This blog explores some of the many reasons for procrastination.
If you would like to discuss the reasons for procrastination and how to deal with them, come to the next IMPACT Goal workshop:Click for courses
Procrastination And Your Values
A conflict in your values can cause procrastination.
These might not be your core values but be important enough to influence your behaviour.
In this situation, the ideal is to find a way to integrate your values so that you can address each value.
Let me give you an example.
A friend took an engineering degree because she enjoyed product design.
Product design can increase consumerism, which conflicts with her desire to protect the environment.
She could have prioritised one over the other, which would have led to her feeling comfortable.
Instead, she reduced the environment impact by changing from designing physical products to software.
This enabled her to embrace both values.
Feeling Uncomfortable Leads To Procrastination
Procrastination can be useful in some circumstances, as it indicate that you are uncomfortable about something.
This gives you the opportunity to think about what is worrying you and address any concern.
It might be that what you were going to do is the wrong thing for you, in which case you can decide not to do it.
Or it might be that there is some aspect to it which you can address to be more comfortable about it.
How Sleep Affects Procrastination
Lack of sleep leads to dithering.
Piers Steel is one of the leading authorities on procrastination and author of How to stop putting things off and start getting things done.
In his research, Professor Steel found that people’s decision making deteriorates with lack of sleep, leading to indecision.
This is a good reason for you to prioritise sleep: the quality and quantity of your decisions improves.
If you would like to participate towards Professor Steel’s on-going research, then you can do his survey.
The Positive Side to Procrastination
There can be a positive side to procrastination: it can be about thinking something through.
There is such an immediacy to the modern world; decisions are increasingly instant, and this leads to mistakes.
Sometimes, we just need to sit back and let our mind work out the best response.
Let me give you an example.
I find in a stressful business situation that my first response is often emotional rather than logical.
That emotion is often defensiveness, sometimes anger.
It might not be the best response.
If I decide to gather information rather than reacting, and then to sit on a decision over night, I often come back with a better and more productive solution.
I also find that ideas pop into my head which I had not and probably would not have considered in the heat of the moment.
In this way you can use procrastination as a tool to make better, more informed decisions.
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