Tax Day Procrastinators
For thousands of individuals, a little procrastination is not harmful like 10 minutes lost in Facebook or putting off doing the laundry for a few days. However, when there are taxes in the picture, for some people, procrastination causes huge problems at work, at school, and at home. Roughly 5% of the population has such a problem with chronic procrastination that it seriously affects their lives.
None of it appears logical. How can people have such good intentions and yet be so totally unable to follow through? Conventional wisdom has long suggested that procrastination is all about poor time management and willpower. However, psychologists have been discovering that it may have more to do with how out brains and emotions operate. Procrastination appears to be a coping mechanism.When one procrastinates, you are essentially avoiding emotionally unpleasant tasks and instead doing something that provides a temporary mood boost. The procrastination itself then causes shame and guilt, which in turn leads people to procrastinate even more, creating a vicious cycle.
Whenever we face a task, we are not going to feel like doing the task. Somehow adults feel that their motivational state has to match the task at hand. Realizing it or not, our motivational state rarely matches the task at hand, so we always have to use self-regulation skills to bring our focus to it. We say that we recognize that we don't actually feel like it, but we are just going to start.
Perhaps by gaining better understanding of why our brains are so prone to procrastination might allow us to find new strategies to avoid this behavior.