Everyone procrastinates sometimes, but 20 percent of people chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions—which, unfortunately, are increasingly available. Procrastination in large part reflects our perennial struggle with self-control as well as our inability to accurately predict how we'll feel tomorrow, or the next day.

Procrastinators may say they perform better under pressure, but more often than not that's their way of justifying putting things off. The bright side? It's possible to overcome procrastination—with effort.

Recent posts on Procrastination

Big Data Is Nudging You

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on August 30, 2016 in Consumed
Slow to hit the purchase button? Here’s how you may be nudged to buy.

5 Ways a New Approach Can Improve Your Life Today

Studies show how humans have shorter attention spans than goldfish. Here's how you can fix that.

Facebocrastination: New Research on the Perils of Facebook

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on August 11, 2016 in Don't Delay
A new study in the journal Computers in Human Behavior underscores the self-control challenges of social media. Learn about the effect of students' Facebook habit on well-being.

Why Is Change So Hard?

Behavioral change is rarely a discrete or single event but we often make the mistake of viewing it this way.

This Is the Secret to Getting Anything Done

By Art Markman Ph.D. on August 02, 2016 in Ulterior Motives
We've all had the experience of intending to do something and then forgetting when the time comes to do it. This happens because you are not reminded to perform the action.

How To Manage ADHD Without Drugs

By Clifford N Lazarus Ph.D. on July 26, 2016 in Think Well
Here are seven nonmedical methods that help people with ADHD.

The Case for Confrontation

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on July 17, 2016 in How To Do Life
Sometimes, a confrontation and refusal to back down is what's required.

Culpably Unwarranted Delay: Is There an App for That?

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on July 15, 2016 in Don't Delay
Once it becomes clear that procrastination involves a mens rea (guilty mind), significant opportunities for intervention come into view.

Clear Thinking About Decluttering: 8 Insights

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on July 13, 2016 in Creating in Flow
Like diet books, books about how to clean out our clutter are always popular. What's the fascination, and why can't we "just do it" once and for all?

The Poison Tendrils of Negative Emotions

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on July 13, 2016 in Don't Delay
A recent research summary argues that negative emotions poison every aspect of successful self-regulation. Understanding this process is key to understanding procrastination.

Procrastination 101: It's Not About Feeling Like It

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on July 11, 2016 in Don't Delay
I don’t feel like it. I don’t want to. I’ll feel more like it tomorrow. Have you had these thoughts? Ever heard your children say these things?
DeclanTM, flickr

Struggling With Tasks That You Don’t Want to Do?

By Gretchen Rubin on July 01, 2016 in The Happiness Project
The chore that feels onerous today may give you a huge boost of satisfaction tomorrow, when it’s behind you.

5 Proven Ways to Beat Temptation and Boost Your Willpower

Self-control is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Making an early decision to change your environment takes less effort and is likely to be more successful than using willpower
Caroline Beaton

Gen Y Overwhelm: 4 Steps to Simplify Your Priorities

By Caroline Beaton on June 20, 2016 in The Gen-Y Guide
Everyone knows that prioritizing is the solution to time management, moving forward and finding fulfillment. But what’s the solution to prioritizing?

The 5 Most Common Reasons We Procrastinate

The path of least resistance isn't always the best path to take.

7 Tips from Elder Creatives on the Joy of Working

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on June 12, 2016 in Creating in Flow
Worried you'll someday lose your passion and your ability to come up with fresh ideas for your creative work? Twenty still-working over-80s tell how they do it.

Cries for Help to My Radio Program

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on May 15, 2016 in How To Do Life
A 47-year-old artist needs to change careers. Plus a procrastinating journalist.

Top 10 Ways to Gain Willpower

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on May 14, 2016 in How To Do Life
A buffet of tactics.

7 Strategies for Becoming More Productive

Whatever your aims, you can use these fresh, practical exercises and insights to work smarter, faster, and with less stress.

The Peter Pan Syndrome

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on May 13, 2016 in How To Do Life
Why smart people fail.

Why Is Procrastination Even a Thing?

Are you a chronic procrastinator? Here's one way to keep moving.

The Secret Reason Certain People Are Always Late

Why am I always late? Chronic lateness may be about power. By Julie Jarett Marcuse, Ph.D.

The Curse of Apathy: Sources and Solutions

What causes the feeling of non-feeling?

Strength Versus Structure

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on April 26, 2016 in Don't Delay
Strength is important. We may even say it’s essential, but it’s not sufficient. It’s structure and routine that will save us when the going gets tough.

Do You Know How to Be Motivated?

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 26, 2016 in How To Do Life
A self-assessment inventory.

Ridding Happiness Contaminants 7: Procrastination

Procrastination is the culprit of many problems and frustrations. Learn the reasons why many of us procrastinate and elegant strategies to overcome it.

Tax Time Drama and Relief

By Kate Levinson Ph.D. on April 12, 2016 in Emotional Currency
Money is full of drama. But tax season is a collective drama—trauma, for some—where we are all simultaneously taking an accounting of money in our lives.

The Original Myth

By Piers Steel Ph.D. on April 08, 2016 in The Procrastination Equation
Does procrastination improve creativity? A new take on an old idea.

Mindful Emotion Regulation

By Timothy A Pychyl Ph.D. on April 01, 2016 in Don't Delay
Mindfulness-based therapies are very popular, and all have a common goal – adaptive emotion regulation. As such, they are a key route to reducing procrastination.

Shoot for Now, Ask Questions Later

By Piers Steel Ph.D. on March 31, 2016 in The Procrastination Equation
Deadline gorillas. They chase us to get that assignment done or to fill in tax returns. Zap'em dead with hyperbolic discounting.