“This is their maladaptive lifestyle,” Joseph Ferrari

Joseph Ferrari is a psychology professor at the DePaul University who who’s been studying procrastination since the 1980s.  “(Procrastinators) are going to miss events, not RSVP on time, wait for the gauge to go on empty.” he adds.

According to Ferrari there is a difference between procrastination which leads to unpleasant outcomes  and delay, which can be useful. In business situations you quickly get use to delay, where you wait for more information to come in before you make decisions. Waiting for enough information to make a decision is a good strategy, he says, but waiting for the sake of waiting is not. Thus the toxicity of procrastination: intention gets broken down.

“Someone intends to do something,” he says, “but they don’t follow through.”

Get Though Procrastination

  1. Forgive Yourself:

    Research shows that if you forgive yourself for not getting started already, you’ll be much more apt to finally get going.

  2. Travel Through Time:

    Reflect on how awesome it will feel to get your work done or how much it will benefit people. One software engineer in the article thought about how the prototype of the medical device he was making would help people’s lives–and voila, he was stoked to code.

  3. Get started with the smallest thing possible:

    “A real mood boost comes from doing what we intend to do–the things that are important to us,” a researcher said. So do the smallest bit of what needs to get done, even if it’s just flossing one tooth.

Procrastination presents a set of questions that’s much deeper than all that says Ferrari. “Time management programs aren’t very successful,” he says. “You can’t manage time; you can only manage yourself: What am I doing? Why am I not getting this task done?Understand why you’re delaying.”