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Students heard about the causes and effects of procrastination from expert Dr. Tim Pychyl, Director of the Centre for Initiatives in Education and Associate Professor of Psychology at Carlton University.
February 5, 2018
Making Mental Health Matter
There was no delay when students heard about the causes and effects of procrastination from expert Dr. Tim Pychyl, Director of the Centre for Initiatives in Education and Associate Professor of Psychology at Carlton University.

For over 20 years, his focus of study has been on solving the procrastination puzzle. Dr. Pychyl shared his findings with Branksome during our Mental Health Awareness Week assembly: Making Mental Health Matter. “Not only do we know that procrastination affects your performance and your well-being, but we’ve also demonstrated that it affects your health as well,” said Dr. Pychyl.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH DR. PYCHYL’S ASSEMBLY PRESENTATION

As Dr. Pychyl explained, procrastinating can affect your health by causing stress, as, “people who are prone to procrastinate are going to put off exercise and eating well.”

Contrary to what many of us think, procrastination is not a time management issue, but an emotion regulation challenge, according to Dr. Pychyl. “We have all these negative emotions, or as physiologists call them, aversive emotions, attached to our tasks,” said Dr. Pychyl. “In life, people like to get rid of negative emotions, so how does the present-self feel good now? By avoiding the task.”

By thinking about your future-self, which pays the price of the present-self’s decisions, Dr. Pychyl believes procrastinators can alter their behaviour. Another way Dr. Pychyl recommends stopping procrastination is to have a simple and concrete next action and to take the task one step at a time.

Branksome hosted Dr. Pychyl thanks to a gift made by members of the Class of 1986 whose wish is to promote positive mental health at the school. “When the Class of 1986 reconnected at their 30th Reunion, they experienced the power of sharing stories about their life journey, their struggles and celebrations,” said Mrs. Karrie Weinstock, Deputy Principal. “In so doing, they recognized the significant role that mental health has played in their lives.”

Six classmates from 1986 attended Dr. Pychyl’s assembly and were thanked for their generosity by Mrs. Weinstock. “The Class of ’86 feels passionately that all Branksome students should be involved, while at school, in conversations about positive mental health, and we wholeheartedly agree!”

Thank you to Dr. Pychyl for sharing his findings with us—we know our students took away invaluable tips and advice. For further information, to listen to podcasts, or to read Dr. Pychyl’s blog posts, visit his website www.procrastination.ca.

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