Most people would admit to procrastinating every now and again, but for some it becomes a chronic issue impacting on their health, well-being, and career, and resulting in stress, anxiety and shame.
Now, a globally-renowned expert in the psychology of procrastination has distilled her game-changing insights into a book to help procrastinators understand the issue and take practical steps to tackle it.
Professor Fuschia Sirois, Department of Psychology, Durham University, is a world-leading authority on why we procrastinate, arguing that it is rooted in a form of emotion regulation, and not a result of laziness, disorganisation or poor time-management.
Her new book, Procrastination; What it is, why it’s a problem and what you can do about it, is a research-based guide for procrastinators with practical strategies to help them stop delaying, get on with tasks and fulfil their potential.
Professor Sirois said: “Procrastinators are not lazy, nor do they simply need to work on their organisation or time management.
“Procrastination is a form of emotion regulation where sufferers avoid a task that might spark negative emotions, by disengaging with it or putting it off.
“When we understand the root cause of procrastination it is clear that harsh judgement is not the solution. Instead, sufferers need self-compassion, an understanding of the negative emotions that are leading to their procrastination, and practical strategies to help tackle this.
“My hope is that through sharing my expertise via a practical self-help book, procrastinators the world over can start to overcome the problem and fulfil their dreams and goals.”
Published by the prestigious American Psychological Association, the book offers practical, evidence-based hope to anyone who finds that procrastination is negatively impacting on their life.
It is based on extensive insight from Professor Sirois’s research into procrastination, emotion regulation and how these can impact on an individual’s health and wellbeing.
Procrastinators have been found to have less job security and more limited career progression, as well as higher levels of stress, insomnia, headaches and heart-related health complaints such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
So, far from simply being a frustrating or mildly annoying lifestyle issue, procrastination has serious impacts on the lives of sufferers.
Professor Sirois said: “Procrastination is not a trivial issue, it can have substantial negative impacts on a person’s life. But it doesn’t have to be that way, there are ways to address it and there is hope for those caught in a pattern of chronic procrastination.”