3.8 Overcoming Procrastination

Course Overview

You could take this course now, or you could do it later. The procrastinator’s motto may be, “Always put off to tomorrow what you can do today.” In fact, the word comes from the Latin words pro, meaning “forward,” and crastinus, meaning “of tomorrow.” Aristotle and Socrates called procrastination akrasia, meaning “the state of mind in which someone acts against their better judgment.”

Postponing tasks is certainly a major aspect of procrastination, but of course it’s more complicated than that. Procrastination may also include allowing yourself to be distracted, perhaps with social media or other pleasurable activities. It may result from poor organization, lack of preparation, or skewed priorities that cause you to feel uncomfortable or ill-prepared for the task at hand. At its heart, procrastination involves the (ineffective) postponement of some sort of stress: you may feel inadequate or unmotivated to complete a task, and consequently push it off until later. Or sometimes you temporarily fool yourself by doing a minor, inconsequential task instead of something more important so that you can procrastinate while still appearing busy.

Learning Objectives

By the end of the course, you will understand the following: 

  • Discover what neuropsychology tells us about procrastination
  • Discuss the concept of “opportunity cost”
  • Learn 7 procrastination triggers
  • Learn 7 tips to defeat procrastination triggers
  • Discuss the relationship between procrastination and habit

Study Guide

We know that different people like to learn in different ways. If you like to write notes as you work through a course, here’s a handy study guide (.PDF) for you, in printable or “fillable” form. Use the printable version if you would like to print out the study guide and write down your notes. Or, if you prefer to use a PDF reader you can take notes on your favorite handheld device using the “fillable” version.

Overcoming Procrastination Study Guide Plain.pdf

Overcoming Procrastination Study Guide Fillable.pdf