Procrastination is so common and “normal” today that we joke about it.
(Did you hear that joke about procrastination? No? I’ll tell you tomorrow.)
Unfortunately it’s no joking matter. Procrastination hurts people’s careers, lives, and it keeps many from their dreams.
It’s the cause of many cluttered garages and unwritten books. It’s the cause of our work not being the highest quality it could be.
We need to learn to overcome procrastination and beat it. And to do that, we first need to know why.
Procrastination can come in different forms. It can be putting something off and never doing it, putting it off to the last minute and rushing to finish, or even putting it off so that you can use procrastination as an excuse (we’ll get to that later).
In this article, we will go through X reasons why you may procrastinate on your tasks, chores you need to get done, or dreams that you long to complete.
To do that, I’ve split up the whys of procrastination into 3 main categories – the task, us, and environment.
We procrastination because of something to do with the task itself:
One reason we procrastination is because of something to do with the task itself. Let’s look at how the task itself could push us to procrastinate:
1. The task has low/no value
If the task doesn’t have any value to you, you aren’t likely to do it or to put it off till last minute.
If you don’t find any purpose in the task or a “why” for the task, you will likely avoid it. If it doesn’t fit any of your goals, you are likely to delay for something else.
Whether it’s tasks at work or chores that need to be done at the house, if you don’t see a reason for it, you are likely to procrastinate on it.
2. The task has a negative association to you
We may associate certain tasks with negative experiences or emotions. Maybe you did a similar task before, and you had a bad experience.
Maybe someone else did that task previously, and it turned out poorly for them.
Maybe you dread the task because you view it as boring or bad. Maybe in reminds you of something unpleasant.
Whatever the reason, you associate it with something negative, and so you procrastinate on it.
3. You dislike or hate the task
Similarly, if you dislike or hate the task itself, you are more likely to put it off or not do it.
4. You expect the task itself or the outcome to be unpleasant or unenjoyable
Whether from experience or just your expectations, you think that doing that task will be unpleasant or enjoyable.
It’s not just that it won’t be fun, you feel that just doing it will be unpleasant.
Or maybe you think doing the task will be okay, but when it’s done, the outcome of what you did will be unpleasant.
Whatever the reason, you procrastinate.
5. The task (or the start of it) seems overwhelming
Some tasks are huge. They seem impossible. They’re daunting.
Maybe just the idea of starting seems overwhelming. Maybe you have no idea where to even start.
Whatever it is, you feel overwhelmed by the task or the number of jobs or steps in the task, so you procrastinate.
6. The task seems like a hassle
Maybe there is some purpose in it (maybe not much) and maybe there is a point to the task, but doing it seems like a lot of hassle.
It seems the work you will put in will be a lot for the little outcome you get out of it.
Because of the apparent hassle, you put it off.
7. It’s not something you are passionate about
Whether you find a point to the task or not, you just aren’t passionate about it. You don’t really care about it.
It may be on your list because it’s something you “have” to do or were asked to do, but it’s not something you really enjoy or have passion for.
So you put it off.
8. The reward for the task isn’t timely
It’s easy to focus on the short-term rather than the long-term. It’s easy to weigh the short-term benefits as greater than long-term benefits (it’s called temporal discounting).
If the reward for the task we do seems far off, but the reward for doing other things seems close, we are more likely to do those other things.
For example, exercising has a lot of long-term benefits (and can have some short ones). However, the pain that one endures (or imagines) when exercising plus the wait to get those long-term benefits makes the short-term benefits of sitting on the couch and watching TV seem so much better.
If the reward isn’t timely, it can be easier to put that task off.
9. We write our tasks or goals in abstract terms (and don’t really define them)
If your goals or tasks are written in an abstract way, you aren’t likely to get it done.
If your goal is to “get in shape”, what does that mean? What is it you want? And what do you have to do to get there?
That’s a goal easy to put off.
