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How to Find Your Procrastination Style – and Then Stop Procrastinating for Good

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How to Find Your Procrastination Style – and Then Stop Procrastinating for Good

Psychologists and behavior experts share their top strategies for working through pesky procrastination.

Real Simple,

5 min read
3 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

If procrastination is preventing you from achieving your goals, learn how to overcome it with research-backed tips.

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Practically everyone procrastinates, says journalist Lauryn Higgins. Learn to forgive yourself by adopting research-backed tactics to procrastinate less. Gain insight into your own particular procrastination style, identifying which procrastination type – or types – best reflects your own personal reasons for procrastinating. Stop beating yourself up for postponing action, urges Higgins, and start reframing your mind-set and approaching your to-do list differently, so you can start getting tasks done today.


Your procrastination habit is perfectly human, but you needn’t live with it.

Do you sit down at your desk with every intention to work, only to find yourself scrolling through social media, answering trivial messages or watching videos online? If you procrastinate, you’re certainly not alone, and stalling isn’t always a bad characteristic, says psychologist Dr. Jeff Temple. Procrastination refers to the tendency to put tasks off until your deadline approaches. You might procrastinate for a variety of reasons: Perhaps you’re simply giving yourself space to have ideas before executing a task or you feel that delaying an unpleasant task is better for your sanity. Sometimes people are slow to execute a task if they pursue perfection or fear failure.

Research shows that prioritizing your short-term mood over achieving your long-term goals is human, especially if the tasks you need to accomplish have few short-term rewards. The types of tasks people tend to put off typically exhibit one or more of the following characteristics: They’re challenging, frustrating, unstructured, monotonous, obscure, unrewarding or lacking in personal meaning.

About the Author

Lauryn Higgins is a freelance journalist whose work focuses primarily on public health, agriculture and climate change.

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