Personal Growth

Here’s More Than One Reason Why You Procrastinate (And How To Put An End To It)

If you have ever had trouble persuading yourself to do things you should do or would like to do, you have experienced procrastination. When you procrastinate, instead of working on important meaningful tasks, you find yourself performing trivial activities. Find out why you cannot stop lazying around and how understanding the underlying reasons can help you develop strategies to overcome procrastination.

Why do you like to put off doing something and get exasperated because you are experiencing difficulties completing the necessary tasks?

Perhaps you delay attending to your household chores, wearisome errands, launching that project you have been thinking of, writing checklists — perhaps you are even procrastinating by reading this article currently.

I will admit; Although I have made significant improvements to keep myself productive and constantly on the move, I still fall short in this department occasionally. I will relapse into my old ways, which includes rotting my time away and postponing time-sensitive actions. However, comprehending why I like to delay them has helped pull me from the depths of the procrastination abyss that much quicker.

Keep going to understand the four reasons you cannot cease procrastinating and what you can do to put an end to it.

1. Your Procrastination Is Your Safe Haven

This is a double-edged sword. It shields us, so it keeps us safe, and we cannot blame it for that, can we? However, there comes the point when being too protected becomes counterproductive.

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”

Karen Lamb

If you are struggling to feel driven to clean your room, tackle your laundry, or mow the lawn, it is perhaps because your procrastination is protecting you from the burden you are sensing in your already hectic life.

This danger also leads us to postpone anything that enables us to force ourselves out of our comfort zone. We would try to develop all sorts of excuses to delay goals that spark our fears and trigger discomfort.

How To Overcome It

Your duty is to determine what your procrastination is trying to keep you away from. Is it mayhem, stress or boredom? Is it fear of failure, awkwardness or responsibility? Which fears prevent you from getting a move on in the beginning? Once you are good picture about this, ask yourself several questions:

  • Is my fear shielding me from something real or that is perceived?
  • Does running away from it protect me from stress or adds to it?
  • Is my delay in performing tasks brightening or jeopardising my future?

Self-awareness is a force not to be underestimated. Recognise a problem, and you can change it.

2. You Cannot Focus

“All big things come from small beginnings.”

James Clear

Imagine you are struggling to get started on your goal because it feels too ambitious, and you believe there is no way you can accomplish it. I feel this way with some of the goals I set for myself. It is normal to feel paralysed when you focus on the big picture, and thus, it can prevent us from taking any immediate action.

When the goal is too bold, or the task is too challenging, it means we do nothing. However, you have to recognise that doing something drastic does not lead to a positive change. Reaching our goals originates from the tiny, consistent actions we do each day. That is how we achieve success.

How To Address It

Break your goal down into smaller sub-goals until the stress and uneasiness you feel dissipates. Even if your list is lengthy — do not sweat about it. Pay attention to the bigger goal if it is to help you find out what the smaller steps are. If you focus solely on the big picture, you will lose your momentum, drive, and ultimately, no action is being taken.

Another method for this is to keep your eyes on the result instead of the process itself. For instance, rather than focusing on tidying up your desk, focus on the result that having a mess-free desk will bring: a simplified, clean and productive space for you to work on. Which gets you more pumped?

3. You Are Assured That It Is More Difficult Than It Will Be

There are numerous times when we laze around. However, at times, you can stay in that mode for so long that when you finally get around to doing whatever you are required to do, you realise you have wasted more time ranting about it than it would have taken to do in the first place.

This occurs because our mind tricks us into thinking that something is much more challenging and time-consuming than it actually is.

How To Tackle It

“If you procrastinate when faced with a big difficult problem… break the problem into parts, and handle one part at a time.”

Robert Collier

There are two ways you can go around this:

  1. Pay attention to the smaller task. As mentioned earlier, your brain will perceive a more daunting task than it is because your brain eyes on the insurmountable big goal. Break it down until it is so small that you can manage it without feeling overwhelmed.
  2. Be intentional and ready. For example, rather than just sitting down to respond to a couple of emails, make the activity intentional. Organise your desk and turn up the music so that you have created a conducive work atmosphere. By being intentional, your task becomes more thrilling too.

4. You Strive For Perfection, Not Progress

I once believed that being a perfectionist was a good thing. Sadly, perfectionism still rears its ugly head occasionally, but I have discovered that it does not have to stop me from getting things done. It is crucial to have high standards for everything we perform, but there is a point when the drive to seek lawlessness can backfire and be detrimental to our success.

How To Deal With It

“Don’t aim for perfection. Aim for ‘better than yesterday’.”

 Izey Victoria Odiase

Perfectionists need deadlines that cannot be altered. Be realistic in providing yourself with a timeframe to get the job done and respect the time you have established.

You also need to figure out for yourself when good enough is indeed good enough. Do not sweat over every tiny detail. There is no need for it to be flawless. It just has to be good enough. Perfection is an illusion. Hence, do not wait.


Final 2¢: Time To Get The Ball Rolling

If you are a procrastinator, do not feel guilty because you are not alone. Almost everyone tends to relax on their couches and do absolutely nothing. Possessing the self-awareness to understand the exact cause of your procrastination can make all the difference.

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