Procrastination becomes a problem when delaying tasks leads to internal and/or external consequences. The external consequence may be minor or severe, from missing a meeting to losing your job. The internal consequences also range from minor to severe, from mild discomfort to guilt, shame, self-condemnation and despair.
Procrastination is a habit, a learned response to anxiety-producing situations or tasks. It is an avoid-ant behavior we adopt when we are to do a task which reflects our abilities and we feel afraid/anxious that we will not measure up. Fear of failure or of success, cultural limitations or imagined disabilities all contribute to a person holding them self back for fear of finding out that they will fall short and thus it will prove without a shadow of a doubt that they are worthless individuals.
Personal competence is the antidote to procrastination and comprises of five elements: emotional strength, well-directed thought, time-management skills, control over habits, and task completion abilities. Therefore, most strategies for overcoming procrastination are based on improving these five skill areas, and involve: improving emotional control and adjusting one’s underlying attitude, focusing attention and thinking rationally, learning executive (self-management) procedures like planning and scheduling, learning habit-changing methods, and acquiring better task completion and problem solving skills.
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