CHRONIC PROCRASTINATION: WHY RESEARCHERS ARE CONCERNED
If ever there was a consumable prescription tablet or injection for procrastination, most of us could pay a premium for it. Regardless of who you are, race, religion, political affiliation or economic standing, you have at one time or the other been caught up in this queer habit. Chances are that you have equally fought hard to resist procrastinating “just this one time.”
Continuous procrastination has detrimental effects on your productivity and could even impact on your quality of life, relationships and work. This snide manner in which we postpone important tasks from “now” to “later” could easily earn of us an embarrassing summon to Joseph Ferrari’s office in Chicago’s DePaul University. Dr. Ferrari has dedicated his life to the study of procrastination, conducting immense research and contributing to several publications on the subject over the last twenty years.
In an interview with the America Psychology Association ( APA), Ferrari highlighted the inability to make decisions as a key contributor to a procrastinating life pattern. Many people, he argues, give excuses such as taking time to gather resources and information before taking action to achieve the desired end. Whereas this is important, gathering information and resources beyond the necessarily is tantamount to being indecisive. It is time wasting and counterproductive.
Researchers have classified chronic procrastinators or procs, as people whose patterns of procrastination devastatingly affect multiple facets of their life; work, social, financial and even personal. It goes beyond being unproductive or irresponsible to undermining a person’s goals, principles, philosophy legacy hence putting the individual in perpetual shame.
Unknown to them, procs tend to be selfish, focusing on “me” rather than “we.”However, there is a twist in that they are highly intelligent but continuously make excuses to the extent that they believe them.
But how do you know it is really procrastination?
At the 10th Procrastination Research Conference held in DePaul University in July 2017, researchers acknowledged that procrastination is “more like a psychological disease ” that can lead to, blown-up dreams, financial constrains, broken marriages and job loss.
When it gets to this severe level, working with a professional who understands procrastination is advisable. One way of mitigating the effects of procrastination is using a thoughts and emotions management approach rather than making putting more effort in time management.
Procrastination Capital of the world
During the conference, researcher Bilge Uzun, from Bahcesehir University in Istanbul posed an interesting question. “Where do you think we find the most procrastinators?”
Although no single country ranks as the leading hub for procrastinators, studies done over the years in Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia and even Dr. Ferrari’s research in the United States show the average score as twenty percent.
Technology and procrastination
That technology accounts for a big chunk of wasted hours is no secret. With devices that require our attention every so often, it is estimated that up to five hours of work time is wasted on social media, office gossip and smartphones every day. That is an insanely massive waste of important time, and Ferrari is not happy with the blame placed on technology as a cause for accelerated procrastination.
Countering the technology excuse, Ferrari says that the number of hours has always remained the same and that only the tools to perform tasks have changed. If you can focus your energy on less important matters you can as well use it in the matters of high priority.