Procrastination: Why You Do It, When It Helps, And How

1551 WordsMar 11, 20177 Pages
Procrastination: Why You Do It, When It Helps, and How to Stop Jim has appealed to his boss for months: “I’m ready for more responsibility. I’m ready to be taken more seriously.” Finally, his boss gave in. The motherload of projects lands on Jim’s desk. One with the power to make or break his career. One that can show his boss that he’s more than capable of becoming an office manager. On the outset, Jim is amped up and ready to get started. He reviews the parameters of the project. He delegates a few tasks to some subordinates and makes a weekly schedule to move him towards completion. However, when the time comes to actually do the work, Jim puts it off. Co-workers needed his help on another project. “They need me,” Jim declares. This…show more content…
Surprisingly, procrastination isn’t a new issue born from the many temptations of the World Wide Web. No, human beings in ancient civilizations were just as prone to habitual hesitation as we are today. Even Shakespeare wrote of procrastination. This pesky habit was a major theme in the renowned work, Hamlet. Referred to as a “delay,” procrastination drives the plot of the play, in which the lead character spends a great deal of time making plans to avenge his father’s death all the while second-guessing his decision. He becomes frustrated, and incredibly distressed, with himself for hesitating, yet he continues to do so. Effects of Procrastination As demonstrated by the Shakespearean hero, stress is a pervasive symptom of procrastination. Tons of research dollars have generated the same consistent results: those who procrastinate report higher levels of stress. However, it seems stress isn’t simply a product of procrastination. A higher stress environment like a busy, results-driven workplace naturally causes stress. Yet, for people prone to procrastination, the level of stressful conditions they are exposed to leads to even more procrastination. Put simply, the conditions of your job cause primary anxiety, which prompts you to procrastinate on important tasks. The act of procrastinating adds more stress (i.e. secondary anxiety) and inhibits your ability to perform. As a result, you put off the task even longer.[2][3]

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