by Jane B. Burka and Lenora M. Yuen
Procrastination is an issue that affects most people, and it’s not a problem that we can resolve overnight. The authors, Jane B. Burka and Lenora M. Yuen, have written this book to help readers understand why we procrastinate and to provide practical tips on how to overcome it. They argue that procrastination is a coping mechanism and that it’s possible to change our habits and become more productive.
Procrastination is a practical guide that offers tools and strategies to overcome procrastination. The authors, Jane B. Burka and Lenora M. Yuen, explain the reasons why people procrastinate, and they provide different approaches to help readers overcome it. They present real-life examples of individuals who suffer from procrastination and how they managed to overcome it.
“Procrastination is a habit, but it’s also a choice. We can choose to procrastinate, or we can choose to take action. The power to overcome procrastination lies within us.”
BIG IDEA 1: Procrastination is an emotion regulation problem, not a time management problem
The authors of “Procrastination” argue that procrastination is not a time management problem, but an emotion regulation problem. They suggest that people who procrastinate are not necessarily bad at managing their time, but rather, they struggle with managing their emotions. They propose that procrastination is a way of avoiding negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, and boredom, and seeking immediate pleasure and gratification instead.
To overcome procrastination, the authors suggest that we need to develop emotional regulation strategies such as cognitive restructuring, mindfulness, and self-compassion. Cognitive restructuring involves identifying and challenging our negative self-talk and replacing it with more positive and productive thoughts. Mindfulness involves being present and non-judgmental in the moment, which can help us reduce stress and anxiety. Self-compassion involves treating ourselves with kindness and understanding, which can help us overcome feelings of shame and self-criticism.
Cognitive restructuring is an essential strategy for managing procrastination. The authors suggest that we need to recognize the negative self-talk that leads to procrastination and replace it with more productive and positive thoughts. For example, instead of thinking “I’ll never be able to finish this task,” we can reframe our thinking to “I’m making progress, and I’ll get it done eventually.” By challenging our negative self-talk, we can reduce the anxiety and fear that contribute to procrastination.
Mindfulness is another important strategy for managing procrastination. When we are mindful, we are aware of our thoughts and emotions in the present moment without judgment. The authors suggest that mindfulness can help us reduce stress and anxiety, which are common triggers for procrastination. By practicing mindfulness, we can become more aware of our procrastination patterns and identify the emotions that contribute to our procrastination.
Self-compassion is also essential for managing procrastination. The authors suggest that we need to treat ourselves with kindness and understanding, rather than self-criticism and shame. By being compassionate towards ourselves, we can overcome the negative self-talk and beliefs that contribute to procrastination. When we are kind to ourselves, we are more likely to take action and make progress towards our goals.
BIG IDEA 2: Overcoming procrastination requires experimentation and self-awareness
The authors of “Procrastination” suggest that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to overcoming procrastination and that we need to experiment with different strategies to find what works best for us. They encourage readers to keep a procrastination journal to track their procrastination patterns and identify triggers, emotions, and behaviors that contribute to their procrastination.
Self-awareness is also essential for overcoming procrastination. The authors suggest that we need to develop an understanding of our motivations for procrastinating. For example, some people procrastinate because they are afraid of failure, while others procrastinate because they are seeking immediate pleasure. By understanding our motivations, we can develop strategies to overcome them and address the underlying beliefs and attitudes that contribute to our procrastination.
The authors also suggest that we need to set realistic goals and break them down into smaller, manageable tasks. This approach can help us reduce the overwhelm that contributes to procrastination. By breaking down a larger goal into smaller, more manageable tasks, we can make progress towards our goal without feeling overwhelmed.
BIG IDEA 3: Overcoming procrastination requires cognitive restructuring and behavioral strategies
The authors of “Procrastination” suggest that to overcome procrastination, we need to challenge our negative self-talk and replace it with more positive and productive thoughts. This involves cognitive restructuring, as mentioned earlier.
In addition to cognitive restructuring, the authors suggest that we need to develop behavioral strategies to overcome procrastination. These strategies include setting deadlines, using rewards and consequences, and creating a structured work environment.
Setting deadlines can be an effective strategy for overcoming procrastination. By setting a deadline for a task, we create a sense of urgency and motivation to complete it. The authors suggest that we need to set realistic deadlines and hold ourselves accountable for meeting them.
Using rewards and consequences can also be an effective strategy for overcoming procrastination. By rewarding ourselves for completing a task or facing consequences for not completing it, we can motivate ourselves to take action. The authors suggest that rewards should be meaningful and aligned with our values, while consequences should be reasonable and not overly punitive. Creating a structured work environment can also be helpful in overcoming procrastination. This involves creating a space and routine that supports our productivity and focus. The authors suggest that we need to identify the conditions that help us work best and create a work environment that supports those conditions. For example, some people work best in a quiet environment, while others work best with background noise or music. By creating a work environment that supports our productivity, we can reduce distractions and
“Perfectionism is often at the root of procrastination. We think that we have to do things perfectly or not at all, and this kind of thinking can be paralyzing.”
“Procrastination” is a practical guide that provides tools and strategies to overcome procrastination. The authors argue that procrastination is not a time management problem, but an emotion regulation problem, and that to overcome it, we need to develop emotional regulation strategies. They also suggest that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to overcoming procrastination and that we need to experiment with different strategies to find what works best for us. Finally, they argue that the process of overcoming procrastination requires understanding our underlying beliefs and motivations and challenging them using cognitive restructuring and other techniques.
About the Authors
“Procrastination” was co-authored by Jane B. Burka and Lenora M. Yuen. Burka is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of procrastination, anxiety, and other psychological disorders. She has also worked as a consultant and trainer for businesses, educational institutions, and government agencies. Yuen is a professor of psychology at the University of the Pacific and has conducted extensive research on procrastination and self-regulation. Together, they draw on their combined expertise to provide practical advice and strategies for overcoming procrastination in both personal and professional contexts.