Procrastination: Positive? Negative?


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Procrastination. It is common to us humans.

So don’t be alarmed if you procrastinate once in a while. (I did just recently!) In fact, there is a concept called “positive procrastination.” But even this “positive" procrastination comes with some very important caveats.

If procrastination is a constant pattern for you, this can be an obstacle really limiting you as a leader and entrepreneur.

Why? Chronic procrastinators are people whose propensity to postpone permeates every area of their lives.

Joseph Ferrari, professor of psychology at DePaul Universitystates, “It’s a maladaptive lifestyle. They do it at home, school or work, and in relationships or with responsibilities,”

Ferrari notes that

the percentage of chronic procrastinators at 20% of the US population is “higher than the number of people who suffer from substance abuse, alcoholism or depression, which are all considered serious disorders.”

Here are some quick tips and tactics to help you stop procrastinating.
!!NOTE!! If you think you may be a chronic procrastinator, these could give you some relief, but you may also need to seek professional help.

Break Down the Task

Often, when you procrastinate, you may feel you are facing a massive task that you don’t believe you will be able to finish. Make this a non-issue by breaking the task into more manageable chunks. For example, if you were supposed to clean your basement, resolve to clean one of the four corners each day instead of trying to tackle it all at once. This tactic can help make any task more manageable and feel less overwhelming.

Set a Time-Bound Deadline

Telling yourself you will do something “later” is not helpful. “Later” never seems to come. Instead, set a specific timeline for yourself, with sections of your goal having deadlines. This way, you know when you will be completing some particular portion. Give yourself a reward for each completed section. For example, you need to write a four-page report. For each page you complete, reward yourself with a few minutes on social media or playing a game.

Eliminate Your Known Diversions

Often, when someone procrastinates, there are similar reasons each time. For example, you were going to clean the kitchen, but then you just had to watch a TV show instead. Put a stop to this by eliminating the common distractions or procrastination “justifiers” you use. If the TV is a distraction for you, remove it from your work area or consider working in another room.

Mix With Motivated People

Being around someone who is motivated can do wonders to boost your motivation. Identify a friend or colleague whose motivation you admire, and resolve to spend more time with them. Alternatively, get an accountability partner. Commit to regular check-ins for keeping you motivated and on task. It’s easier to stop procrastinating when you surround yourself with others who are accomplishing exceptional things!


If you struggle with procrastination, you are not alone. And one of the most revered figures in history did also. Leonardo da Vinci died leaving scores of paintings, sculptures, and architectural designs that he started but never completed. It is said that on his deathbed da Vinci apologized “to God and Man for leaving so much undone.”

Yes, stopping your tendency for procrastination can be extremely challenging. But it can be done. And you have resources in these simple steps. Start today by dividing up the task, making deadlines, and getting rid of your most common distractions. Then surround yourself with other positive people. You may soon find you procrastinate less than ever before.

And remember, if you need additional help with chronic procrastination, seek professional help today.

6 Reasons Why Procrastination Can Be Good For You
Positive Procrastination: What It Is and Why It’s a Problematic Concept
The Pull of Procrastination

Image by Colleen ODell from Pixabay


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