Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change - by Pychyl - by Timothy A.

3 minute read

ISBN: 978-0399168123, READ: 2017-12-09, RATING: 8/10

This man dedicated his life to researching procrastination. And he has some neat strategies to overcome it. Unfortunately I don’t remember any of those. I’ll have to re-read the notes.

A companion book in this topic is The Road Travelled. The chapter on self-discipline is the best I’ve read ever about the topic.

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My Highlights

Procrastination is the voluntary delay of an intended action despite the knowledge that this delay may harm the individual in terms of the task performance or even just how the individual feels about the task or him- or herself.

My initial strategy for change is for you to begin to categorize in your own mind which delays in your life are procrastination.

The regrets of omission related to our procrastination were most troubling in the grieving process.

The fact that procrastination is associated with more negative emotions (or moods) is puzzling. If we are procrastinating, you would think we would actually feel better because we are not doing the tasks we do not want to do in favor of things we

chronic procrastinators needlessly delay health behaviors such as exercising, eating healthfully, and getting enough sleep.

Procrastination is a problem with not getting on with life itself. When we procrastinate on our goals, we are our own worst enemy. These are our goals, our tasks, and we are needlessly putting them off. Our goals are the things that make up a good portion of our lives. In fact, both philosophers and psychologists have proposed that happiness is found in the pursuit of our goals. It is not necessarily that we are accomplishing anything in particular, but that we are engaged in the pursuit of what we think is meaningful in our lives.

Next to each of these tasks or goals, note how your procrastination has affected you in terms of things such as your happiness, stress, health, finances, relationships, and so on. You may even want to discuss this with a confidante or a significant other in your life who knows you well. In fact, you may be surprised by what they may have to say about the costs of procrastination in your life. Like tobacco smoke, there are secondhand effects of procrastination of which you may be unaware, including broken promises, unfulfilled obligations, and the added burden to others of “picking up the pieces” while you are busy with your last-minute efforts . . . again.

Procrastination is best understood as a problem like these—a problem with our self-regulation.

Why do we fail to self-regulate? Although there are many factors that contribute to this, the most important thing to understand is that we “give in to feel good.” That is, we want to feel good now and we will do whatever it takes for immediate mood repair, usually at the expense of long-term goals.

The moment we put off the task until tomorrow, we feel relief from the negative emotions. And, as you may have learned in a basic psychology course, behaviors that are rewarded get repeated. We are reinforcing our procrastination, and it becomes a problem.

It is important to recognize that giving in to feel good is at the heart of self-regulation failure, and it is important to develop strategies for change.

vocabulary or the ability to do arithmetic. Emotional intelligence is the ability to effectively identify and utilize emotions to guide behavior.

when faced with a task where our natural inclination is to say, “I’ll do this later” or “I’ll feel more like this tomorrow,” we need to stop and recognize that we are saying this in order to avoid the negative emotions we are feeling right now.

acknowledging that our motivational state is neither necessary nor sufficient to ensure action, we can simply remind ourselves of our personal goals (a form of self-affirmation) and “just get started.” Progress will fuel well-being and enhance goal attainment