By Andrew Shatté
New research from Stockholm University has confirmed that procrastination isn’t just a time-management issue. In this study, researchers found that emotional reasons are often a trigger for procrastination, and some people claim they purposely leave things to the last minute because they work better under stress, but that only feeds into their stress.
This all underscores what I’ve known for years: What we think has a profound effect on what we do—even whether or not we put things off. Negative emotions are caused by negative thoughts that derail your ability to get things done, because faced with the thing you should do (clean the garage, write the proposal, apply for the job), you are so daunted or intimidated or tired that you’ll revert instead to tasks that you want to do—the feel-good activities (check Facebook, watch TV, lie down)—assuming you’ll feel better later to tackle the hard thing. Except this doesn’t happen. You feel worse after having put it off!
And this is also why all the time-management techniques in the world haven’t done the most chronic procrastinators any good: Because the pain of doing the thing seems greater than doing, well, almost anything else. You know what does help? Shifting your thinking, and therefore your mood, so that you are less likely to put off the things you need to do—which is what we teach people at meQuilibrium.
Read more at TheMuse.com.