23 thoughts on “The 5 Real Reasons You Procrastinate

  • November 6, 2015 at 11:15 am

    #4 and #5 speak to me deeply. I look at what other people have produced and I think there is no way I could even compete, so what’s the point? #5 is tough in the Internet age. There is always a distraction that is but a few clicks away.

    Great article!

    Reply
    • November 6, 2015 at 11:18 am

      Thanks for sharing your experience. You are so right that the internet makes both comparison and distraction sooo easy. I try to remember that I have something valuable to contribute, even though it’s not perfect and won’t speak to everyone.

      Reply
  • November 6, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    Number 4 got me thinking. I have a fear of success more then failure, I know odd. So between that and the getting distracted I am always putting everything off. I totally need to start rethinking this failure and success thing and get rid of distractions. Thank you for this kick in the rear 😀

    Reply
    • November 6, 2015 at 10:39 pm

      Good point about fear of success, Tamara. There can be a number of things at work with fear of success. Sometimes it is a way of playing is safe and avoiding possible disappointment or change. It’s often not as different from fear of failure as it may seem. It’s a great topic for a future post.

      Reply
  • November 7, 2015 at 1:33 am

    Really interesting post. I definitely agree with your opinion. I relate to the perfectionist element. Being afraid to fail. But recognising these reasons and shining a light on them makes it much easier to get things done.

    Reply
    • November 7, 2015 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks Sarah!

      Reply
  • November 8, 2015 at 8:41 am

    All of those reasons seem applicable: I am a perfectionist, I am afraid of failure and I procrastinate tremendously. But could it be due to the fact that I am also a workaholic? It seems a terrible cycle of ” I should be working and I feel guilty I’m not, so I’m not going to enjoy what I’m doing while I’m procrastinating, but I don’t want to work”. Despite this vicious cycle, and although I am “high functioning” for bipolar, I am very accomplished. But I would just like to ENJOY my time off, instead of calling it procrastination and feeling guilty for it. Make sense? How can I break this cycle?

    Reply
    • November 8, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      Yes, it makes complete sense, Lisa! I think you’re tapping into another common struggle for perfectionists – being workaholics and not being able to relax and enjoy time off. I will definitely write a post on that. Thanks for reading the blog. 🙂

      Reply
  • November 11, 2015 at 8:00 am

    These are accurate, but there is an even more fundamental reason why you procrastinate.
    You don’t know yourself well enough. If you know who you are and what you really want you will not be easily diverted into wasting time on secondary (or worse!) things.)

    Reply
  • November 11, 2015 at 8:22 am

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on procrastinating with household tasks–cleaning, laundry, etc. I find that I’m rarely a procrastinator at work–I like getting things done! However, cleaning just drains my energy and, if I do spend a day cleaning, it just gets messy again after making one meal or letting the kids play! It doesn’t help that I have two kids 5yrs and under–it seems like a futile effort and I can’t keep up with the messes they make. I’ve tried doing little bits of cleaning during the week so the task isn’t so time consuming later, but I get the most gratification out of doing a few hours of work and seeing a good amount of progress. However, this also makes Saturdays so stressful! Thoughts?

    Reply
    • November 11, 2015 at 11:32 am

      Hi Nissa,
      I think you answered your own question! Since housework is never really done there isn’t a lot of satisfaction that you feel after doing it. It’s also a rather thankless job. You may get more praise or sense of accomplishment from finishing tasks at work. The solution is probably in adjusting your expectations. I love the Phyllis Diller quote: “Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.”
      Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  • November 11, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Sharon, thank you for this post. I’m looking forward to next week’s. If only it came up weeks earlier before my exams though! Haha

    I’m kind of like Lisa, and it gets especially bad after a period of stress. I would finish one one huge project and then not be able to do any work for weeks cause my brain keeps thinking that I am on holiday.

    What is worse is that I am very slow at completing any assignment and am quite a perfectionist. Whenever I perform badly, it just makes me more reluctant to work on it, thus the cycle of procrastination.

    Reply
  • November 11, 2015 at 9:38 am

    HOW ABOUT BEING PLAIN LAZY AS A MAJOR REASON FOR PROCRASTINATION.
    MY CASE.
    BUT,MAYBE NOT SO.
    COS I FEEL LAZY AND PROCRASTINATE IN MY OWN HOUSE,AS REGARDS HOUSE WORK,CLEANING.
    BUT IN MY SON’S HOUSE I AM VERY DILIGENT.
    SO WHERE’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO HOUSES.
    FOR START MINE IS SMALL, DARK, COLD AND UGLY. NO BALCONIES. AND EMPTY OF PEOPLE. SO I HAVE NO MOTIF FOR WORK.
    WHILE MY SON’S HOUSE IS LARGE, FULL OF LIGHT AND THERE ARE TWO LITTLE GRANDSONS WHO I LOVE WORKING FOR.
    BUT THE TOP REASON IS I DON’T LIKE HELPING MY OWN SELF, WHILE I LOVE HELPING MY SON… NOT EVEN MY BAD DAUGHTER IN LAW PREVENTS ME FROM WORKING HARD THERE.
    I BABY SIT, COOK, CLEAN, SHOP AND GENERALLY DO ALL THE HOUSE WORK IN MY SON’S HOUSE COS I WANT TO MAKE HIS HARD LIFE EASIER.
    THE DAUGHTER IN LAW DOES ALMOST NOTHING OF THOSE TASKS. JUST BABY SITS WHEN I AM NOT THERE. WHEN I AM SHE SLEEPS OR GOES OUT TO SEE HER FRIENDS…

    Reply
  • November 11, 2015 at 11:49 am

    I would like to add another reason: force. I think so much of what we do today is not really by choice, and we therefore resist doing it.

    Reply
    • November 11, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      I think there’s definitely a strong force that keeps us stuck in the same patterns – doing (or not doing) the same things repeatedly is always easier that doing something different.
      Thanks for you comment, Katie.

      Reply
  • November 11, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    I think this article misses one if the key components of procrastination, which is rebellion.
    Many people who procrastinate feel controlled from outside and procrastinate as a way of rebelling against this perceived control. This of course represents a lack iof differentiation from controlling figures in that persons past and the failure to establish full adult autonomy.

    Reply
    • November 11, 2015 at 3:26 pm

      Good point, Robert – procrastination as passive-aggressive behavior.

      Reply
  • November 17, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    “I’m a perfectionist with a procrastinator complex. Some day I’m going to be awesome.” LOL

    Reply
    • November 18, 2015 at 7:38 pm

      🙂

      Reply
  • November 18, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    I have many times let my fear of failure prevent me from moving forward on my dreams and goals. I’m currently finally working toward my goal of having my private practice, which has opened it doors although not yet with my first client. I am determined to keep going, and I am determined to make it work, but if it’s not my time, I am okay with that, too! Choosing not to procrastinate anymore feels like a success in and of itself!

    Reply
  • June 30, 2016 at 12:34 am

    Thanks so much for sharing your expertise in this area Sharon. I have shared all your articles with my Google+ “Overcoming Perfectionism” group where like minds meet and I know they will be of huge benefit.

    Reply
 

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