The Art of Procrastination

Procrastination, or the art of putting things off. A default that has become an international sport that almost everybody in this 7 billion population has mastered, in which we all excel at more or less, whether we are young, old, big or small.


Despite its nice side, procrastination is a real blemish for professionals. In a word, it spoils life and locks us into a paradox: to think all the time about what we must do, without finding the strength or determination to resolve it. How to get out? Perhaps by becoming aware of this evil’s roots .

No, laziness is not the only answer and here are 7 reasons to convince yourself. Hoping that you will go to the end of the article, if you have the will power.

  1. Because there is always something to distract you

Not only does procrastination make us fatter, more stupid and helpless, but it is gaining ground. This is basically the conclusion of Piers Steel, a Canadian psychologist, who for ten years has been investigating the subject. According to Piers Steel, in 1978 only 5% of Americans said they were procrastinators. They are today almost 30%. But what is such an explosion of postponement? For the psychologist, the reason is simple. It takes the form of an iPad, a phone, a TV, a game console, a DVD player, it depends on the case. Clearly, technology distracts us and prevents us from being effective.

Throw your TV! And along with it your smart phone

  1. Because some things do not matter so much

There are two types of procrastinations: the bad and the good. How so, the good?, procrastination can be good if it makes us postpone small jobs not very important for the benefit of a primary task. Imagine so. You are a researcher, you are about to discover a revolutionary vaccine against cavities but something is trotting in your head: you forgot to empty the litter cat, which tends to be tricky for these things. Well with procrastination, the litter of the cat will wait. And goodbye to caries. To put it simply, according to Paul Graham, the majority of things that are put off are meaningless. A way to see the glass half full. “These are tasks that will never be mentioned in your obituary,” he says, “At the moment, it’s hard to know what’s most important, but there’s a whole series of tasks that can easily be put aside: shave, do laundry, clean up, write thank-you notes. ”

And Paul Graham adds that people who know how to put those little tasks back to a later date are the ones who do the best.


  1. Because you think that little things can be solved in a minute :

As we have seen, tasks that are postponed are often the least important. For this reason, we tend to think that they will not be long to fill, and therefore we will be able to deal with them at the last moment. The problem is that we would all be very bad at evaluating durations, Our friends across the Atlantic call this “planning error”, the reason why we end up not doing the small jobs at all because we simply have more time!

  1. Because you are just born like that

According to a study published in the journal Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, procrastinators, a tribe that has new members each day (see # 1), would likely also be subject to self-control problems. and concentration. The researchers go even further: according to them, these deficiencies are due to differences in the constitution of the brain (especially in the pre-frontal cortex). Well, procrastinating friends, now you have an excuse not to rid your living room of the 3724 corpses of bottles that litter the floor: you are not made like the others.

  1. Because you are an inveterate enjoyer

It is 8 pm You are on your couch with the apple of your eyes and you decide to watch a movie. Choice, a comedy that does not pay mine but you will empty your pot of Nutella by laughing at the throat or a gold palm a little slow, a little intellectual around the edges, and it is good to mention in dinners , a little pearl of sociological study mixed with a certain insolence, will, inevitably, relegated to oblivion. Why? Because, even when it comes to a nice activity like watching a movie, you want to take pleasure immediately. The intellectual film requires a certain dose of concentration and adaptation, an effort that is often not ready to provide, in the evening, on the couch, with a big pot of Nutella. We are not ready to provide anything.

  1. Because you may lack a little confidence in yourself

Researchers have found links between procrastination and lack of trust. A logical link, in short: the people with the least confidence in them would tend to be defeatist, and therefore to postpone their tasks for fear of missing them. Joseph Ferrari, who led the study, explains: “This is not a matter of time mismanagement, to tell a chronic procrastinator to do something is like asking a depressive person to feel good. One more study have showed that the more anxious the student was about his exams, the more he was able to postpone his revisions, and thus to return in a vicious circle: postpone the hardest things to a later date and no longer have enough time to complete them.

  1. Because you rely too much on others

It’s a bit of the eternal debate between the man who builds his happiness by himself and the one who needs others. We all believe that having a third person to support us in our projects would help us to work, lose weight, while in reality , the odds are that this type of person would tend to slow us down, and this fact is backed by researchThe reason? According to our researchers, resting morally on someone else would prevent us from moving forward and would also avoid blaming ourselves if we do nothing. “It’s okay, you’ll get there soon,” “The battle is lost, not the war,” repeat friends. Suddenly, soothed by this kind of spiritual balm, we do nothing. And, in the end, the war is lost.

By taking the time to step back and analyze the situation in its entirety, procrastination is above all a difficulty from the mind and the fear of change. These problems result from a gap between the filters we made to protect ourselves by clinging to the past and the new imposed situation. We have developed them over time by building a comfort zone that is smaller and more defined. Outside this area is the unknown, the risk, the danger. By taking action step by step, step by step.

  • The most powerful sense of Change

to simply act, because deep down we know what to change or not. In these societies of doing and having, you have to step back to listen to us, to understand why we have to change, and even if possible to precede with the change and be proactive. But not hyperactive! To make sense is to understand what we aspire to in reality. Do you know yours? Do you know what you are enjoying? In general, we do not occupy the jobs in which we flourish. In general, we even occupy jobs that are the opposite of what we wanted at the beginning. Sometimes even, we do not know what we want to do! Hence, taking time to learn to see things differently and refocus to get to know what we want for our lives.


  • Take action

Once we step back and find what we wanted to do, we just have to build a plan of action to fulfill our wishes. And here, the smallest steps are the ones that can count the most. No need to set goals for the sick. It’s better to rely on realistic and smart goals. Making impossible commitments will take you back to the eternal limiting beliefs: “I’m really bad”, “I knew very well that I’ll never get there”, “I’m an incompetent” and the list goes on.You want to paint, carve, write, ride a horse, practice an instrument: join a club! You want to change jobs: contact your relations to ask for advice for your CV and your cover letter. Be visible on LinkedIn, improve your profile, put a nice picture, network, go to networking nights, shows, and the list goes on.

Go gradually, listening to yourself and following your rhythm. There is no applicable model for all more respect not to jostle and miss the boat!

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