Goals such as “be able to run 5 miles in X minutes” or “to do 50 push ups without stopping” are more specific goals to work toward.
Then activity goals such as “run for 30 minutes every day (or 3 times per week or whatever)” are more likely to get done than “get in shape”.
If your goals are abstract, you are likely to not do them.
10. You see the present in concrete terms and the future in abstract terms
This is related to the past two reasons.
It’s easy to see the future in abstract and the present in concrete terms. For example, a bag of chips is concrete. “Having more energy” or “getting in shape” is much more abstract.
Watching YouTube right now is a lot more concrete than “finish my paper/book”.
The more abstract you write your rewards or goals, the easier it is to put it off for the more concrete present activities right in front of you.
11. You just don’t want to do it
For whatever the reason (whether for something we mentioned or you don’t like who gave you the task or you are tired, or whatever it may be), you don’t want to do the task, so you put it off.
12. You resent using time for it
It’s not necessarily that you like it or don’t or that you find purpose in it or not, you just resent having to use YOUR time to do it.
Maybe you feel like it’s beneath you or you have much better things to do than that task, so you put it off.
13. You feel the task is an intrusion on your life
Similarly, you hate it being a part of your life at all. It’s an intrusion. It shouldn’t be there. You shouldn’t have to do it. It’s not fair that it’s there.
You don’t want it there, so you put it off.
14. The task is not challenging enough
Challenges motivate us to push forward and try hard.
Unchallenging tasks or goals? Not so much.
If there is no challenge to it, just another easy task that takes up time, it’s easier to put it off for something else.
15. You fear the task
Maybe the task itself is something you fear doing (for whatever reason). Maybe you fear what the outcome will mean for you or those around you.
Whatever it is, you fear the task, so you put it off.
16. The task will take too long
Maybe the task seems so big or it’s so drawn out that it seems like it will take forever to get done. Because of that, you procrastinate.
17. The task seems hard
The task seems hard. It will take a lot of effort. It won’t be easy. Maybe you aren’t even sure how or if you can do it. So you put it off.
18. There’s a lack of feedback
When there is a lack of feedback, how well we are doing, what progress we are making, etc., it’s easy to get demotivated on the task.
This applies on personal goals and tasks as well as at work. If employees aren’t given feedback on if what they are doing is working or if it’s good or not, they get demotivated. It leads to being bored, frustrated, and having a resentful attitude.
If you don’t have feedback in the personal goals you pursue, whether exercise or reading or healthy eating or so on, if you can’t see improvement or gain or whether it’s working or not, you will likely say “what’s the point” and quit or put it off.
19. The unknowns seem huge
Maybe the task has a lot of unknowns – and they are BIG.
You fear the unknowns, that make you uncertain, so you delay doing the task.
20. You don’t understand the task (or how to do it)
It could be that you don’t understand the task itself or how to do it. Because you don’t understand it, you don’t do it or put it off.
21. You see the task as one big project instead of small pieces
Sometimes the size of goal or project can seem huge. If all we see is one big task instead of a bunch of smaller tasks making up the bigger one, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and put it off.
We procrastinate because of something to do with “us” (such as fear, our feelings, or our mindset)
Sometimes the reason we procrastinate is something to do with us. Maybe it’s a mindset we have. Maybe it’s a fear.
This section is the biggest and contains the most possible reasons for procrastinating. Here’s why we may procrastinate because of ourselves:
22. You’re impulsive
Dr. Piers Steel in his book The Procrastination Equation calls impulsivity the Achilles heel of procrastination.
Being impulsive is acting on whims, jumping from one thing to another without much though to it.
When you are impulsive, you jump from one task to another. Maybe you start or think about starting, but you see something shiny, so you jump to something else.
Maybe you are about to type your paper or book, but then the icon for Facebook appears, and you just can’t help it.
Impulsivity can kill your productivity and push you toward procrastination.
