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Psychiatry & Psychotherapy Podcast

Jul 3, 2018

What is procrastination?

Procrastination is the act of avoiding something through delay or postponement.

You might be procrastinating when:

There is a gap between your intention and action

You feel like avoiding something

You find yourself easily distracted

You feel overwhelmed by tasks at the last minute

You always feel rushed to complete a project

You’re hesitant to truthfully update someone on your progress

It usually brings about feelings of:







Why do we procrastinate?

We procrastinate because our brains receive a reward for avoidance. Avoidance brings immediate relief from the distress associated with the task. Although we may experience discomfort in the final moments before a task is due, we rarely think about the past or future when procrastinating.

This creates a problematic cycle, one that erodes at our self-confidence. It also causes us to keep up a steady stream of “I should be…” in our subconscious minds.

The ingredients for procrastination
Personal & System Based Factors of Procrastination

There are fixed factors related to procrastination, things that are innate to each of our different psychological experiences. For example, someone with ADHD is more likely to procrastinate.

The fixed personal factors are:

Higher Impulsivity

Lower conscientiousness—lower drive to be organized and accomplish.

Limited attention-span

Boredom / Low Interest

The variable personal factors are:


Distress tolerance

Willingness to ask for help

Task-focused vs value-focused

Self-consciousness & anxiety

The variable task or system-based factors are:

Unclear goals & expectations

Unrealistic goals & expectations


Lack of accountability or mentors

Link to the complete show notes: here

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