Home » Blogs » ADHD Man of Distraction » Procrastination Comes From …

Procrastination Comes From …

school projects
Mine is not there …

I remember having things to do, things I hated.

And I could not explain what I hated about them.

I remember people asking me why I didn’t just do the thing.

I could not explain it, I could not make words to describe how impossible it was for me to start to do the thing, could not explain how it was that I could not actually find a starting point.

I’ve been anesthetized …

I’ve experienced waking up from surgery and feeling like I’d just been lying on an operating table and things had gone fuzzy and crackly and very much like I was surrounded by pink, buzzing electrical static that just now was fading away.

When I contemplate the things that need doing that I have trouble with, I feel like that anesthetic is being administered again. I’m awake, I’m conscious, but surrounding the thing that needs doing is that same pink crackling static haze.

What leads up to that?

I remember in school I would often get assignments that would cause this. The problem was usually one of not having paid attention, not understanding the requirements, and not wanting to ask the teacher, who had clearly just explained the whole thing to the class while I was building a rocket in my head, to explain it again, just for me.

I felt like I was trapped. On the one hand, I was about to fail my teacher and my family one more time, on the other I would have to ask my teacher to re-instruct me and thereby let said teacher know that they were not able to hold my attention under normal conditions.

It wasn’t their fault, quite obviously, but they clearly wanted to get through to me and had let them down again.

So …

I would resolve to figure it out on my own. And then I would quickly find that I had no clue as to where to begin.

Having already resolved myself to not insulting my teacher I would decide to just put it off and watch others to see what was being done.

Big mistake!

Yeah, watching others for clues and information would involve focus, which I was still unaware of lacking, and it would involve … well, watching others, which I constantly did anyway, always curious as to what was going on around me.

So I would start to watch and then I would soon start to day dream and then I would pack up my stuff with everyone else and head home at the end of the day, none the wiser, and already a day behind on a project I didn’t understand.

Days would pass, the deadline would close in, it became easier to allow my mind to skitter away from the problem rather than dwell on itin that electrified state of static, and eventually the project would be due the next day.

I would resolve myself to defiantly saying I had not bothered to do it and accept the failing grade stoically as if it was the burden I must bear for having no time for such foolish things.

You wonder where ADHD procrastination comes from? Like many of our symptoms, it is rooted in inattention and empathy.

Procrastination Comes From …

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live on the traditional lands of the Chippewas of Nawash in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or 7 generations and my First Nations friend's families go back hundreds of generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I am a freelance writer and I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about living with ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

No comments yet... View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2020). Procrastination Comes From …. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 25 Feb 2020
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.