23. You have low expectancy in the goal – you don’t really believe it will happen
Whether with work or something personal, if the related goal or purpose of the task doesn’t seem feasible to you, if you don’t think it will happen or you are uncertain about its chances of success, you likely won’t try and do it.
If your company has a new goal to release something by a certain date, but you think it’s impossible, you likely won’t be the effort into it to make it happen.
It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
24. You have low confidence in yourself and your abilities
This is partly related to the reason above. If you don’t believe you can do it, then you won’t.
If you have low confidence in yourself and your abilities to do it, you likely will put it off and not try.
Not just that, but you will likely avoid difficult assignments or things that could move you forward because you have low confidence in yourself.
25. You have low self-esteem and self-doubt
More than just a doubt in your abilities to do it, you may doubt yourself. You may doubt you as a person being capable to do it. You may doubt your worthiness to even do it.
Whatever it is, low belief, low self-esteem, and self-doubt can keep you procrastinating.
26. You live in learned helplessness (you blame and play the victim)
Maybe you have played the victim so long that everything is everyone else’s fault, so there is nothing you can do.
There’s no point in trying or pushing hard on this task, because your helpless, dependent on someone else to make it happen.
27. You give up too easy
Maybe you struggle with procrastination because when the going gets tough, you get going. You give up too easily.
You never dig in and try. You just stop and put it off, so things never get done.
28. You feel that you are unlucky
You may feel that you are unlucky, that success is just not in the cards for you, and so success will not happen for you.
Why try the task if you are just going to fail?
29. You see yourself as a failure
Maybe it’s because you failed in the past or because you have low self-esteem, but you see yourself as a failure.
Because you see yourself as a failure, you can’t see yourself as succeeding. You don’t believe you can or you will, so you don’t even try.
30. You feel you deserve failure
Maybe it’s because of mistakes you made or just a false self-image you have of yourself. Maybe you have guilt from the past and feel you must punish yourself.
Maybe you feel you don’t deserve success in your life. You aren’t worthy of it.
If you feel like you deserve failure, you are going to procrastinate on tasks that would show or do otherwise, even if you don’t make those decisions consciously.
31. You feel you must have someone else’s involvement or input to do it
Maybe you feel like you can’t do it by yourself.
You must have someone else’s input or involvement. You don’t feel you can do it alone.
So, you procrastinate the task.
32. You’re happy being a number (you don’t want to stand out)
As long as you put things off and are average, you don’t stand out. You are happy just being a number, being average like everyone else.
If you actually accomplished those tasks are goals, it would make you stand out, and you don’t want that.
33. You don’t feel like you are able to be #1
This could be a lack of confidence or self-limiting belief. If you pursue and accomplish your goals or tasks, then that could make you stand out and be #1.
You may think you lack the abilities to do it or aren’t deserving of it, so you sabotage yourself (likely subconsciously) by procrastinating.
34. You have unorganized moods and emotions
Your moods and emotions swing from one end to the other and you live off the whims of your emotions. You have low emotional intelligence.
When that’s the case, the work you do is based on your emotions, and if they aren’t right, you don’t do those tasks, so you don’t get things done.
35. You have poor self-regulation (and lack of discipline)
Whether it’s emotions or distractions or impulsiveness, you have poor self-regulation. You just “can’t” control yourself. You have poor self-discipline.
There’s often an intention gap – what you want to do or plan to do – and what you get done.
You allow yourself to constantly be taken in by temptation and jump tasks or do what’s easier or do what’s fun.
Often there may be low conscientiousness and you may be ruled by worry, anxiety, or mood.
It’s been said by some that self-regulation failure is the single most significant factor when it comes to procrastination.
36. You feel you have to be in the right mood to do the task
You feel like you have to be in the right mood. If not, you don’t do it.
You may say, “When I feel happy, I’ll..” or “When I feel better, I will..”
37. You get an adrenaline rush from doing things the last minute
You may procrastinate because you get an adrenaline rush when you do. It feels good to you when you put things off and must rush at the end to finish them.
