need.

Fear is the driving force behind what leads us to being overwhelmed which lands us in a procrastination sinkhole.

There are two main academic dudes (ya, I know “dude” makes me sound old, but I still love that word!) that have such great advice for understanding and dealing with procrastination, Dr. Tim Pychyl, Associate Professor, Psychology and Director, Carlton University and Dr. Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Psychology at De Paul University in Chicago. I am going to pass along some great wisdom from these two smarty pants’ today.

The problem is that we often we describe ourselves very negatively when we procrastinate which leads to us feeling pretty crappy.

  • “I have a time management problem
  • “I just can’t make myself do it. I have no willpower
  • “I am just a lazy person

This just makes us procrastinate more.

These two awesome psychologists see procrastination as a misplaced coping mechanism, as an emotion-focused coping strategy. When you procrastinate, you are using avoidance to cope with emotions. We are “giving in” to feel better.  This is not a flaw in you, it is actually just a lack of development in self-regulation skills.This can be learned!

Advice from Dr. Pychyl

“When you find yourself putting off a task, ask yourself WHY you are feeling a need to hesitate or delay. Then, remind yourself that undertaking that task in a reasonable time frame is in your own best interest (don’t leave it to Future You).

Advice from Dr. Ferrari

  • Make a list of everything you have to do.
  • Write a statement of intention.
  • Set realistic goals.
  • Break it down into specific tasks.
  • Make your task meaningful.
  • Promise yourself a reward.
  • Eliminate tasks you never plan to do. Be honest!
  • Estimate the amount of time you think it will take you to complete a task. Then increase the amount by 100%.

Advice from Me…

Check out my Emotional Intelligence Tip Sheet for Emotional-Self-Awareness and try and figure out what emotions you are feeling that lead to procrastination.


In case you missed a previous post here, I am putting this TedTalk up again. It really helps to normalize procrastination. Everyone does it to a certain extent, some of us are just further along the learning path to have the skills to curb it.

Check this out! Trust me, you will feel better 😉

Tim Urban knows that procrastination doesn’t make sense, but he’s never been able to shake his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done. In this hilarious and insightful talk, Urban takes us on a journey through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes and bouts of staring out the window — and encourages us to think harder about what we’re really procrastinating on, before we run out of time.

Wondering.jpgWondering if you are a Procrastinator?

Check this Quiz from MindTools! 


Next Week…

Mindset and Procrastination

Share your experience! I would love to hear what you do to manage your urge to procrastinate 🙂


Dr. Heather Drummond,  C.Psych.

Psychologist * Passionate Advocate for Flourishing * Human Muddling Through


One comment

  1. Wow, that TED talk really helped explain procrastination in a tangible way. Thank you for posting these links, Heather!

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