You know the situation: You have an exam to study or a spreadsheet to prepare for work. But instead of just sitting down and concentrating on the task at hand, you do everything and anything you can to avoid it.

Arthur Tomie, associate psychology professor at Rutgers University-New Brunswick is also an addiction scientist who focuses on triggered actions — unintended, unaware actions. He says when you postpone something on a regular basis, it's because you are distracted.

"So a person sits down at the computer and they're supposed to be writing a paper and instead, they go to social media or they pick up their cell phone," says Tomie.

He says it's very difficult to be doing something important when there's other things around to distract you. When this happens regularly, you are considered a procrastinator.

Tomie says people procrastinate when they are not prepared to complete a task. But he says taking the time to think about a task is actually helpful, like when writing a paper. He says just because you don't sit down at the computer and start to write, doesn't mean you're a procrastinator.

"Part of the action is to think about it. If you're thinking about it, that's not procrastinating. That's doing what you need to do in order to write that paper or do the task at hand," says Tomie.

If putting off the task and postponing it allows you to think more clearly about it and resole some planning about it, you can actually produce a better product and you'll feel better about it, says Tomie.

Sometimes procrastination can be beneficial in that some people work better under the stress of an upcoming deadline but the result may not always be of the best quality.

Tomie says when the task at hand is low on a person's list of priorities, they want to give into temptation such as watching a TV show or socializing.

Tomie says those who struggle with distraction can deal with procrastination by eliminating the distracting triggers. Put the cell phone in another room so you don't even see it and therefore won't be tempted to go online or read texts.

The real problem is that when something becomes habitual you do it without thinking, getting in the way of the important activities you have to do.

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