38. You procrastinate to avoid uncomfortable feelings
Maybe doing the task makes you feel a certain way or brings up certain memories, or you think it will.
Maybe by doing the task, you will have to deal with the shame for having put it off so long, or the task will stretch you beyond where you are comfortable.
Maybe doing it will have to make you deal with the dread of having to do it. Maybe you will have to deal with fear – the fear of failure or others.
Whatever it is, doing the task will bring uncomfortable feelings, so you put it off so you don’t have to deal with those.
39. You are overly optimistic
Maybe you are overly optimistic. You just expect that it will all work out, that it will “just happen”, so you put it off.
40. You’re overconfident
Maybe it’s overconfidence or ego. You think for you, the task is simple. You don’t need much time. So you procrastinate.
Or maybe you think you are above such tasks, so you put it off.
41. You demand too much of yourself
Maybe you have a hard time saying no. You say yes to everything and try to do it all. You feel like you can do everything.
But, you can’t. You don’t have time for everything, so you end up putting things off.
42. You don’t know how to estimate your time well
It could be that you just don’t know how to estimate your time well. You think this or that task will only take a few minutes, but it ends up taking much more.
You think, “Oh, I will have plenty of time for that after doing X..” but then you don’t.
You estimate your time poorly, so then you don’t have the time to do the things you want or need.
43. You play the martyr, giving up your productivity for others (or have poor boundaries)
Maybe you think you are doing a good deed. You think you are being helpful. You give up the time you have for your important tasks or projects to help others.
But you give up so much of yourself that you don’t have time for the things that are important for you to do. And that hurts you in the long-run.
And sometimes we use “helping others” as an excuse to cover up other reasons for procrastinating.
44. You are allowing others to manipulate you
It could be you are allowing others to manipulate you. Maybe they don’t know how to take care of their own emotional needs, so they make you feel guilty so that you will do it for them.
Maybe they are just crafty and tricky and manipulate you into doing their work for them, and you let them. You feel bad for saying no.
Maybe you constantly “rescue” others from and in their inadequacies.
But by doing so, you put off the things you should be doing and end up hurting both of you (and possibly others) in the long run.
45. Your health and energy levels are hurting your productivity
Maybe it has to do with your health or energy levels.
If you are constantly feeling low on energy or feeling poorly, it can make it easy to procrastinate.
It could be personal habits, such as unhealthy eating or not getting exercise or sleep.
Or it could be something that’s out of your direct control, but that you may need to see a doctor about.
Whatever it is, you feel bad or have low energy, so you keep putting things off.
46. You fear making a mistake
You fear that, if you start on the task, you will make a mistake. You will mess up. You might not do it right.
It might make you look bad. Others will see it. It will mean you aren’t as perfect as you want to see yourself (or as you want others to see you).
Because you fear making a mistake, you put it off so that you won’t make a mistake.
47. You fear failing
If you start the task, then you might fail at it. You may not succeed.
And, if you fail, in your mind, you may equate that as meaning you are a failure. You weren’t good enough.
You tried and were seen deficient. The image of yourself you want to project is hurt.
Because of that, because you don’t want to risk failing, or being a failure, you procrastinate and put it off.
48. You have commitment phobia
You don’t like commitments. They tie you down.
Maybe you fear committing to the wrong thing and then getting stuck in it.
If you start a task or goal or project, you are committing to it. And you don’t want to commit.
So you procrastinate.
49. You fear making the wrong decision
By starting this task or goal, you are making a decision.
The thing is, you don’t want to make the wrong decision. Just like above, you fear making the wrong one and getting stuck in it.
So, instead of deciding and committing, you just put it off.
50. You don’t plan and prioritize
When you don’t plan, it’s harder to know what’s important and what’s not. It’s also easier to focus on the easier tasks instead of what you need to do.
One reason you may procrastinate is that you don’t plan ahead and prioritize what you need to do, so you never get to it.
