Forgiveness and Procrastination

It’s a little bit funny. I’m writing a post about forgiveness and procrastination. Yet the very act of writing this post might be an act of procrastination. Enough of that.

One of the strategies that Tim Pychyl suggests to combat procrastination is to forgive yourself.  In a study of first year undergraduate psychology students, Pychyl and his co-author found that higher self-forgiveness for procrastinating in studying for a first examination resulted in less procrastination in studying for a second examination.  Essentially by reducing negative moods and emotions, students were less likely to procrastinate.

Other strategies Pychyl suggests include:

  1. Make the task more concrete
  2. Phrase as an approach goal (something you want to achieve, not avoid)
  3. Increase meaning and interest in the task by reframing it
  4. Reduce distractions
  5. Create commitment devices (methods to create and keep commitments)
  6. Self-affirmation of meaning and values
  7. Meditate
  8. Stop the self-deception
  9. Harness your liabilities – structured procrastination
  10. Challenge your irrational beliefs such as perfectionism and fear

So I have forgiven myself.  I actually made some strides on a big, scary project last week.  And guess what? It wasn’t so scary.


Categories: Self-management

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7 replies »

  1. Thanks Colleen this is a great summary. I’ve been working on new skills to get things done with the Covey, the GTD book, and now the Pomodero technique. I’m taking the habit to the next level in terms of actually estimating and scheduling work time. Today was a good day and oddly it triggered my procrastination and feeling of futility. You mentioned meditation and my google searching that lead to you yielded It is long, but it helped me. Especially the part of how doing a lot of the right things can also drain your reservoir for action. It helped me to refocus at the 3 O’clock hour and get back to what I had schedule.

    I like your blog and hope to contribute more.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I look forward to reviewing the youtube video you recommend. Recently I have started taking all day Saturday off. No work. Really. (You might recognize the symptoms of workaholism…). I find that that break time really helps me recharge the “reservoir for action” (I like that term). Now all I have to do is start writing blog posts again.

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