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Home / Articles / Arts & Entertainment / Celebrities /  Procrastination A New Point of View
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Thursday, January 2,2020

Procrastination A New Point of View

By Liz Sterling  


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Liz Sterling is a writer, coach, teacher, broadcaster, advice columnist and inspirational public speaker. Meet her at:

Sometimes learning a statistic or two is helpful and when it comes to procrastination – it takes a lot of reorienting to move forward. And speaking of moving forward, it is now 2020. My eye doc tells me 20/30 is good, 20/20 is better. So in this year, when we are invited to see with the best vision possible, especially for us procrastinators, here’s our chance to see ourselves with new eyes.

In 1978, five percent of the population admitted to being chronic procrastinators, compared to roughly 26 percent of the population today. That’s one out of four people. Are you that person? I certainly am. Here’s a bit more data:

one out of five people procrastinate so badly that it may be affecting their jobs, credit, relationships or health. A human resources professor at The Haskayne School of Business in Calgary stated that 95 percent of the population procrastinates at times, and 20 percent do so chronically.

Since receiving this writing assignment, I’ve become more acutely attuned to procrastination and how it lurks in my consciousnesses. I noticed certain tendencies too. Deadlines… you may be familiar with waiting till the last minute.

Grrrr, this is an irksome quality that I’ve been working on for years.

How about this other little procrastination game… Have you ever picked something up and moved it from one place to another rather than putting it where it belongs? I’ve deduced that I make more work, create more stress and more frustration because nothing is in its place.

Of course, this is an exaggeration, NOT (it happens daily!) but I’ve begun to see how resistance and ultimately postponing feeds the cycle of procrastination. Since making up my mind to handle things in the moment, the procrastinating person that lives inside is rebelling. I asked myself, “What is this procrastination thing all about?”

Brandon Gaille, a market researcher, discovered that, “Procrastination is not born with a person, but it is done. It is also learned in the family just like a parenting style. A parent teaches their children to regulate them selves to internalize their own decisions and intentions.” Turns out procrastination can be learned and unlearned. Gaille says, “Laziness is procrastination out of control. Procrastination and disorganization are integrally linked.”

Neil Fiore, author of “The Now Habit,” defined procrastination as “a mechanism for coping with the anxiety associated with starting or completing any task or decision.” For the procrastinator, he recommends to “unschedule” yourself and play more.

The procrastinator tries to avoid dreaded tasks. Instead of doing nothing, Fioro recommends doing something constructive, so you can move toward fulfillment of the task or project needing to be done.

The procrastinator will wait till the last minute. Students are notorious for this approach to task completion. If you are a postponer procrastinator, you may have to say, “Just Do It” and pick something on your To Do List that can give you the feeling of accomplishment. Use that good feeling to drive yourself to complete the task!

There is one more type that Fiore identified – the procrastinator. This type will fret and worry about the quality of their work, performance, task, etc. They will put it off till the end and most likely do a less than 100 percent job. This sounds like a cycle of selffulfilling prophecy but according to John Perry, professor emeritus at Stanford University, procrastinating can actually be a good thing for perfectionists: “As long as they have a lot of time to do a task, they fantasize about doing a perfect job. Leaving it till the last minute is a way of giving oneself permission to do a merely adequate job. Ninety-nine percent of the time a merely adequate job is all that is needed.”

So ease up perfectionists and procrastinators. Face into your habits and style of putting things off, and see your way to making this year the one that moves you forward with 20/20 vision and the clarity to live and work with joy, ease and fulfillment.

Happy New Year from Liz and the team at The Happy Herald.

P.S. This article was submitted in a timely manner. Yay!


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