Precrastination: Is it Worse than Procrastination? #precrastination #procrastination #guilt #spirituality #SOM #cognitiveprocess

The very new term coined by Pennsylvania State psychologists from a study published in Psychological Science defines precrastination as the tendency to complete or at least begin tasks as soon as possible, even at the expense of extra physical effort. The Precrastinator will quickly empty the dishwasher and throw all of the Tupperware lids in a cupboard, causing an avalanche of lids and bowls to fall to the floor as the first person opens the cupboard door. Won’t this cause more work later? Or, the precrastinator may park in the first spot that she sees, even if it is far away from her destiny, only to cause her to have to walk farther each way? These kinds of behaviors would fit under the new psychological category as Precrastination.

Familiar adages also warn of the hazards of precrastinating:

  • Measure twice, cut once.
  • Marry in haste, repent at leisure.
  • Look before you leap.

I would add, by doing a task right away, you don’t have to remember to do it later, such as bill paying. I know, as soon as I get my mail, I put bills directly into my banking Bill Pay function the day I receive them, so I can shred the bill and get it off of my desk. I like a clean desk, my list of to-do’s checked off, and do not like the idea of any job or chore looming over my head. Yes, I suppose, I am a precrastinator.

Yikes. I don’t know if I like this term, right now. I certainly know I have never been a procrastinator, which is a person who delays or postpones an action for various psychological reasons. If you are procrastinator, you know why you wait to finish things. I have had clients who are afraid to put the final period on anything because they are perfectionists and afraid to be incorrect. Some clients just do not have a good perception of how long any activity takes. And others like the control procrastination has over others, when the task involves getting something done for another person, such as a partner or spouse.

Studies would show that the reason I precrastinate is because of reward! I get a sense of great satisfaction from doing the chore and getting it over with, so I don’t have to leave it on my metaphorical plate for later. When, though, can this behavior be detrimental? This is the big question for psychologists.

I’ll give you an example in my own life when I’ve had to work against my desire to get something done quickly. Sometimes, I will have the need to complete a task before, organically, it is ready to be done. For instance, let’s say that I am working on a new book. Knowing that the editorial process can be quite daunting, I might hire two editors and also edit the book myself. So, when I get all of the edits back from the editors, I make one clean sweep of the book and assume it’s done.

However, the better choice would be to set the book aside for a week or two and reread it with the new edits to make sure that the edits had achieved the right resolve. In the past I have been quick to get the job done and have been left with more errors than expected and have had to delay publishing because of my Precrastination.

Can you find places in your life where you are too quick to get something done, only for you to open the metaphoric cupboard door and have an avalanche of stuff fall to the floor?

Maybe it’s time we precrastinators take a little more organic time to complete the said tasks and stay in the NOW as we do these chores. Each task can be a pleasure when you fully immerse yourself into the process, instead of just doing something to accomplish it. Where is the true gain in completing something half-ars?


This year, if you desire to commit to a change for a New Year’s Resolution, do it with your MIND first. Remember, as in the title of my new book coming out just in time to help you with this (in January)… lol… that all change happens in your mind, first. You must change your Old Story, to make a consistent and long lasting change in Your Life.Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 8.42.10 AM

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