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Chapter 12. Time Management > Procrastination

Procrastination

“Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.” That is the motto of the procrastinator. We all procrastinate to one degree or another. It becomes a major problem in your work life when important tasks or responsibilities are left undone or are completed in a slipshod manner because inadequate time was left to complete the task properly. Procrastination lowers anxiety in the short run due to the relief we feel from task avoidance. But it greatly increases our stress in the long run as tasks pile up or time runs short.

The main and most direct cause for procrastination is low frustration tolerance (Ellis & Knaus, 1977). You need to accept the fact that to receive future rewards, you often need to undertake present discomfort. Low frustration tolerance is based on the irrational notion that present pain or discomfort is “too hard to bear.” This belief that you cannot stand present pain for future gain invites and practically commands you to continue your delay tactics. This can be a very debilitating cycle.


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