Procrastination IS Emotion Based

You see it in just about everyone.  Your kids won’t get to their homework.  Instead they can’t seem to stop playing video games.  Your spouse just won’t get to that thing you want done in the house.  Instead, you probably have become pretty annoyed with the situation and settled into the thought that it is just a part of who he or she is.  Or, maybe you are a procrastinator.  I know for me that I tend to procrastinate on responding to irritating or potentially confrontational emails.

Then you take time to rattle your brain, trying to figure out what can be done to fix the problem.  Well, here is something that you probably haven’t thought of yet.  Procrastination is emotion based.  It is something that we do so as to avoid the emotional response that we fear.  Think about it.  As humans we are designed to continue moving forward. It’s inevitable that time will continue to move and most of us can develop anxiety over the fact that we aren’t moving with it.  

Why do we procrastinate?  Because we fear having to deal with a particular emotion that we are convinced will be triggered during the exercise of getting to the task at hand.

Your child doesn’t want to get to their homework, and instead has a continual nasty desire to do virtually anything else.  It’s possible that he or she feels that a particular subject is extremely difficult and doesn’t want to feel “stupid”.  (I don’t like that word by the way, but it is one often used in this particular situation.)  Or, your child is really excellent at the subject, but fears the emotional response related to what can happen if he or she is that much smarter then all of the other kids in the class.  

That is just an example of the crazy long list of what we can procrastinate about and why we would.  The truth is that everything we do and how we do it is emotion based.  Personally, I think it would be better for everyone involved to consider that fact and look at what is really going on, and how to go about moving through that emotional block.  

Studies show that chronic procrastination is conducive with having a bleak outlook on the future.
This is a process that my clients and I use.  STOP DROP & THINK.

It is a fact that procrastination, whether acute or chronic, can lead to much bigger issues.  Health related issues like anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.  All of which we know can lead to physical health problems if the issue persists.

Here is a short video of Prof. Timothy Pychyl of Carleton University on “Lunch Break”.  He is an expert in this area and has some great advice to share on the matter, and how to overcome it.  


I love what Pychyl suggests in this video, but I want to add one more thing.  If this is an issue, on any level, for you or someone you know, I recommend that you reach out to someone who can help.  

“Avoidance” behavior is at the least something that will keep you from living the life that you want for yourself.

Give it some thought and ask yourself “What in my life do I procrastinate?”  

Feel free to connect with me.  Give yourself the gift of taking care of you and have a complimentary “What's going on?” session.  Together we can make positive change.

Until next time...

Find out how we are going to LET IT GO...

Leigh Burton