What Causes us to Procrastinate?

Miriam Slozberg procrastinate

Whenever many of us are faced with a big task, or even a small task, a lot of the time we will put it on the back burner and keep it there. It is easy to say “I will work on it tomorrow”, and to even believe we will start tackling the task the next day. However, when tomorrow comes, we usually end up finding ourselves saying the same thing. The next thing we know, the task never gets done. That being said, when we know the task needs to be done, we rush through it at the last minute. Therefore, the job done is very poor.

I admit I have been guilty of procrastinating. And after looking into what causes me to procrastinate, I did make some discoveries. I would like to take this opportunity to share what I have found.

1. Fear– Whenever I know I have agreed to take on a big task, there is a part of me that is afraid I will not do the job well and therefore, I keep putting it off. The best thing to do in this situation is to not take on such a big task voluntarily. We are all encouraged to step out of our comfort zones, however, only at a pace that is not going to overwhelm us. This way, fear will not be an issue and we will tackle what we need to at the right pace for us.

2. Taking on Too Much– When we are given an opportunity that sounds great to us at first, we want to snatch it right away. However, if we find that we had bitten off more than what we could chew, it is easy to find excuses to not work on it. The best thing to do is before taking anything on, find out what you realistically can do. If you are bombarded with other responsibilities- take that into consideration before taking on anything additional. Evaluate your situation before adding to anything more to your plate. An overflowing plate becomes very messy.

3. Lack of Passion– We may agree to take on a task only because we may think it is the right thing to do, even if our heart is not in it. If that is the case, then you not only will leave the task on the back burner for good- but if you do ever get to working on it, the job will be poor because your heart is not in it. This is a time to say no to something that you know in your heart that is not right for you.

4. Poor Scheduling– If you do not have a schedule set, you will not get to any of your tasks even if you are passionate about it. By the time you are done with your other responsibilities, you may think about working on the task but then you will be too tired to get to it and say “I will work on this tomorrow”. The next thing you know, you will be saying this tomorrow, as well as the day after that. Creating a schedule and sticking to it is important, as well as holding yourself accountable for making time for it. This way, it is less likely you will procrastinate.

Sometimes we can become very overwhelmed with life, and when there is added stress- the best thing to do is not to commit to anything unless you know 100% in your heart that you can make time for it. I have found these are the factors behind me procrastinating. What about you? What do you think causes you to procrastinate?

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15 Responses to What Causes us to Procrastinate?

  1. Andrea Ansari July 17, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

    Summer heat maybe? haha. Good points, Miriam. Right on the spot!
    Andrea Ansari recently posted..7 Tips To Create Better Video Testimonials!

    • Miriam July 19, 2015 at 11:31 pm #

      not in Australia lol, thanks Andrea for commenting.

  2. Joy Healey July 17, 2015 at 9:37 pm #

    Hi Mirian,

    I think you nailed all my reasons in this post!

    To get round the “fear” one I’m trying to force myself to do the “worst” jobs first, so that when they’re over I can relax and get on with easier nicer things.

    I’m also getting braver at saing “no”, because sometimes I just get too deep in the mire of tasks that aren’t getting done. Its actually quite a relief!

    The chellenge I’ve never really overcome is that sometimes I have my day all planned out, but something more important (eg a fee paying client with problems) and then I just have to put off what I intended to do so that I can sove the client’s problem. I don’t see any end to this one. They will wait to some extent but I’m on a contract to respond in a certain time span and the requests are completely unanticipated. I’ve been working for them for over 30years so I must be getting something right!

    Enjoy your weekend!, Joy
    Joy Healey recently posted..Solving the Problems of Network Marketing

    • Miriam July 19, 2015 at 11:31 pm #

      Thanks so much for sharing Joy.

  3. Sue Bride July 18, 2015 at 2:14 am #

    Creating schedules and sticking to them is one thing I’m working on. It’s so easy to get distracted when you have a passion for something and there’s so much info to read online.
    Sue Bride recently posted..How To Increase Awareness For A Cause

    • Miriam July 19, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

      So true Sue, sticking to a schedule can be challenging but its a must do.

  4. Jacs Henderson July 19, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

    I totally agree with all of your 4 reasons Miriam, having a schedule of when to work on various tasks is a good help, but sometimes I find my creative part doesn’t join me at the right time!
    Having a busy and varied life, we have to be realistic about what we can do, overcome fear and lack of passion then work the rest in as we can…
    sometimes taking the pressure of a deadline away, helps the flow.
    A constant battle for us all!
    ~Jacs

    • Miriam July 19, 2015 at 11:29 pm #

      Deadlines keep us accountable! Thanks for the comment Jacs.

  5. WILLIAM O'TOOLE July 22, 2015 at 1:20 am #

    I often suffer from procrastination… When it comes to doing the washing up! It just does not fill me with enthusiasm..I am yet to find someone that enjoy’s washing the plates etc.. but you know the best way to beat it ? Just crack on with it.. just do the job in hand..You then remove the problem.

    Make sense ?
    WILLIAM O’TOOLE recently posted..I bet you don’t know how to ride a bike

    • Miriam July 22, 2015 at 10:56 pm #

      You are so right, just get it over and done with.

  6. Monna Ellithorpe July 25, 2015 at 5:24 pm #

    Hi Miriam,

    I agree with you 100%. There are some projects I have taken on and then I am not sure I can do the job and I put it off over and over. Truth be known, I create the fear like you mentioned and in reality most of the tasks would be no problem at all, if we would just get out of our own way and do it.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted..4 Tips to Take Advantage of the Summer Slow Down

    • Miriam July 27, 2015 at 12:29 am #

      It is something we all relate to, thanks for commenting Monna.

  7. Christine Adindu September 14, 2015 at 12:24 am #

    Thank you! procrastination is a common diseases we all face and there is no cure.
    A lot of factors could be the reason and you pointed them out clearly. When we love what we do procrastination tends to take back seat. When you take on more than you can handle that could pose a problem too.
    Thank you for the insight.

  8. NT Izuchi September 27, 2015 at 8:23 pm #

    Hmmm, I think the one that describes me here is fear. The unknown outcome always gets me. But I’m much better with it now then I was even a month ago. Great post Miriam!
    NT Izuchi recently posted..Is A Home Based Business Really For You? | 3 Hard to Swallow Considerations

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  1. When to Delete or to Delegate | Miriam Slozberg - August 25, 2015

    […] week I had written a blog post on what causes so many of us to procrastinate. Many times, when we have the need to procrastinate, we are either overwhelmed, or not […]

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