For almost two months, I procrastinated to write this story.
The idea to dive into procrastination habits came to me while I was delaying work for another article. Instead of explore our relationship to “things”, I was looking Bryce Dallas Howard’s Open Door video featuring Architectural Summary (she and her husband decorated with more pastels than I could get, but I dig the powder room).
Unfortunately, being immersed in a Youtube hole AD early years tours and music videos are pretty typical for me at 3:30 on Thursdays. Somewhere, my work was waiting for me and I was drowning without knowing it.
There is a saying: everyone procrastinates, but not everyone is a procrastinator. So I knew it wasn’t just me. About 20% of American adults are considered chronic procrastinators, according to the research of Joseph Ferrari, professor of psychology at DePaul University in Chicago. It’s more than depression, phobia, panic attacks and alcoholism, he told the Washington Post.
According to a 2007 study by University of Calgary psychologist Piers Steel, 80% to 95% of students procrastinate. Graduate students were only marginally better than undergraduates at fighting it. While the higher education bubble is in some ways a different world, it seems like a pretty good representation of the prevalence of procrastination.
While I don’t consider myself a chronic procrastinator, I find myself falling into the same patterns when procrastination rears its ugly, albeit sometimes welcome, head. So, too, do a lot Fortune readers, who seem to follow the same paths of procrastination: doomscrolling; mindlessly wandering Reddit, Youtubeor TikTok.
Julie, 30, who works entirely remotely from Brooklyn, often dives deep into a K-pop music video hole on YouTube since being “sucked” into music during the pandemic.
“I find myself almost unconsciously typing ‘YouTube’ into Chrome and watching music videos, or even worse, entering a behind-the-scenes or vlog-style video of one of the K-pop groups I follow, which require pay attention to subtitles so any hope of multitasking is absolutely dashed,” she wrote in response to a Fortune investigation of procrastination.
At least six of nearly 40 survey respondents said they do chores around their homes like laundry, cooking and cleaning – a slightly more productive method of procrastination than I tend to lean towards. gravitate.
“If I’m working remotely, I’ll do household chores, water the garden, tidy up the living room, etc,” says Ryan, 34, from Johannesburg, South Africa. “If at the office, I’m doing personal emails, I’m asking about the news, I’m reading, I’m doing this survey.”
A way to ease our pandemic anxiety
Whether it’s taking a nap, launching a video game, listening to music, handling personal administrative tasks, or saying a few words at a time about a passion project, most people seem to turn towards when they just can’t concentrate on work is the mundanity of routine. It’s not a block of time drawn on the calendar, but a daily meander when everything else gets a little too much.
It seems that the tireless unconscious urge to procrastinate only intensified during the pandemic. When the world is burning figuratively and literally, and we’re torn between working in homes full of distractions and empty offices devoid of that elusive work culture, taking a break for 15 minutes or two to calm things down with a Architectural Summary video of architect Michael Wyetzner break down the architectural evolution of Wayne Manor feels like a reprieve from a time when we are still grappling with a new normal.
Americans’ anxiety levels have skyrocketed over the two (plus) years of the pandemic, which experts attribute to my constant urge not to do things efficiently. At least two studies in the last two years found a positive correlation between anxiety levels and procrastination. They also presented procrastination as a cause of general distress due to the pandemic.
“Some weeks I feel so tired that it takes a day or two of doing nothing just to get ready for the next week, knowing it won’t change at work,” says a 58-year-old respondent from Idaho . “I come from the generation that says if you work really hard you will succeed, and that’s true, but it doesn’t apply everywhere. So I find my time very valuable now, so I don’t procrastinate in anything anymore. is not a good habit. Nike said, ‘do it’… so does my boss.”
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com