Why Do We Procrastinate, Really?

When you consider procrastination, is laziness the very first thing that involves thoughts? If so, you’re not alone. “It is easy to think that putting things off and doing them at the last minute, or not at all, is a byproduct of laziness,” says psychologist, licensed Master Prepared Life Coach and well being coach Robin Hornstein, PhD.

But the reality is, laziness isn’t all the time (and even typically!) the driving pressure behind procrastination. Plus, believing that pushing aside a process means you’re lazy can take a toll in your shallowness and psychological well being.

“Procrastination often takes a toll on our self-esteem and feelings of self-worth because of the societal message about procrastination being a character flaw,” says Dr. Elizabeth Fedrick, founding father of Evolve Counseling & Behavioral Health Service. “Therefore, we tend to beat ourselves up when we put off a task and might start to label ourselves as lazy, unproductive, [or] incapable.”

So the query is, what’s actually happening once you procrastinate—and what are you able to do about it? Let’s check out 5 frequent causes of procrastination, in addition to tricks to overcome them and get your productiveness again on observe. 

Overwhelm on the process at hand

Have you ever postpone a process as a result of it appears so large, so monumental, that there’s simply no method you would get it finished?

That form of procrastination is a direct results of overwhelm—feeling like there’s a lot to do, you don’t know the place to start out, so that you don’t begin in any respect. In these conditions, the best way to beat procrastination is to “break the task up into smaller goals,” says Fedrick.

For instance, “if your goal is to clean your whole house, make a list of each room, and then start with one room at a time and cross it off the list as you go,” says Fedrick. “This helps to reduce the feelings of overwhelm and increases the feelings of productivity and accomplishment.”

Feeling incompetent

It will be laborious to get issues finished once you really feel like you possibly can’t get issues finished. Or, in different phrases, should you battle with emotions of incompetence, it will possibly make you’re feeling such as you don’t have the talents, drive, or capabilities to sort out a process—which might make you liable to procrastination.

If you battle with emotions of self-doubt or incompetence, with a view to change your relationship to procrastination, it’s essential change your narrative. (“When we don’t feel successful and always feel behind others, whether we are or not, we begin self-talk that is harmful to our self-esteem,” says Hornstein.)

And one of the best ways to try this? Gathering proof of all of the methods you might be succesful and competent. “Keep a daily evidence log where you write down what you accomplished at the end of each day for 30 days,” says Fedrick. “You can then look back at this log in the future when you are struggling to complete a task…to see that you are not lazy, unproductive, or incompetent—but rather that you have the ability, willingness, and skills needed to do these things.”


Perfectionists typically carry out at a high-level. But the necessity to preserve that top stage of efficiency can really result in procrastination. “Another common reason individuals might procrastinate is if they struggle with perfectionism,” says Fedrick. “For a perfectionist, the thought of not completing the task ‘perfectly’ can feel really worrisome and overwhelming. Therefore, in an attempt to protect themselves from this, they will continue to put off the task as long as they can.”

If your procrastination comes out of your have to do issues completely, it’s time to shift your perspective from “this needs to be perfect” to “this needs to be good enough.” 

Try setting agency deadlines in your duties—after which decide to shifting on from these duties on the set deadline, even when it doesn’t measure as much as your requirements. Over time, the satisfaction of getting issues finished will (hopefully!) override the necessity to get these issues finished completely—and your procrastination concern will probably be a factor of the previous.

Mental well being points

Sometimes, procrastination could be a symptom of a bigger concern—significantly relating to psychological well being. “Symptoms of anxiety and depression can…exacerbate someone’s tendency to procrastinate due to a lack of energy, motivation, trying to manage mood states, or feeling worried about the outcome,” says Fedrick.

If you believe you studied that your tendency to procrastinate stems from despair, nervousness, or one other psychological well being concern, speak to a psychological well being skilled. They can assist you determine what’s actually happening and make it easier to get the remedy it’s essential really feel higher (and overcome your procrastination challenges).

Lack of curiosity

Sometimes, the explanation you retain pushing aside a process is easy—you’re simply not thinking about doing it. “[Sometimes procrastination happens when] we are not even interested in the plan or project, and maybe should not have said yes,” says Hornstein.

Luckily, the answer for this procrastination driver is easy. If you end up chronically pushing aside sure duties, you’ll need to ask your self if these duties are literally aligned along with your strengths and pursuits—and, if not, to search for a strategy to get these duties off your plate.

How simple this course of is will rely upon the duty. If the duty is one thing you volunteered for, and never an obligation, a easy dialog may very well be all it takes to resolve the problem and get the duty off of your plate. For instance, should you volunteered to coordinate a networking occasion out of your colleagues—however can’t get motivated to start out planning—you would speak to a colleague and see if there’s anybody else that may take over coordination duties.

If it’s a process that you simply’re really obligated to do, the perfect factor you are able to do is ask for assist getting it finished—ideally with somebody with the talents or want needed to perform the duty. For instance, let’s say you’re the maid of honor in your sister’s marriage ceremony and also you’re liable for throwing the bridal bathe—however you hate or are horrible at celebration planning. In that state of affairs, you would possibly assign duties to the bridesmaids so you will have much less to get finished, which might make it simpler to work by the belongings you do should deal with your self.

The level is, typically you procrastinate as a result of the duty is simply one thing you don’t need to do—and if you end up in that state of affairs, you’ll need to both offload that process or enlist some assist to get it finished.

The publish Why Do We Procrastinate, Really? appeared first on Fitbit Blog.

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