Take a minute to do nothing
Procrastination doesn’t always mean camping out in front of the TV. Psychologists have found procrastinators may actively look for non-committal tasks to distract themselves as a form of regulating negative emotions, such as fear of failure. They may turn to an activity that appears to be “busy”—say, vacuuming or responding to low-priority emails—rather than tackling a major work report. To stop procrastinating, first stop multitasking. Sign out of your email. Close the Facebook and Instagram apps on your phone. Step away from the vacuum. The distractions can wait.
Determine the negative effects of waiting
Everybody procrastinates occasionally, but 20 percent of people are chronic procrastinators, according to the American Psychological Association. It’s a higher number than that of people who are diagnosed with clinical depression or phobias, and a bad habit that can affect your health. Classic research published in Psychological Science found that students who procrastinated had lower levels of stress than other students at the beginning of the study, but toward the end, the costs outweighed the benefits. Procrastinators earned lower grades and experienced more stress and illness.