Procrastinate or not? That is a tough question. Discover the brutal truth and make the best decision of your life today.
What Is Procrastination?
There are two kinds of procrastination: active and passive.
Active procrastination is when people purposefully delay action because they work well under pressure. Passive procrastination is the type most people think of, where individuals find themselves paralyzed by their inability to complete a task on time. - PsychCentral
12 Reasons for Procrastination
There are twelve reasons for procrastination. Usually, more than one is present in every case. Check why you might procrastinate. I have also given you some clues about what you could do right now to eliminate these reasons from your list.
1. Lack of Motivation
It is a common reason for not tackling an unpleasant task. You might believe that something is wrong with you if you do not feel motivated to begin work. This simply is not true.
Dr Burns writes that the ‘doing’ comes first, and then the motivation follows. Therefore, starting a task is the real motivator and motivation does need to be present before beginning the task.
Why aren't you motivated? Wrong goals, depression, tiredness. Address these issues and the problem of procrastination will be less severe.
2. Tedious Tasks
Lack of interest is a crucial reason for procrastination. Who wants to do a tedious task? From time to time, all students lack interest in a course. However, not all of their delay in studying or completing assignments is because of developed self-discipline.
The reasons for tedium include lack of motivation, unattractive tasks, and wrong task management (too many at one go, too difficult and too complex). Set your goals according to the 2-minute rule and GTD.
Further reading about goals:
3. Fear of Success
This reason can be the other side of the ‘fear of failure’. You procrastinate because you are afraid of the consequences of your achievements. You may fear that if you do well, then next time, other people will expect more of you.
Succeeding may also place you in the spotlight while you prefer the background. And you will face jealousy from your neighbours or family, especially when you become richer. Worse, they might even backbite you and scheme behind your back to kill your success.
What can you do? Address your fears. Believe that you have immortal light within and no darkness will put it out.
4. You Don't Know How to Tackle the Task
Skill deficits are one of the most fundamental reasons for procrastination. It is only natural to avoid doing the job if you lack skills. If you have several lengthy articles in English to read before you can write a blog post, you may postpone the reading because it is difficult.
You may even have trouble admitting your poor language skills because you do not want to seem dumb. In this case procrastinating, may seem better than facing your need to improve your English.
Ask someone who is more experienced t give you some advice. Use these clues to improve your management and system of work. It concerns any goal, not only language learning.
5. Fear of Failure
It is another reason people procrastinate. It goes something like this: It is worse if I try hard and fail than if I don't try and end up failing.
For example, you may postpone writing a report for your boss and then pull an all-nighter. You can face criticism from your boss, or even be threatened with losing your job, but you can say, “I could have done better if I had had more time to prepare the report.”
The pay-off for procrastinating is protecting yourself from the possibility of perceived ‘real’ failure. Until you do not commit 100% to your work, you will not find out what your actual capabilities are.
Also, you need to change your belief about failure. Making mistakes is a human thing. rather than beating up yourself, thank yourself for the courage that you have had to attempt to do the task.
6. Fear of Abandonment
It is one of the core fears. And the fear of success or failure may be grounded in the fact that you dread being rejected, you will not handle the reality and die.
Remember, there will always be people who appreciate your efforts and like you. There are 8 billion on the globe so even one town or village that ostracizes you will not matter in this case.
Focus on these beings who like and appreciate you People will always reject someone and you do the same. They have free will and there is nothing wrong with it until you take rejection personally.
7. Fear of Loneliness
This fear is the result of the previous one. Loneliness can overwhelm you and make you helpless at times. But the truth is that no one will be with you through all your life. People are actors playing in some episodes of your life, where you are the main character and are present throughout the movie.
Also, as I wrote above, you have the light and help of the beings of Light which do not let your strength be put down, even if the dark side does its best to achieve this goal. Hence, focus on your strength and create the presence of helpful people.
8. Fear of Ridicule
This is a kind of fear of rejection but instead of being afraid of being cast as such, you dread the treatment in which things are done to you. This fear has grounded you in your low self-esteem and self-worth. Instead of considering yourself as a wonder, you expect other people's approval o your endeavours.
Understand, people have free will and there will always be someone who may ridicule you but in most cases, it is someone's way of being rather than deliberate intent to harm you.
The fear of failure is often underlined by perfectionism which, in turn, results from low self-esteem. In this case, life is an endless report card on accomplishments or looks, which is a fast track to unhappiness. When you learn how to deal with perfectionism, procrastination will not be your problem, and you will become a happier person.
