8 Reasons why you might be procrastinating

Are you procrastinating?  Are you putting off what needs to be done now? Procrastination is common; most people do a little of it. In small doses it might not be that bad but if you are regularly procrastinating, you are failing to fulfil your full potential while increasing your stress and damaging your relationships. We tend to assume that procrastination only impacts on the procrastinator but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Your procrastination may impact on:

  • Your family – reduced family time
  • Colleagues – who are impacted by your failure to meet deadlines
  • Your manager – who is leading a team which is underperforming
  • Customers – who are receiving inferior customer servicet

If you are regularly procrastinating; people cannot trust you to do what you agree to do. Your failure to do what you need to do, when it needs to be done has knock on effects for many people. Procrastinating requires you to pay a price. That price usually comes in the form of failure to accomplish your goals; stress related health issues; and poor relationships. So, given all the negatives associated with procrastination, why are you still doing it?

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Why you might be procrastinating?

1. Lack of purpose

Passion and enthusiasm for life comes from having a clear sense of who you are and what you wish to accomplish. It is this sense of purpose which motivates you to get out of bed in the morning and take on the challenges of the day ahead. When you are finding things tough, you merely have to remind yourself of what you are trying to achieve and you can find the resolve to push through. Even the boring and mundane tasks become tolerable because you can see how they help you progress towards your bigger goals.

 When you lack a clear sense of purpose your resolve weakens. Without a clear sense of purpose, individual tasks have little significance. Completing these tasks may keep people of your back but you fail to see any positive benefit. Procrastinating seems like the natural thing to do, so you leave these tasks to the last minute, until you absolutely have to do them. You will work late or come in early (or both) just to get it done. Quality suffers and others have to deal with the delays but, as far as you’re concerned, you did what was asked of you.

2. You don’t like what you do

If you are doing work you love, it will never really feel like you are working. The enjoyment and pleasure derived from it makes it feel like a hobby rather than a chore. You feel like you are fulfilling your purpose. There is little difficulty in motivating yourself.

 However, the opposite is also true. If you really don’t like your job, you see it as a burden. You don’t feel motivated and you would do almost anything to avoid it. While a sense of purpose will help you push through mundane tasks, if you find your entire job, or most of it, mundane, then it is hard not to start procrastinating.

3. Rustout

As a human being you have a desire to grow and improve yourself. A sense of challenge is required in order to get the best out of yourself. Challenge requires that you improve your knowledge and skills to help you meet your objectives. It is the challenge that allows you a feeling of accomplishment whenever you meet a goal or objective.

Too often, people remain in the one job or serving the same customers because it is comfortable and familiar. The downside of this is that there is a lack of challenge. When you do not feel challenged by your work, you soon lose motivation.  You think ‘what’s the point, I could do this with my eyes closed’, and so you start procrastinating.

4. Burnout

Pressure and challenge can help you to get the best out of yourself. However, like all good things, moderation is required.  Intermittent periods of rest and recuperation are required to recharge the batteries. Without these rest periods you would experience continuous pressure; something which the body and mind are not designed to cope with for long periods. The result of continuous pressure is stress and burnout. If you are experiencing burnout, you will be lacking energy and are more likely to start procrastinating due to lack of energy and motivation.

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5.  Inability to prioritise

Sometimes you take on too much work. You don’t like to say ‘No’, so you accept any task that is asked of you. Rather than focus on one task at a time, you try to please everybody by jumping from one task to another. The end result is that you get nothing done. Before long, you have developed a large to-do list which is frightening to look at. The thought of completing the to-do list is so overwhelming and painful that you have no idea where to begin. You really don’t want to think about it so, in order to avoid it; you distract yourself with meaningless tasks. This allows you to feel busy but you get nothing accomplished.

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6. Anxiety

Anxiety can lead to procrastinating as you fear how the end product might be perceived. Maybe you will lose the sale; people will laugh at your presentation or your boss will think that you are worthless and you will be one step closer to dismissal. Anxiety leads you to focus on the negative potential consequence to the extent that they feel real. You may feel that it is better not to try, than to face the consequences of underperforming at the task.

7. Vindictiveness

You may dislike someone so much that you are willing to go out of your way to inconvenience them. If they require you to complete a task, you may choose to delay completion to the last possible moment to inconvenience them.  While this may well hurt/hinder them, it will also impact on your stress levels, and on others that are dependent on the work getting done. You end up antagonising a lot of people just to inconvenience one person.

 8. You don’t know how to be lazy

You may have been taught that laziness is always a bad thing, and in its purest form this might be true. However, laziness, if applied correctly can be a great advantage. Effectiveness, where you aim to complete the task with the least effort for the maximum reward, is a form of laziness i.e. you don’t want to do anything you don’t have to do. This kind of laziness leads to improvements as it's not about procrastinating; it's about getting things done properly but with the least effort.

 If your idea of laziness, is sitting back with your feet up, hoping that someone else will magically do the work for you while you take the credit; you need a reality check. This type of procrastinating serves nobody. You don’t have to be ashamed to be lazy; you just need to apply your laziness in an intelligent manner.

Stop Procrastinating

Take action on your most important goals and start enjoying the results you desire by overcoming procrastination.


Learn powerful strategies to get back on track for your goals with 'Stop Procrastinating'.

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Conclusion

If you find yourself procrastinating, there are many potential reasons why you are doing so. Procrastination is not something you are stuck with, it can be overcome. By taking the time to understand why you are procrastination, you can then find the best course of action to ensure you don’t repeat the behaviour. All it takes is a little self-reflection, honesty and willingness to make the improvements.

Image Credit: Stf.O