Procrastination – what are the causes?

Women in office with piles of paper - Procrastination - overcome procrastination now

Procrastination – overcome procrastination now

A while ago one of our regular readers, Bev Wright, suggested I write about procrastination  for the blog.

Thanks, Bev, I appreciate the thought, and I’d have got round to it sooner, but you know how it is!

So what’s the deal about procrastination?

We all do it – put something off which actually we could do straightaway. We put it off to try and increase our pleasure, but often end up giving ourselves stress and guilt instead.

So why do we procrastinate?

In my experience the most insidious reasons are these:

1. We are anxious about the task and spend time worrying about it rather than just making a start.

2. We are afraid of failure – ‘Everyone will know I’m not up to this.’ Or conversely we may fear success – ‘Will my colleagues still like me if I do really well in this?’

3. Perfectionism or unrealistically high standards. We might think we have to read everything we can find on a subject before starting to write a blog post. We might expect the first draft of a report to read like a classic piece of literature.

4. Negative beliefs about our abilities – ‘I’m not clever enough to do this. I’ve never been good at this sort of thing.’

There are many other reasons for putting things off, such as finding the job boring, feeling overwhelmed, not understanding what is required or trying to avoid tasks you don’t enjoy.

Reasons like these seem to me less difficult to cope with, once acknowledged, as there are simple practical steps you can take to rectify the situation – get somebody else to do it, for example!

We’ll have a look at some simple ways to tackle the more deep-seated reasons for procrastination next time.

Overcome procrastination now at

Posted in: Time Management

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