2) Look for the positives in the task you keep postponing


2) Look for the positives in the task you keep postponing

One way of working out whether you’re a chronic procrastinator is to ask yourself whether you are putting the task off because you’re afraid of failure. After 15 years of research on procrastination, Fuschia Sirois from the University of Sheffield has found that the problem of procrastination is not simply one of laziness or poor time management – it involves difficulties in regulating emotions.

If you’re worried you’ll fail, then to avoid these unpleasant feelings of anxiety, you find excuses to postpone the task altogether. Temporarily this does make you feel better. The problem comes when you get into a vicious cycle. Because of the delay you now have less time to get the work done, increasing the risk of failure and making you feel even more anxious about it and even less likely to get started.

To deal with these emotions, it helps to look for the positives in the task. Ideally these are not the rewards it might bring in the future, but something good about the process itself. Perhaps you’ll learn something or perhaps you feel more absorbed than you expect once you get into it.

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