Do you procrastinate a lot? If so, the research on procrastination says you are like many people these days. New technologies, mixed blessings, provide so many distractions that many of us have a difficult time beginning and staying on task until it is completed.
Pier Steel, a psychologist at the University of Calgary, Canada, has mentioned that "it's still unclear why some people may be more prone to developing procrastination behavior, but some evidence suggests it may be genetic". Steel also discovered that those who struggle with procrastination tend to be unhappier, more overweight, and less successful financially than those who do not procrastinate.
Although genetics may play a role in procrastination, the conclusion by Steel is that it's vital that research on procrastination continue at a steady rate because the percentage of people suffering with this unproductive habit is increasing every year.
Ironically, many of the distractions in the workplace and at home today were meant to help families come together or to serve as tools for communicating more effectively. Instead, many of the popular distractions listed below actually isolate people from one another and cause communication to be skewed. It's so easy to press a few buttons or click the mouse to surf the Net, we are easily distracted and end up procrastinating more than we ever have in years past.
Today's Popular "Culprits":
• Television: with thousands of stations on cable, it's often hard to take a "potty break"!
• Computer: even potentially MORE distracting than TV. After all, what CAN'T you find on the Internet?!?!
• Video games such as X-Box, PlayStation, etc. At least with Wii, you can workout and get a sweat, at least!
• iPods: Now you can take entertainment, and even news and cultural things with you anywhere!
• Movies: are available on your computer, TV, portable DVD player and even..... in MOVIE THEATRES!
• Cell phones: Who doesn't travel and talk at the same time these days?
• BlackBerrys and iPhones, etc.: Now it's harder than ever to say you're not available to do almost anything at almost any time? But is it the "WANT tos" or the "HAVE tos" you're agreeing to do?
• Kindles (by Amazon) and their Clones: Now you can carry a library of thousands of books and newspapers in your shirt pocket. If you tend to procrastinate, perhaps you should do some more research on procrastination and read about it on your Kindle!
• Texting and sexting: When is there time for homework? And watching the road when you drive?
There are so many ways for people to kill time these days (and kill ourselves and others, if we're not careful). And these are often our excuses for procrastinating wherever we are.
Habitual procrastinators are often plagued with guilt, stress, and sometimes, deep depression, because they feel useless and worthless. It's a vicious cycle of procrastination and depression: putting off tasks, not meeting deadlines or following through on promises, and then feeling guilty and depressed because of what results (or DOESN'T result) from procrastinating.
This can be helpful in several ways. This psychological therapy can:
• Help you learn new habits and behaviors
• Help you overcome anxieties and fears (of failure especially)
• Enable you to enjoy a richer and more fulfilling quality of life
A therapist can teach you how to manage your time in a more effective manner. He can also teach you how to speak positively about the tasks you're required to (or want to) accomplish for your job or at home. Really, procrastination therapy is about learning a new mindset and embracing that mindset so you can be successful in beating this habit of procrastination.
The research on procrastination is continuing, but much more needs to be discovered so that more people can be helped more effectively. For those who struggle with occasional bouts of procrastination, self-treatment can sometimes be successful as well.
If you think you need help with learning time management skills or setting smart goals, also consider talking with a professional in executive coaching. These trained professionals are adept at providing you with hands-on activities that will enable you to kick the procrastination habit and become more successful in every area of your life.
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