We’ve all been guilty of procrastination at one point or another. I’ll clean the house tomorrow. This essay can wait until next week. Let me just check my emails before starting on this big project. Before you know it, you’ve spent hours browsing social media and have nothing to show for it.
Why We Procrastinate
Not everyone succumbs to procrastination so easily, but for those that do, it can have a wide range of consequences. Work or academic performance may suffer, stress and anxiety levels rise as you put yourself under more pressure against deadlines, and even physical health can be affected, with chronic procrastinators even putting off making doctor’s appointments when something is wrong.
There are many reasons we tell ourselves when it comes to procrastinating. Maybe you think you work better under pressure, or you’ve got plenty of time left to do it. But, there may be more driving these behaviours, often subconsciously.
Out of fear
One common reason that psychologists ascribe to procrastination is fear. When you’re facing a big project or a new challenge, the risk that you might not succeed at it can be overwhelming. Putting off working on that project means you can put off that feeling of failure for longer, even if you’re not consciously following this logic.
Some people end up procrastinating in lots of areas of their lives because they simply can’t make a decision. If you put off making that decision, then it may be taken out of your hands, either by someone else deciding for you or by running out of time to decide either way. This comes back to anxiety and being worried that you’ll make the wrong decision.
For the thrill
Again, they may not be consciously aware of this, but some people leave deadlines until the last minute because of the rush it gives them. If you leave yourself with 24 hours to complete a deadline, it’s make or break time. Thrill-seekers may unconsciously enjoy the feeling this provides.
What can we do?
Procrastination can have serious negative impacts in many areas of your life. If you find yourself procrastinating on a regular basis, the first step is to identify the cause. The next step is to address the underlying issues, and make a mindset change.
Do you fit into any of the above categories? Getting a handle on your procrastination helps lower stress levels and improve your work performance. My coaching services can help you overcome procrastination for good!