2. People who deal with stress by putting problems in their ‘too hard basket’ are more vulnerable to getting depressed. There is a huge chicken and egg relationship here. If you ruminate about problems rather than tackling them head-on, it can contribute to worsening depression, but depression can alsoContinue Reading For decades, psychological research has been able to explain procrastination as a functioning problem, not a consequence of laziness. When a person fails to begin a project that they care about, it’s typically due to either a) anxiety about their attempts not being “good enough” or b) confusion aboutContinue Reading Procrastination is best understood as an emotion-focused coping strategy. We use task avoidance to escape negative emotions associated with a task (e.g., frustration, boredom, stress, anxiety). As colleagues have explained so well before, “we give in to feel good,” prioritizing the management of aversive mood states over our goalContinue Reading Many psychologists have attempted to understand the causes of procrastination beginning, perhaps, with the great psychodynamic theorists. Freud related this behavior to problems stemming from poor toilet training, but the self-oriented psychodynamic theorists who followed him proposed more generally that people who procrastinate are showing signs of neurotic self-defeatingContinue Reading We are motivated to take action when we sense a feeling of reward at the end. If you look at your messy house in its entirety and feel like you won’t get that “reward” feeling unless the entire house is clean, then you will feel overwhelmed fairly quickly andContinue Reading

The psychological origins of procrastination – and how we can stop putting things off — The Conversation (@ConversationUK) October 11, 2015 When we write that procrastination is a side effect of the way we value things, it frames task completion as a product of motivation, rather than ability.Continue Reading