According to a recent genetics study by the University of Colorado, we can be genetically pre-programmed to be impulsive and to procrastinate.

However, some researchers contend that procrastination is more of an emotional response.

Tim Pychyl is a procrastination researcher at Ottawa’s Carleton University and author of Solving the Procrastination Puzzle: A Concise Guide to Strategies for Change.

He says that the more negative emotions you have about a task, the more likely you are to procrastinate.

The more boring, frustrating, difficult, meaningless, ambiguous, and unstructured a task is, the more likely you are to delay it.

That’s why something like writing a blog on a topic that interests you gets completed much faster than writing your section of the firm’s annual report.

Here’s my (and Dr. Pychyl’s) advice for dealing with procrastination.

Just start.

Don’t think about the end, just think about what you are going to do right now.

Ask yourself, “What is the smallest step I can take right now?” Then do it.

Once we start a task, it’s rarely as bad as we think.

Want to learn more about how coaching can help you beat the procrastination beast? Contact me today

Notable quotes

“Most procrastination isn’t doing nothing, it’s doing what’s comfortable and mediocre.” ~ Perry Marshall, Entrepreneur Magazine

“You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood.
What mood is that?
Last-minute panic.”
~ Bill Watterson, American cartoonist and the author of the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes.

Learn more

Procrastination Research Group (Carleton University)

Study: Genetic relations among procrastination, impulsivity, and goal-management ability: Implications for the evolutionary origin of procrastination

Nature World News: Blame Genetics for your Procrastination and Impulsivity

The Science of Procrastination and How to Manage It (video)


Photo: do it – procrastination concept © 2011 Vic, CC BY 2.0