Book Summary: Procrastination-Why You Do It And What To Do About It Now
Author:  Jane B Burka and Lenora M Yuen

About The Book: This book is intended to help people truly understand what procrastination really is. Procrastination is not fit into one’s personality. It is Far different than what you would imagine. The authors of this book are committed to genuinely help people to understand the concept of procrastination and to help them reverse engineer their procrastination habit.

Book Summary

1.Understanding Procrastination

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“Procrastination is like a dandelion. You pull it up and think you’ve got it, but then it turns out the roots are so deep, it just grows back.”

While for some people, procrastination
is like a flower easily loosened and removed,

Every person is different in this world, So is their tastes, habits, and procrastination. Every one of the procrastinators has a different type of habit.

Now, You might think is this guy crazy he says procrastinations are different?                        Even if you think that I am crazy it is a fact that procrastinations are different and depend on the type of individual having them.

Let’s look at an example: If there are two procrastinators A and B. Both are living in the same town but work different jobs and have never met each other before.

A is a writer and B is the owner of a shop in the town. They both probably have the same routines of waking up in the morning and going back to sleep at night.

A has to work in a newspaper company to write articles for the newspaper. He has many deadlines and cannot give enough time for his family. He has a habit of really giving his best at work and sometimes he accept large projects that often forces him to work extra hours. A is not satisfied with himself and wants to give time to his family. But that`s the thing he procrastinates on.

B has to sit in a shop all day to offer service to the customers. He feels bored and often closes the shop and wanders off to meet his friends at the bar. All his friends are really interesting guys and have wealthy families. B wants to spend his time with them because their really good friends that have continued from childhood. He is back on his bills and has to go through loss because of his procrastination to work.

From the above example, Both A and B are procrastinators but have different kinds of procrastination. A has a personal one and B has a professional.

2. Factors Of Procrastinations

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many procrastinators
don’t recognize all that’s going on under the surface, because
they use procrastination to avoid uncomfortable feelings.

The interpersonal roots of procrastination encompass your family
history, your social relationships, and your place in your current culture.

This is a common thing that we may see in ourselves and others. We really don`t know a lot about ourselves. We know a lot about others and what’s going on around ourselves. The main reason that many of the people that cannot get over procrastination is that they really don`t understand themselves.

They don’t know what are the factors that make them delay things or just don`t do it. They are so caught up in the outside world that they can`t visualize their own barriers that are affecting their progress and their life.

The author says people think that procrastination is something that just happens and they don`t have any control over it. But in fact, the factors that make a person submit to procrastinate are many including social, personal and how their brain is structured internally.

These factors can be analyzed but not by some other but by you. You can use the method of journaling to get into your head in spite of all the noise and flowing of the constant thoughts. It will help you to truly understand yourself and get the answer to Why you do what you do.

3. Obstacles in Taking Action


When people observe their behavior and clarify what’s behind
their resistance, they may realize they are automatically reacting with
old patterns and fears from the past, rather than responding to circumstances
in the present situation.

Making a change and learning new behavior happens gradually over
time. There are many different models of how change occurs.

When you take a decision to do something. It can be a goal or some task. And you have made a firm decision to do it regardless of how you feel. Then your mind gets in and tells you to take a second thought. You listen to your dumb mind and start thinking. And most probably will procrastinate on doing the task

The author describes the stages that take place inside your mind which leads to procrastination. These stages are like walls that come in your way of taking action.

These are called the Stages Of Change

1.Precontemplation (Before you think of Procrastinating on stuff)

This stage comes before anything happens. The period before you even think about doing the task is when your mind is in its comfort zone. It is when your brain is relaxing and doing stuff that gives you pleasure.

2.Contemplation(When you think about doing something)

This stage is what you probably are going through right now as you are reading this article. When you just begin to think about something like a goal or a task. In this stage, your brain picks up danger signals. these signals tell your brain that you are crossing the line that it has set for you(or so-called comfort zone.)

3.Preparation(Finally Decide to do something)

This is the stage when you take the decision to do things. When you decide to complete the goal or task but are not fully committed. The brain will try each and everything to make you atop going farther and farther away from your comfort zone.

4.Action(Actually doing the things)

This is the stage that you are actually taking action. In this stage, you are in the process of getting things done and not procrastinating. In this stage, the brain has lost the sight of you and can no longer control you to procrastinate.

You have to go through three walls before you finally take action to do something. Overcoming such obstacles is very time-consuming. Because this process may take a day, a week or even a month. It depends on you and how determined you are.

During this process, there is a high probability of you quitting and going back to what you were before. In this process your brain undergoes changes and it is sometimes hard to go through changes. But if you

4. What’s holding you back?


You probably are thinking                                                                                                                       If I am thinking too much about doing stuff. And during the thought process, my mind is trying to stop me from doing things. Then wouldn`t it be smarter to just do it instead of thinking about it for a longer period of time?

Yes, you are correct. It is far wiser to just do things instead of thinking about it constantly. Because the more you think the more time and energy you will be wasting. But due to these stages, it is hard to “Just Do It”.

Just doing it won`t help you because to actually get results you have to do it over a period of time. You have to sustain the change every day in order to stop procrastination. And you will have to go through these obstacles every day to do it. When you are stressed and tired you will think of procrastinating and returning to old habits.

The author says that the things that hold people back from taking action towards their goals are concerned with their mindset. The mindset is the type of thinking an individual has or a particular type of perspective of looking at things.

The factors that are most likely to cause a person to procrastination are

  • Low confidence in one’s ability to succeed.
  • Expecting that the process and/or outcome will be unpleasant.
  • The reward is too far away to feel real or meaningful.
  • Difficulties in self-regulation, including impulsiveness and distractibility.

5. What to do about it?


The author says that to bring about change in your thinking, you have to change your mindset. You have to bring change in your mindset that makes you a procrastinator. You need to shift your mindset from that of a procrastinator to that of a productive person.

Mindset is a type of thinking that your mind does. It is the result of the type of thoughts you have and the type of things that influence you over a period of time.

The author suggests to  Think long-term.

Long-term thinking is very useful and the most common thing that you can find in the mindset of the people that produce more than anyone else. This type of mindset will make you super productive instead of a lazy procrastinator.

The method is simple and can be used anywhere at any time. It is just to think about the long-term impact of a decision that you take. You have to just think about the negative and the positive impact it can have on you.

I recommend doing this when you are about to procrastinate on doing something. When you are on the verge of quitting. Just ask these questions to yourself and make decisions based on the long-term impact of them.

Question no 1. What are the positives of not doing taking action on the current task in front of me?

Question no 2. What are the negatives of not doing taking action on the current task in front of me?

Question no 3. Am I fine with what I have to deal with later?

This is the end of the Summary of  Procrastination-Why You Do It And What To Do About It Now

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The best way to beat procrastination is to share your goals with others and make a commitment to achieve them.

So comment down below your goals and make a commitment to others that you will achieve them. 

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