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The Psychology of Procrastination

Ah yes, the ever famous procrastination. I, Stephanie, am the queen of it. Ironically enough, this blog post is being written about two weeks early.

See, sometimes it takes being sick of your own sh*t to start making a change.

Procrastination has never been an intentional "Eff You" to the people around me. It's more of me running away from the things that don't give me that spicy kick of dopamine I seem to crave.

Before we get into the "me, myself, and I" of this whole blog, let's break down what procrastination even means.

Dictionary Definitions from Oxford Languages pro·cras·ti·na·tion /prəˌkrastəˈnāSH(ə)n/ noun

  1. the action of delaying or postponing something. "your first tip is to avoid procrastination"

Okay, GREAT definition! But what's the psychology of it all? Let's dive into it. In an article written by Deanna DeBara, it states:

In examining the causes of procrastination, arguably the biggest driver of procrastination is a concept called “discomfort intolerance.”‘

Discomfort intolerance’ is a commonly held attitude that an unpleasant activity or experience is too complicated or unbearable,” says Julia Baum, LMHC, a therapist practicing in New York and California. “It contributes to feeling anxious about the task at hand and leads to a tendency to avoid that task.”

Discomfort intolerance. Two words I know all too well. Through my time in anxiety disorder related recovery and therapy, I have learned that in order to get through an anxiety disorder, I have to raise my distress tolerance. By doing so, I am able to teach my mind that although something may be uncomfortable, it's not dangerous.

Now the article goes onto to state the different types of procrastination.:

  • Arousal procrastination

  • Avoidant procrastination

  • Productive procrastination

  • Impulsivity-related procrastination

  • Distraction procrastination

The one that stood out to am spoke to me the most was Avoidant procrastination. The article breaks it down and describes it as so;

Other people procrastinate because they’re afraid of the result or consequence of completing the task at hand. This is known as avoidant procrastination. “Avoidant procrastination involves delays driven by fears of failure or success,” says Band."

That has been my M.O. since I was younger. My fear of failure never manifested itself in a way that made me want to get things done on time or even ahead of time. I wish it was. Instead, it made me avoid the task all together. It wasn't until I started to dig deeper into who I am that I realized that I never thought I was good enough or deserving enough to have successes in life. I was afraid of succeeding because that meant I had to fail first. It meant that I had to be uncomfortable with the uncertainty that this could be either successful the way I imagined or a total flop.

Of course, this isnt always the case when I procrastinate. Sometimes, I chose the thrill of something more stimulating over what I perceive to be work that I HAVE to do instead of WANTING to do it. Regardless of the category of procrastination I fall in, the next question is: How does one overcome procrastination?

The article gives some pretty stellar ideas:

1. Make tasks feel more manageable

2. Create a plan of action

3. Find an accountability partner

4. Manage your environment

These aren't the only things you can do, but it's a start. If you want to read more in depth with what this article has to offer, check it out here:

DISCLAIMER: This website is offering some sort of trial for a streamlining service. Cycle Chats is in no way affiliated with it financially. This was simply an article found during research that was thought to be helpful in breaking down the Phycology behind procrastination.

In a nutshell, do yourself a favor and take just one hour per da to attend to a task that could benefit your life. Whether that be working on your mental health, physical health, or podcast endeavor. Do it for you. Stop standing in your own way. Onem of my favorite sayings is, "Feel the fear and do it anyway." Feel your anxiety and then tell it to take a hike cause you've got sh*t to do. Future you will thank you.

Much love,

Your Cycle Half Stephanie


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