Friday Fix: How to Stop Procrastinating

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Verywell / Julie Bang

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The Verywell Mind Podcast's “Friday Fix” is a short episode that features a quick, actionable tip or exercise to help you manage a specific mental health issue or concern.

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Friday Fix: Episode 227

We all put things off sometimes, even when we know there will be negative consequences for doing it. Whether we refrain from doing household chores, making appointments, or paying our bills, procrastination can become a real problem.

While some people seem to think it’s a time management issue, procrastination is more likely to stem from an emotional regulation issue. We put off things that will cause us to feel uncomfortable emotions, like boredom, anxiety, or frustration.

Unfortunately, our attempts to avoid feeling uncomfortable don’t actually work. In fact, it can backfire and cause us to experience even more long-term distress as we face the consequences of our procrastination.

There's good news, though: some science-backed strategies can help you break procrastination. When you start checking those tasks off your to-do list, you’ll experience a sense of relief and accomplishment—which can motivate you to keep going and get even more things done. 

In this episode, I explain how occasional and chronic procrastinators think differently, why we procrastinate, and five strategies that can help you stop procrastinating. 

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Editor’s Note: Please be mindful that this transcript does not go through our standard editorial process and may contain inaccuracies and grammatical errors. Thank you. 

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By Amy Morin, LCSW
Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.