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What is Procrastination?

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  • January 12, 2005 /
  • by Stonebriar Counseling Associates /
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Procrastination is a strange phenomenon that can lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, depression and self-doubt. Rather than make life more pleasant it almost always adds stress, disorganization, and frequent failure. The process has been described as: (1) wanting to achieve some outcome, usually something the procrastinator and others value and respect–“I’ve gotto start.” (2) delaying and briefly thinking of real and imagined advantages of starting to change later–“I’ll do it tomorrow when I don’t have much to do.” (3) delaying more and becoming self-critical–“I should have started sooner.” They may hide or pretend to be busy; they may even lie about having other obligations. (4) delaying still more, until finally the task has to be done, usually hastily–“Just get it done any old way”–or you just don’t have time–“I can’t do this!” (5) berating oneself–“There is something wrong with me”–and believing they will never procrastinate again and/or discount the importance of the task–“It doesn’t matter.” (6) repeating the process almost immediately on other important tasks, as if it were an addiction or compulsion.The best course of action would be to simply do the unpleasant task as soon as possible while we have enough time to do the job right and get it over with so as to not prolong undue agony. But still, so many of us put it off. Why? Consider the following reasons.

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