Procrastinating at work? You might be depressed

Are you one of the millions of employees around the world who procrastinate at work? If you are working at least five out of nine hours at your workplace, congratulations, there is nothing wrong with you. Multiple studies have shown that an average employee is productive only five hours on a regular day. There is however the case where your productivity is even less than five hours while you spend the rest of the hours thinking about useless thoughts along with watching irrelevant videos on YouTube.

Procrastination is a monster which is eating up big organizations around the world along with damaging the business. Procrastination is often misunderstood as laziness or slacking but in actuality it is neither of these two. Psychiatrists consider procrastination an indication of something stemming from a deep-rooted mental issue. This issue can be a result of the culture of your organization but sometimes it can also be of a personal nature and in the worst-case scenario a sign of depression. In this article, we are debunking the relationship between procrastination and depression and how curing one can get you rid of the other one too.

What is the scientific link between procrastination and depression?

It is no news that depression and procrastination is positively correlated. Enough research has provided evidence in the past that depression and anxiety tend to exacerbate procrastination. In other words, the more people are depressed, the more they tend to procrastinate. There was however no clue on how this correlation plays out in real life and how it can be controlled.

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Recently, another research has somewhat cleared these questions. A study conducted on the undergraduate students has shown that depression and procrastination are indeed correlated but there is a unifying factor and that is self-regulation.

The new study has shown that people who had better self-regulation skills were less likely to hit depression and the same people were thus also less likely to go into deep circles of procrastination. The study has also shined some light on the fact that procrastination and depression both have a two-way relationship which means that not only depression causes procrastination, procrastination also intensifies depression.

So, my procrastination is linked to depression, now what?

The answer is simpler than what you might have expected and you probably guessed it right. It has something to do with intent and self-regulation. The self-regulation which is meant here is however not the complicated emotional self-regulation but merely refers to the act of restraining oneself. The mental health expert mentioned in the previous section states that she set out to take control of her procrastination and depression by starting with simply making her mind to complete tasks every day. She simply made up her mind that she needed to complete x number of tasks each day regardless of how she was feeling.

She just had to physically push herself in completing them without thinking about how her days were going or even if she felt like crying. She just simply kept on doing them. In a matter of days, she started feeling better as a sense of relief washed over her and as a result, her depressive feelings also started to go down. If you also feel that you are trapped in the cage of procrastination, you should definitely give this method a try along with consulting a mental health expert.

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This article was produced in partnership with oladoc.com, a digital health company in Pakistan. Using oladoc, you can find the best doctor in Lahore, Karachi & Islamabad, and book an appointment online.