Reasons why we procrastinate
Work Life & Personal Effectiveness

The Importance of Understanding Why We Procrastinate

Reasons why we procrastinate
Understanding the reasons why we procrastinate is the first step in being able to tackle it

I recently wrote about surefire ways we can overcome procrastination.

However when tackling procrastination it is important to understand the underlying reasons why we do so.

If we understand why we do it then we can do something about it.

The benefits of overcoming procrastination are clear.

It reduces stress and anxiety and enables us to create more time through greater productivity.

Having more time enables us to spend it on things that matter like quality time with our children, our partner and time to ourselves.

It is important to note that the reasons why we procrastinate are varied and differ from person to person and also from task to task.

Here are some commonly encountered reasons as to why we procrastinate:

  • Fear and anxiety – often we can be fearful and/or anxious about a given task on our to do list. This can be a fear of failure or conversely a fear of success too. Through challenging our thinking regarding what is the worst that can happen if the outcome is not what we hope can enable us to move forward.
  • Overwhelm – feeling overwhelmed is a common cause of procrastination. Breaking tasks down into bite sized manageable tasks can allow us to feel like we are moving forward and being productive. Simply forcing ourselves to keep doing the next right thing can help us to overcome procrastination.
  • Pride – this is an interesting one! Often our own pride can prevent us from seeking help and advice on how to tackle and overcome a particular task or challenge. No one likes to admit that they do not know how to tackle a particular task or that they are unable to complete it, but through seeking help this is a surefire way to overcome procrastination.
  • Boredom – how often are we faced with tasks that quite simply bore the life out of us? Mixing up tasks and interspersing them with more appealing ones helps overcome this.
  • Low self-esteem – often our own lack of confidence can be a reason for procrastination. Through challenging our negative thoughts and seeking help we can build up our own confidence as we learn how to complete tasks we have not done so before.

Do you procrastinate?

What do you think are the underlying reasons why you do so?

As always it would be great to hear from you with your comments below πŸ™‚

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22 thoughts on “The Importance of Understanding Why We Procrastinate”

  1. I find the biggest reason for procrastination is the distraction of my phone (!) I know I’m not alone, but if I walk into one room to do something I often find myself lost in something else I hadn’t intended to do – probably because the actual task is far less interesting!
    Thanks for sharing with #coolmumclub

    1. Lol yea can relate to that but it involves me running up the stairs and then forgetting. Mobile phones are scourge of productivity. I have mine switched on silent permanently together with all alerts for social media, email etc turned off πŸ‘

  2. I do definitely procrastinate. Like with cleaning. I hate cleaning and that’s why I procrastinate with it. So I wait until it really starts to bother me before I start it. Sometimes I procrastinate with making phone calls that I know I should make or appts I know I should schedule. That is definitely from some sort of anxiety around that sort of thing. It is best to know why we do things like procrastinate so we can move forward with a new plan. #CoolMumClub

    1. I have to force myself to do the least enjoyable job first when faced with a list of tasks. As you say self awareness enables us to address our own foibles πŸ™‚

  3. Oh gosh yes. And the way you have broken down the points really does hit home. I have a couple of things on my to do list which I find really difficult to get done. It’s all linked to not wanting to fail – so perhaps there’s a lesson to be learnt in not putting so much pressure on ourselves sometimes. Thanks for joining us for the #dreamteam πŸ™‚

    1. Perfectionism is the scourge of productivity. I have had to do a great deal of work around lowering my standards to something that is morectealistic and achievable πŸ™‚

  4. thank you. I find that I procrastinate when I am not entirely sure that the proposed course of action is the right one, or I know (consciously or unconsciously) that I need to mull something over for a bit longer. Pen x #thesatsesh

    1. Can completely relate to that – there is nothing that sharpens and focuses the mind like a deadline – although with the chaos of kids I have to be careful it doesnt tip the other way into overwhelm

  5. Hi Tom, I am totally aware when I am procrastinating and usually (for me) it’s because I feel overwhelmed by the task at hand or total bored at the thought of doing it. Recently I’ve started tackling sorting the house out and rather starting and focusing on the bigger picture and ultimately not getting anything done, I’ve settled into a routine of doing something small everyday and you know what? It’s working!

    Thank you for linking up with #keepingitreal.


  6. #thesatesh yup, totes do it – love it and sometimes plan to do it. Im a full time career mummy, so running a house, raising a wild one and driven at work…any down time is used like the last lick of an ice-cream πŸ™‚

    I think our souls need time out doing nothing, plus if you can leave it, it props isn’t that important to you.

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