Conquering Procrastination: It Is Possible


Natalia Roybal-Herrera

Procrastination is a funny thing. Everybody experiences it at one time or another, but some people struggle against it every day. What’s it all about?

One of the rewards for accomplishing tasks is dopamine, a brain chemical that is released when a task is completed. Dopamine stimulates the body and gives a rewarding feeling. For some individuals, this is why they get tasks done faster. However, for others not so much, and actually completing the task has to come with willpower.

What is a procrastinator?
According to Nicole Bandes, founder of the consultancy The Productivity Expert, there are four types of procrastinators: 1) The perfectionists, who want to avoid being judged by their mistakes, causing them to take longer to get anything done; 2) The dread-filled, who have an overall avoidance of the task; 3) The overwhelmed, who have way too much on their plates, so they just don’t do anything at all; and 4) The lucky ones, who believe that they work best under pressure and will be able to do the task perfectly later.

Is procrastination an Illness?
Procrastination is a psychological disorder often linked to depression, irrational behavior, and anxiety. But just because people procrastinate doesn’t mean they have a mental illness. When most people think about procrastination, they immediately think of laziness, but that is not necessarily the root of the problem.

Procrastination is linked to depression. To overcome this, Timothy A Pychyl, director of the Centre for Initiatives in Education and a professor at Carleton University, says, “You have to step up and put one foot in front of the other.̈ To get over the procrastination that comes with depression, it has to be conquered by doing the tasks that should be done right away.

How to avoid procrastination?
According to Alex Lickerman, M.D., writing on the website of Psychology Today, to avoid procrastination you have to prioritize. Even when you think you have everything under control, you may not realize that you’re spending time on the wrong thing. This happens often. To stop this, you should write a list of what you have to do and work on each task for fifteen minutes and then reward yourself, with a candy, or an episode of your favorite show. This makes you want to continue getting things done to reward yourself.

Other ways to avoid procrastination are to avoid distractions, to break big tasks into small tasks, and to get things done way before their deadlines. These methods will help you avoid procrastination and all the negative feelings that procrastination comes with.