All about procrastination

What is Procrastination?

Procrastination, to put it in simple terms, is similar to laziness but gone extreme. In these times we have become exceptionally lazy which makes us counter-productive. But there exists a fine line between laziness and procrastination.

A person is called lazy, when he opts for the easy way without any trouble, or just be inactive. Whereas a procrastinating person chooses to ignore a task as it feels unpleasant to that particular individual and later ends up with an emotion of guilt, shame or anxiety because of that delay he choose, which upsets his mental well-being.

Procrastination when left unchecked can leave serious consequences as it upset of mental health and in some extreme cases may lead to depression or other long lasting effects. Procrastination as it is, is not only caused by delaying but it also has other causes. If we are to classify them based on the causes, the most common types of procrastination we experience are:

  • Due to delaying of tasks
  • Seeking perfection in tasks
  • Wanting novelty in tasks
  • Spend most time dreaming
  • Anxious or worrisome in starting

It may sound easy to read but understanding and overcoming it can be much more difficult. Most of the time we are unaware that we are actually doing it because it is strongly associated with laziness.

Why do we procrastinate?

Procrastination is practiced mostly from an event which we had unpleasant experience with and then when a similar event occurs, to not experience the bad feeling we avoid and ignore it, which may result in more bothering emotions of guilt or shame or sadness.

  • It can also be a side factor of another mental ailment such as ADHD, Depression and Anxiety.
  • Some procrastinators are the types who worry a lot before commencing a task, so they keep avoiding it and become habituated.
  • It can also be because of perfectionist seeking. These people wait till their everything that contributes to their business is perfect and best. They use the excuse that if they couldn’t do a task perfectly then lose, and acquire ill feeling because of the same reason
  • Some people are always dreaming about what they want the most, how they want to do it, but seldom do anything about it.
  • Others procrastinate because of boredom or frustration or to escape from it, to say for sure.
  • Anxiety can induce procrastination. Let us say if we have delayed an important task and there is less time to complete, then we are overcome by anxiety and avoid the task at hand.
  • Lack of self-esteem is another for major procrastination.
  • Poor Management Skills are a high contributing factor for delaying and avoiding work.
  • Lack of motivation or focusing more on just one task is also a major factor.
  • Some of us can go overboard by accepting a lot of tasks, more than we can handle and end up accomplishing nothing out of it.
  • Waiting of a stress or a pressure is another kind in procrastinating. They say they can only act when there is a pressure or a deadline, like only a challenge motivates them to do tasks.
  • But in all the above we saw, those are the reasons or “excuses” that are said to ourselves to get out of that unpleasant feeling we would probably experience.

How to know if we procrastinate?

  • Recognizing whether we frequently do it or not is simple, yet can be a little complex.
  • Laziness is often associated so we need to introspect a little deeper into our past experiences.
  • Everyone would have procrastinated something at some point. We can say it is like a coping mechanism in our social lives to get out of uncomfortable circumstances.
  • When it becomes habituated and it affects our productivity then we can say it is troublesome.
  • A past hurtful experience in a task also leads us to ignore related tasks.
  • If we feel anxious before starting a task most of the time, then we procrastinate.
  • If we feel strong resentment towards a task and avoid it though it may be important then we procrastinate.
  • If we wait for everything to be perfect to start a task, we procrastinate.
  • If we feel that our interests quickly change and we leave tasks at hand unattended, we procrastinate.
  • If we are very indecisive in the tasks we do and we leave it halfway, we procrastinate.
  • And if you feel you do one or more of the above mentioned in your life, then obviously, you procrastinate.
  • The first step towards breaking the pattern of this unproductivity is recognizing it. So we have already begun our process of improvising.


How to quit procrastinating?

  •  Procrastination is similar to how a habit works. So we can break down it in a similar way too.
  • Addressing the trigger: In this step we recognize and note down out cause and effect of the procrastination habit. Then we can work out ways to change action that we do to change the effect we gain.
  • Respecting ourselves: Most cases start from a lack of self-esteem and not believing in one’s abilities. Developing self-confidence will greatly benefit in quitting procrastination.
  • Partners: Having a friend or a family member look after our routine is quite necessary as they can point out our mistakes and also support us in any way possible.
  • Concentration: One can practice meditation or other exercises that are proven to increase focus.
  • Rewards: Whenever on completing a hard task successfully, taking a reward, like doing something we love will make us more motivated to do the task.
  • Organize and plan: Organizing and setting goals and tasks on a to do list will prove to be useful in coping up. This can improve indecisiveness.
  • Seek professional help (Extreme cases): Consulting a professional help is in no way a bad thing. Procrastination can be a symptom of a whole other problem too, so if it becomes too much to handle going to a counsellor or psychologist will help the best.

Procrastination is a normal habit that leads to unproductivity and bad feelings which nearly everyone faces in our lives, and that is all. By following the above mentioned methods and developing good habits in place of it will surely improve everyone’s life in the best of ways!

What do you think?

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Athya Ashraf

Simple but we’ll written.
Keep up the good work!

Aanchal Sharma

People often procrastinate because they’re afraid of failing at the tasks that they need to complete or out of laziness.
Procrastination is like credit card… it’s lot of fun until you get the bill.. haha

Simple and nicely written.
Good work

Last edited 3 years ago by Aanchal Sharma