Procrastination. We’ve all done it and we tell ourselves we’ll never do it again. So we come up with an elaborate time management system to get us on track only to find ourselves continuing to put things off. While some procrastination can be mildly infuriating, chronic procrastination can be financially, professionally, and personally devastating — overdue bills result in calls from collection agencies, late reports result in getting fired, and undone chores turn your house into a dump.
Why do we procrastinate despite our best intentions not to?
My guests today are clinical psychologists who have spent their career working with procrastinators. Their names are Jane Burka and Lenora Yuen. They’re the co-authors of the book Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now. We begin our conversation discussing the difference between procrastination and strategically postponing things. They then take us through the cycle of procrastination that we’ve all been through and explain why it’s such a vicious loop.
We then transition to talk about why we procrastinate and why faulty time management isn’t the real root cause of it. Jane and Lenora argue that if you don’t tackle the true origins of procrastination — which range from the fear of failure to the fear of success — no amount of time management or planning will help you. We finally dig into how to tackle these roots so you can exit the procrastinator’s cycle and get stuff done.
This podcast is filled with great insights and actionable advice. Don’t put off listening to it!
- How Jane and Lenora came together and ended up researching and writing about procrastination
- The research on procrastination that was available back in 1983 when the book was first written
- Why procrastination isn’t always a problem
- The serious consequences that can arise from chronic procrastination
- How procrastination and perfectionism are actually related
- The different between just tabling something and procrastination
- The self-perpetuating cycle of procrastination
- The 3 fears that ultimately drive procrastination
- Why would anyone be afraid of success? How does that perpetuate procrastination?
- Executive functioning in the brain and procrastination
- Subjective time vs. objective time — how people experience time differently
- The compartmentalization of procrastination
- Why basic time management and goal-setting techniques don’t necessarily work with procrastinators
- Why self-compassion tends to work better than self-criticism
- Concrete tips on finally slaying the procrastination beast
- Why you need to give yourself permission to do bad work
Resources/People/Articles Mentioned in Podcast
- How to Quit Surfing the Internet and Actually Get Stuff Done
- Get More Done With the Rule of 3
- Podcast: Building Your Self-Discipline
- 10 Overlooked Truths About Action
- Taking Advantage of the Unique Powers of the Twentysomething Brain
- Track Your Time to Get More Done
- 116 Meditations on the Wisdom of Action
- How to Create Habits That Stick
Procrastination is filled with great insights on why we procrastinate, but more importantly provides actionable steps beyond just to-do lists to help you beat your procrastination habit.
Listen to the Podcast! (And don’t forget to leave us a review!)
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Read the Transcript
(via The Art of Manliness)