The Reasons People Procrastinate

We all have things we need to get done. And at some point, we all put things off. Except by the time we get around to doing it, it’s already too late. Here’s the biggest reason why people procrastinate and how to fix it.

What Is Procrastination?

The official definition for procrastination is: “The action of delaying or postponing something.” For example, you may need to write an essay, but instead, you find yourself scrolling through the internet and wasting endless amounts of time when you know you should be working. This is a classic example of procrastination that you most likely have found yourself in at some point.

Everyone finds themselves postponing a task at some point. Some procrastinate more than others, but everyone does it. The thing about procrastination is that it can affect any part of life. Sometimes you may not even realise you’re doing it.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Reasons People Procrastinate And What To Do About It:

At its core, procrastination comes down to a lack of motivation. However, many external factors can affect one’s motivation in negative ways. Here’s a brief list of things that can negatively affect your motivation:

Perfectionism. The need for everything to be in order before beginning is a common reason people procrastinate. They often spend far too long organising their resources and end up losing the motivation to begin. 

How to fix it: Know that it is totally fine for your work to be rough in the beginning. There is absolutely no reason that your work should be world-class the moment you begin. Don’t be afraid to share your process, this will allow you to realise that progression can sometimes be more interesting than a polished masterpiece.

Fear of failure. A lot of the time, the reason procrastination occurs is due to the fear that you might not succeed or that others will not appreciate your work. This can cause you to feel low and like you have no motivation or reason to complete the task.

How to fix it: Realise that everyone has been in the same situation as you. Don’t be afraid to fail because with each failure comes a brand new learning opportunity. Being able to overcome failure is the greatest measure of success.

Lack of interest. Sometimes procrastination can come down to a simple lack of interest. If you don’t enjoy something or at least find it interesting, you can often lose motivation.

How to fix it: Finding a way to interest yourself in a topic can prove to be quite hard. However, the greatest way to make something uninteresting worth your attention is to gamify it. Thinking of a task as a game will help you to develop an interest in the task and go above and beyond when it comes to the finished product. A simple way to do this is to create a points system for each section of the task. Then at the end, reward yourself using the points you have gained.

Self-doubt. Another common factor that can affect your motivation and cause you to procrastinate is self-doubt. When you doubt yourself and your abilities, the task at hand can seem daunting and therefore cause you to procrastinate.

How to fix it: Severe forms of self-doubt can often be identified as Imposter Syndrome. To overcome self-doubt you must remember, nobody is watching your every move. The majority of people are concerned with themselves and have no reason to judge you. Actively thinking about this will allow you to forget about what other people might be thinking and develop self-confidence instead.

Bottom Line:

Motivating yourself and overcoming procrastination can prove to be difficult sometimes. But hopefully using the pointers in this article you can boost your productivity and defeat procrastination once and for all!

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