Lost in the Moment? An Investigation of Procrastination, Mindfulness, and Well-being

Abstract

In this study, we extend previous work documenting links between procrastination, stress, and physical health by examining the potential role of mindfulness in explaining the high stress and poor health reported by procrastinators. A sample of 339 students (81% female) completed an on-line survey that included measures of trait procrastination, mindfulness, perceived stress, and perceived health. Univariate analyses revealed that procrastination was associated with low mindfulness, high stress, and poor perceived health. Structural equation modelling was used to test the role of mindfulness in explaining the links between procrastination and stress, and between procrastination and perceived health. The overall measurement model indicated a good fit to the data. Tests of the nested mediation models revealed that the effects of procrastination on stress and health were mediated by mindfulness, and bootstrapping analyses confirmed the significance of these effects. Our findings are consistent with previous research and theory on the salutatory effects of mindfulness for health and well-being and indicate that for procrastinators, low mindfulness may be a risk factor for poor emotional and physical well-being.

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Correspondence to Fuschia M. Sirois.

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This paper is based in part on data collected for Natalia Tosti’s (2010) honours thesis.

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Sirois, F.M., Tosti, N. Lost in the Moment? An Investigation of Procrastination, Mindfulness, and Well-being. J Rat-Emo Cognitive-Behav Ther 30, 237–248 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10942-012-0151-y

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Keywords

  • Procrastination
  • Mindfulness
  • Stress
  • Health
  • Well-being