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You don’t procrastinate because you’re lazy

Isabel Williams
Written By
Isabel Williams
You don’t procrastinate because you’re lazy
Artwork by Louise Pau and Simon Tyler

The conflict theory of decision-making treats procrastination as a “coping pattern” for difficult tasks. Procrastination, whether for the best or not, is a way we deal with stress.

So try a system that has you face stressors head-on and with a calm demeanor. That can be achieved through mediation.

Mediation has individuals accept thoughts and feelings with a non-judgmental attitude. It has been studied in-depth and has benefits like reducing stress, improving difficult task persistence, and physical health to name a few. And it just so happens that people with ratings of high procrastination and poor health have a negative correlation with mindfulness.

In a 2016 study “A Mental Imagery Intervention to Increase Future Self-Continuity and Reduce Procrastination” researchers found that when placed in the future-self meditation group, in which participants listened to a ten-minute meditation recording twice a week that had them imagine themselves at the end of the academic semester, their rates of procrastination decreased.

While asking procrastinators to put their usual patterns aside and meditate might seem like some sick joke, there are so many resources for those looking for help. Headspace’s mini-meditations take just 1 minute and can act as a baby step to a procrastination-free life.

Further research needs to be done on this method of treatment and how to help people commit to regular meditation. If successful, this treatment has the ability to improve people's mental health, physical health, and even create a more productive workforce.