The Shiny Toy Syndrome: When We Chase Novelty at Work

You’re at your desk, ready to write an article. A quick mind map might help organize your thoughts, so you start scribbling in your notebook. But then, a nagging thought arises: isn’t there a better tool out there? Before you know it, you’re searching for alternatives and watching tutorials. Hours slip by, and your article … Read More

Why we wait: Understanding the emotions behind procrastination

You have a deadline. You know you should get to work. But instead of focusing on what’s urgent and important, you spend your time on something else. Despite the inner voice telling us to get started and the rising anxiety, you keep on procrastinating. Humans have always struggled with procrastination. Thousands of years ago, the … Read More

Temptation bundling: how to stop procrastinating by boosting your willpower

You know you should be working on that presentation, but you’ve been procrastinating. To make things worse, the latest season of your favourite show has just dropped on Netflix. Luckily, making progress on your work and indulging in activities you enjoy is not only compatible, it can make you more productive. That’s called temptation building. … Read More

Self-handicapping: when we avoid effort to protect our self-esteem

Humans are very good at getting in their own way. We make our lives more challenging than they need to be, often without realizing it. Why do we place these hurdles in our way? What can we do to address our self-handicapping behaviors? Self-handicapping as an insurance policy In short, self-handicapping is an insurance policy … Read More

Procrastination triggers: eight reasons why you procrastinate

Productivity systems often focus on how to do the work. However, it is crucial to understand why we are struggling to do the work in the first place. Often, our procrastination triggers are emotional rather than rational, which makes it hard to analyse them in an objective way. Learning about the most common triggers can … Read More

The benefits of laziness: why being a lazy person can be good for you

Slacker, couch potato, bum, bludger… There are endless pejorative terms to describe lazy people. Sloth is one of the seven capital sins. Whether or not you believe in such moral vices, most cultures see laziness as a negative trait. But once you step away from moral judgement and focus on its most basic definition, laziness … Read More

Pressure and procrastination

“I work best under pressure” is an unsurprisingly common statement in high-pressure work environments. But is it true we work better under pressure, or do we just work faster? Can certain types of pressure be beneficial to fight procrastination and improve performance? Peer pressure and procrastination In a study looking at the social pattern of … Read More

The neuroscience of procrastination: A short primer

Procrastination makes it difficult and stressful to finish certain tasks or to meet deadlines, so why do we do this to ourselves? When we get stuck into an akratic loop, we know we “should” do something, but we resist doing it. The sister word “procrastination” itself comes from the latin “pro”, which means “forward”, and “crastinatus”, which means “till next day.”