Answer the question: "What is the worst thing that will happen if I do not make it perfect?" Rejection? Abandonment? Ridicule? Loneliness? In these cases, check what to do by reading the previous reasons for procrastination.
10. Rebellion and Resistance
You may rebel against imposed schedules, standards and expectations because the expectations are often those of a power struggle, usually not on a conscious level.
You can also rebel and procrastinate because of external evaluation. For example, if your boss has offended or angered you in some way, you may retaliate by turning something in late or procrastinating indefinitely – even if you risk losing your job.
If something is a struggle for you, change either your attitude or environment (e.g. a job, partner) or practise acceptance, focusing on the good sides of your life.
11. Being Overwhelmed
This feeling can stifle you. When there’s just too much to do, you can freeze because there are so many urgent things to do, that it seems impossible to handle. So, you go off on a tangent and do something entirely different instead of getting on with the task.
Organise your work better and start from a little task at hand to make any move towards the deadline.
12. Tiredness and Exhaustion
This is normal to procrastinate at certain times of the day. There are cycles of productivity; you can’t work for eight hours straight flat-out. Otherwise, you would be exhausted.
Therefore, you will find your mind starts to wander, or you’ll get distracted when your body needs a break, let's say from concentrating intently. This happens after 90 minutes of focused activity, and then you need a short break.
What you’re doing here is giving yourself the break that you need. In this case, procrastination is normal and can be useful as a productivity tactic.
Now think of one task which you are currently procrastinating about. Think of the reasons why you are doing so and write them down. Choose two now, but if there are more, use your transformation journal.
Is It Worth Trouble to Procrastinate?
I will answer this question in a minute. However, realise that procrastination also impacts your spiritual growth, although each soul decides to do homework on a given lesson at his/her own pace, and that is okay. Apart from the 12 reasons for procrastination, there are at least 12 disadvantages of NOT taking action:
You will face the discomfort of the task/lesson later anyway.
Bigger pressure to meet the deadline = more stress.
Frustration, self-hatred and other negative emotions = more stress.
Less sleep and other detriments to health, not only the physical one.
Mistakes are made because of pressure.
Lots of distractions of neverending to-do lists.
Regret later in life or on the other side of the world because of missed opportunities.
You will have to do the lesson in the next life.
The longer you procrastinate the harder it is to start.
Induces mental health conditions (depression, anxiety, ADHD, OCD).
It can lead to physical health problems.
Also, other people confirm that procrastination makes damages your happy life.
“Procrastination has been called a thief—the thief of time. I wish it were no worse than a thief. It is a murderer, and that which it kills is not time merely, but the immortal soul.” William Nevin
One danger of procrastination is that it can affect academic performance. Rushing to complete an assignment at the last minute may lead to mistakes, and for in-depth projects such as term papers, less time to consider an issue can lead to shallower analysis. Medical research has also shown that procrastination can lead to higher levels of stress, anxiety, fatigue, and depression, according to a study published in PLoS One. - Maryville University
Procrastination is the habit of delaying an important task, usually by focusing on less urgent, more enjoyable, and easier activities instead. It is different from laziness, which is the unwillingness to act. Procrastination can restrict your potential and undermine your career. - Mind Tools
However, PsychCentral lists some benefits of active procrastination. For example, you can work more efficiently, have more time for preparation or increases motivation. You can also learn the reasons for procrastination and learn from them. Is it all true? Test yourself.
Pleasure and pain are the two leverages ruling on the Earth. Procrastination can give you short-term relief from doing a daunting task or the pleasure of doing something different instead.
However, on the pain side, you will generate stress and discomfort in the long run. And of course, we want to avoid pain. But until it really sores because all the quick-fix "pills" do not work, we often prefer shelving uncomfortable tasks.
Decide for yourself what is a better option: short-term pain and pleasure in the future of short-term pleasure but long-term pain.
In a Nutshell
Procrastination has many reasons, based mostly on the need to avoid the pain resulting from being rejected, ridiculed, abandoned and hurt in any other way. However, the long-term consequences can also inflict pain, e.g., regret and frustration.
The question is: do you want to struggle with short-term pain but enjoy life in the long run or rather procrastinate but deal with the pain later and for longer? The choice is yours. With lots of love and light,
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Vicky is an experienced holistic writer and coach that inspires, motivates, and encourages everyone to become the best version of themselves - physically, mentally, and spiritually.
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