Most humans procrastinate in some way, shape, or form. But some of us are much better procrastinators than others. Why is that? According to Fuschia Sirois, a professor of psychology at Bishop’s University in Quebec, we “prioritize a short-term mood boost over long-term achievement.” We try to quell our anxiety by focusing on something with immediate positive effects, like daydreaming, shopping, taking a selfie and posting it to Instagram, etc.
Professor Sirois found that procrastinators scored far higher than non-procrastinators in measures of absorption. We become so engrossed in short-term mood-boosting activities (ahem, Netflix) that we lose all track of time and priorities.
So how can we overcome our tendency toward immediate satisfaction? Based on her research, Sirois recommends imagining the positive feelings you’ll have once a project is finished, rather than the dread and anxiety surrounding the project. The next time a project is due, rather than paralyzing your perfectionist self with anxiety, think about the dinner out with friends you’ll be able to enjoy stress-free once you finish it.
Read more about why we procrastinate at Allure.
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