Debunking the myths of procrastination: What is it and how can you stop?

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“Thinking you’re being productive by cleaning retired your fridge erstwhile you person an urgent enactment deadline is inactive procrastination,” 1 adept told Euronews Next.

Guilty of gossiping astatine the java instrumentality oregon pretending to look other engaged erstwhile you’re truly booking holidays?

You could beryllium a workplace procrastinator.

But remainder assured, you are not alone: 15 to 20 per cent of the colonisation are “chronic procrastinators”, according to a US survey by scientist and procrastination researcher Joseph Ferrari.

But what is workplace procrastination and should you consciousness guilty? And accidental you wanted to hole this wont - however would you spell astir it?

'Emotional and acold from rational'

Procrastination is the enactment of voluntarily delaying tasks, contempt knowing this volition pb to antagonistic consequences.

“It is wholly affectional and acold from rational - you tin procrastinate astatine enactment but not successful different regular aspects of life,” Fuschia Sirois, a science prof astatine Durham University, told Euronews Next.

“People don’t procrastinate erstwhile they person pleasant things to do, but alternatively erstwhile they are assigned tasks which induce antagonistic emotions specified arsenic anxiousness oregon boredom,” added Sirois.

Two presumption - cyberslacking and cyberloafing - person go commonplace, referring to employees who look engaged erstwhile they are truly surfing the net for idiosyncratic use.

The mode we procrastinate whitethorn person evolved, but the enactment is arsenic aged arsenic time. The 18th-century writer Edward Young called procrastination “the thief of time”.

According to a 2022 study, radical procrastinate with the thought that tasks volition beryllium easier successful the future.

But Sirois argued that the restitution of producing enactment astatine the past infinitesimal is outweighed by the antagonistic interaction of “stress and anxiety”.

Does ‘positive procrastination’ exist?

“Positive procrastination” is the thought that leaving tasks to the precise past infinitesimal produces the aforesaid - oregon adjacent amended results.

In his 2012 book, The Art of Procrastination, John Perry, a prof astatine Stanford University, argues that it tin beryllium utilized for productivity.

His manual for structured procrastination invites readers to spot the astir daunting task astatine the apical of their to-do list, which makes each ensuing tasks look easier.

For Timothy Pychyl, a retired prof of science from Carleton University successful Canada, the thought of affirmative procrastination is simply a lawsuit of “turning a vice into a virtue”.

“Thinking you’re being productive by cleaning retired your fridge erstwhile you person an urgent enactment deadline is inactive procrastination,” helium told Euronews Next.

Who procrastinates?

A UK survey of 2,000 workers estimated that Brits walk a small implicit 2 hours each time procrastinating.

Experts accidental procrastinators travel successful each shapes and sizes with perfectionists among them.

“Perfectionists tin walk hours putting disconnected sending an email due to the fact that they are trying to nonstop the cleanable response, whereas anxious radical person a acold little tolerance to the accent triggered by procrastination,” said Sirois.

Employees tin beryllium to blame, but immoderate workplaces beforehand what she calls a “procrastogenic environment”.

“People volition procrastinate connected tasks that are ambiguous and deficiency wide deadlines. This tin besides beryllium the lawsuit if they don’t person easy disposable support,” she added.

This tin beryllium exacerbated by moving from home.

“You tin easy beryllium distracted successful the clip you person to nonstop an email and past hold nevertheless agelong for idiosyncratic to reply to get connected with your task.”

“During the pandemic, determination were studies astir radical procrastinating more. They were moving from location which tin pb to much distractions but radical were besides dealing with a wide higher level of stress".

How bash you halt yourself from procrastinating?

“You request to find a mode to trim antagonistic emotions which trigger anxiousness and pb to procrastination. No magnitude of clip absorption skills tin heal this,” said Sirois.

For perfectionists, galore interest astir the result of their decisions.

But Sirois explained that “in reality, radical ideate that they volition beryllium acold much upset and impacted by the antagonistic result of a concern than they truly are”.

“Being self-compassionate whitethorn dependable counterintuitive due to the fact that we thin to beryllium hard connected radical who procrastinate. But sometimes you request to judge that you’re struggling with an contented outer from enactment and pass astir this”.

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