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

The Procrastination Prescription

Why do we put things off, even when they're important? How do we overcome our own resistance? When your plate is full and you've got the "I shouldn't be online right now" blues, try these 6 strategies to get things done ... or not.

Anxiety and Self-Doubt: Perfect Recipe for Underachievement

So many of us are afflicted with negative, left-over-from-childhood, programming that keep us from reaching our full potential. In my many years as a psychologist, the two self-defeating inscriptions I’ve encountered most are “I’m not good enough” and “I can’t succeed” (or “will fail”). And there are many other self-defeating beliefs that hold us back. . . .

How to Organize Your Financial Life

Tax time is over and you swear it won’t be like this again.

A Grab Bag of Wisdom to Help You Enter Flow

You know those times when you aren't in the mood to write, but you want to get in the mood? Read some of these honest and insightful quotes from good writers to help ease your own transition into the headiness of a creative flow state.

Self-Deception Has Many Faces

Procrastination is a stealth form of self-deception

The Causes of Laziness

By Neel Burton M.D. on May 06, 2015 in Hide and Seek
Understanding the causes of our sloth can help us to overcome it.

What's the Difference Between Procrastination and Laziness?

By Neel Burton M.D. on May 05, 2015 in Hide and Seek
Are you a procrastinator or just a lazybones?

Three Strong Steps To Combat Anxiety And Insecurity

Do you feel tangled up in anxiety and insecurity? Learn a simple technique to break free.

4 Ways to Toss Things With No Regrets

Clutter can paralyze and terrorize, to the point where you give up and resign yourself to living with its oppressive, stressful presence. Here are some simple strategies to get rid of existing clutter and change the habits that create it in the first place.

A Workover: 60-Year Old Hasn't Worked in Ten Years

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 27, 2015 in How To Do Life
How I advised a caller who needs and wants to go back to work.

8 Myths About Creativity

By Susan K Perry Ph.D. on April 25, 2015 in Creating in Flow
Admit it: we all have more than enough excuses and rationalizations for why we aren't doing the creative work we claim to value. Could creative myths be contributing to your procrastination?

11 Ways to Reduce Your Procrastination

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 22, 2015 in How To Do Life
Here is a buffet of tactics that can keep that career killer under control.

5 Ways to Stop Anxiety Before It Stops You

Are anxiety and excessive caution getting in your way and stopping you from living a more meaningful and fulfilling life. Avoidance feeds on itself and makes you less confident, while getting started and taking action creates a positive cycle that naturally helps your anxiety go down. Learn five effective ways to get a handle on anxiety so you can move forward.

What Causes You Inner Turmoil?

Being in heated conflict not with others but with yourself can—let’s face it—be agonizing. To be split down the middle, to endlessly waver between two (and sometimes more) options, can at its worst be almost unimaginably distressing. Obsessive to an extreme, it can lead to a paralysis of will (not to mention, much lost sleep). . . .

Cash Cowards

Companies are happy to rely on cash cows—products or services that continually attract loyal customers—but when it is time to phase out the cash cows, corporate leaders often lose their nerve. This cowardice afflicts even the high flyers like Kodak, Encyclopedia Brittanica and, in the latest surprising example, Microsoft.

The Emotional "Trials" of Trial Independence (ages 18 - 23)

For many last stage adolescents (18 - 23) independence can prove too much of a good thing when they flounder in so much freedom, become stressed out, and experience emotional crisis as a result. At this juncture, parents can be of help.

Four Easier Tips for Increasing Your Willpower

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on April 04, 2015 in How To Do Life
Traditional advice is too arduous. These tips are easier.

Dragging Dead Bodies

Dragging around the dead bodies at work sure can wear you out! Here is some good advice.

Understanding the Deception of Passive Aggressive People

Passive aggression is a form of anger, except the anger is expressed with a smile instead of the typical expressions. Learn how to communicate with and understand these types of people.

8 Tips for Finally Conquering Procrastination

Techniques to Manage Your Procrastination: Part II. 8 tips sure to work if you don’t put off using them. Part I of this post is Procrastination: Why You Do It. By Jane Burka, Ph.D. and Lenora Yuen, Ph,D.

Minimize Procrastination Using This Matrix

By Alice Boyes Ph.D. on March 25, 2015 in In Practice
One of the ways I avoid procrastination is by understanding what tasks I should do based on my current energy level. Here's how you can do this using a creativity/focus matrix.

Why We Procrastinate at Bedtime

By Jeffrey Davis M.A. on March 23, 2015 in Tracking Wonder
No external boss means we must self-monitor sleep habits.

The Mach 1 Experience: 6 Keys to Successful Risk-Taking

By Gregg Levoy on March 18, 2015 in Passion!
There’s no risk without fear, but living a passionate life means pushing yourself through your resistance. These 6 insights about successful risk-taking can help you jump-start your engines.

SXSW: How to Make it in Showbiz

Are you a struggling comic, writer, or filmmaker? Well, good news coming your way: there is hope! (But, maybe don’t quit your day job just yet). Celebrity keynoters at last week’s South by Southwest Conference (SxSW) in Austin, which included mega-stars had some great advice...

Procrastination Part I: Why You Do It

Procrastination: Why You Do It; What To Do About It. Procrastination is often used to manage struggles with self-esteem. By Jane Burka Ph.D. and Lenora Yuen, Ph.D.

Should You Use This Word? It Decreases Your Effectiveness

There is a common yet all-too-potent word that can profoundly undermine you. It also can antagonize others. Fortunately, there's tricks for eliminating it from your vocabulary.

All About You - Quiz

By Alice Boyes Ph.D. on March 06, 2015 in In Practice
A little positive self-reflection can be a very nurturing thing to do. Here are some questions to stimulate your thinking. There are no right or wrong answers here. Take a little "me" time to think about what's important to you.

Balancing Inhibition and Exhibition

By Gregg Levoy on March 03, 2015 in Passion!
The desire to keep your spark, your life-force, intact, will always have to contend with agents of decay and distraction. All the forces of resistance and inhibition, from within and without, that can rob you of your vitality if you let them. Here's how to referee that boxing match.

Why The Internet Is So Addictive

We often over-use the Internet as an escape hatch from our daily lives, which can eventually develop into a technology addiction.

Adolescent Self-Management for a Successful Independence

A major goal of parenting high school age adolescents is helping them develop basic skills of self-management that will support more independence soon to come.