Strategic Procrastination with the Eisenhower Productivity Matrix

The Eisenhower Productivity Matrix was developed by President Eisenhower as a means of getting things done. The matrix is formed by two dimensions: Urgent versus No urgent and Important versus Not Important. Importance is big picture stuff, meaning important in the big picture of your life. Urgent is usually smaller picture stuff, upon which the bigger picture often depends. Like paying your bills. By crossing two dimensions of urgency and importance, Eisenhower created the matrix that bears his name.

Role of Mindfulness in Recovery from Procrastination

Procrastination is sustained by avoidance, a problem of emotion regulation. Avoidance literally constitutes a refusal to feel uncomfortable negative emotions. Avoidance need not be conscious, though it may be, with the result that procrastination is both an event and a lifestyle. Procrastinators seek to shut down awareness of their avoidance in order to minimize discomfort. Treatment requires understanding what emotions are being avoided, and why. This journey is not so much about taking responsibility as it is about awareness.

Understanding Procrastination

The fundamental mechanism that drives procrastination is the same mechanism that drives so much of the anxiety disorders, notably the negative reinforcement of avoidance. With procrastination, avoidance becomes so powerful that work goes unfinished, and obligations go unmet. This leads to crisis after crisis and deadlines passed and failures mount.