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Science says that emotions are your biggest hurdle in procrastination

(ENTREPRENEUR) While procrastination seems like it will be the death of any and all productivity, science says the solution may be more tangible than you think.

computer snaplitics desk procrastination

Procrastination, a great equalizer

Procrastination knows no bounds. At times, it does not feel so much like a choice as a need.

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If you are ever wondering why you just keep putting things off, new research suggests that it can have something to do with emotion regulation.

Why such an issue?

Procrastination can hinder life in more ways than just making you late to turning in a project. At its worst, procrastination can negatively affect academic performance, job advancement, social life and lead to increased stress and anxiety levels.

With all of these undesired effects, it is a puzzle of why procrastination is such a common occurrence.

What these new studies suggest is that it has more to do with emotions than anything else.

The connection

Performing certain tasks may bring a myriad of emotions to light. Ones that are more likely to result in procrastination include anger, anxiety, frustration, resentment and stress. When one experiences these emotions, they associate them with the task at hand, which of course makes them want do everything they can to avoid it.

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In other words cleaning the kitchen may bring up feelings of anxiety because of its current state of dirtiness.

That anxiety leads to a person putting off cleaning the kitchen until they feel calmer, in an attempt to regulate their emotions. The problem is that this calmness may never come. Merely avoiding a task is not the best answer to deal with emotions. With only a brief break, those feelings may arise again and the task will only be further from completion.

Both, And

Ironically, regulating your emotions is both the problem and the solution. While it is a good idea to keep emotions in check, regulation with only brief breaks provides only a short term answer. At the end of the day, those emotions may come up again and you will be no closer to finishing what you need to.

In order to deal with emotions and decrease procrastination, certain strategies should be implemented.

This includes tolerating those emotions at all times, not just when they come up before performing a task. With consistent modifying and regulation, these emotions can be dealt with before causing you to procrastinate.

#getonit

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Written By

Natalie is a Staff Writer at The American Genius and co-founded an Austin creative magazine called Almost Real Things. When she is not writing, she spends her time making art, teaching painting classes and confusing people. In addition to pursuing a writing career, Natalie plans on getting her MFA to become a Professor of Fine Art.

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