Procrastination is both a cause of stressful situations and a symptom of stress: If you keep putting things off you are likely to get stressed, as you get more and behind on your duties. If you are feeling bad because you are stressed, you might do something more fun than your tasks, and thereby procrastinate, in order not to have to deal with the situation.
For a long time procrastination has been seen as a Time Management issue. However, recent research shows that it is an Emotion Management issue.
Christian Jarrett has written an excellent article for BBC on the topic. The article concludes with tip from Tim Pychyl at Carleton University in Canada:
Getting started is everything
“The next time you’re tempted to procrastinate, “make your focus as simple as ‘What’s the next action – a simple next step – I would take on this task if I were to get started on it now?’ ”. Doing this, he says, takes your mind off your feelings and onto easily achievable action. ‘Our research and lived experience show very clearly that once we get started, we’re typically able to keep going. Getting started is everything.’ ”
What do you do to get started when you procrastinate? Is procrastination the cause of your stress or a symptom of it?