You may think planning hurts spontaneity, and you want to keep that there, but in reality, good planning helps you be more productive in your spontaneity.
A lack of structure can cause us to drift in how we use our time. Planning provide the structure we need.
51. You don’t set deadlines
Parkinson’s law says that work expands to fill the time available for it. If you have three weeks to complete a task, it will likely take you three weeks to complete.
If you never set a deadline, it’s much easier to put something off and to never get to it.
You may be procrastinating on a task because you haven’t set a deadline for it.
52. You lack focus
Instead of prioritizing and focusing on one project or task at a time, you are trying to do multiple. Your time is split up, and you don’t have time to do everything well or at all.
Your procrastination problem could be that you don’t focus and do one task at a time.
53. You focus on the short-term instead of the long-term
If you focus on the short-term, you do the things that are convient or bring the best rewards now. That, however, can hurt you in the long-run, because what may seem best “now” isn’t really what’s best down the road.
You may procrastinate because you focus on the short-term instead of looking at the big picture and focusing on the tasks that benefit in the long-term.
54. You don’t plan for murphy’s law
Things will go wrong. Delays will happen. When that happens, it can put you behind. If you don’t plan for it, you may end up putting off some tasks because you are still having to deal with others.
55. Your motto is “if you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all” – you are a perfectionist
It can be hard to start tasks when you feel like everything must be done perfectly.
Maybe you have a way to high of a standard then you need. Getting it done well enough is not good enough for you.
It could be that if you do the task, it may show you as imperfect, as falling short, and you don’t want that. You don’t want to be seen as anything less than perfect.
You’d rather maintain the illusion of perfection by procrastinating and failing on purpose. If you procrastinate, you can just say “it’s X quality because I didn’t have enough time” vs. that being your quality of work.
56. You have a fixed mindset
A growth mindset believes that your abilities, your smarts, and your skills weren’t set at birth. You can always learn and grow and get better.
A fixed mindset believes that those were set at birth, and there’s nothing you can do. You worth is based on what you were born with and your achievements that show that, so everything is about showing what you have.
If you do the task as you should, then it could show you as less skilled or less smart or something similar.
If your task isn’t up to snuff, when your activities are rejected, it means you are rejected.
So you put off the task and procrastinate so you can blame that and not risk showing yourself as being less than you want, because you have the wrong mindset.
You’d rather people think it’s a lack of effort than a lack of ability.
57. Fear of being rejected
Maybe you feel that if your work is seen as deficient, if you work hard and it’s not good enough, if it’s rejected, that means you are rejected.
And you don’t want to be rejected, so you put things off and use lateness or time as an excuse for it not being as good as it could.
58. You are waiting on the perfect moment to start
Maybe you feel you must wait for the perfect moment to start. The stars must align, everyone must be on board, all the resources and money must be available – whatever it is, you are waiting.
And since usually the perfect moment never comes, you are constantly putting things off.
59. You think that if you are so outstanding, it should be easy for you
You think it should be easy for you. If it’s not, then somethings wrong. Maybe you shouldn’t be doing it. Maybe someone else should.
Or maybe you fear doing it because, if it’s hard for you, then you aren’t outstanding as you thought you were, and you don’t want to face that fact (relates to the fixed mindset).
60. You fear the judgement of others
You fear the evaluation of others. You are afraid of how others may react.
If you do the task or do it well, then it may make you stand out, and others might not like that. They may criticize you and call you selfish if you succeed.
They may attack, criticize, find fault, or compare you to others when you do act. Maybe you fear people making fun of you for stepping out.
Or you fear trying and failing and other people telling you “I told you so” or making fun of you.
You fear people looking down on you and judging you, so you procrastinate to avoid it.
61. You worry about how others will feel
Maybe you worry about how others will feel if you act. Maybe you worry hurting other people’s feelings or making others look bad.
Maybe you worry that they won’t want to be your friend anymore if you act or if you do it well. So you put it off.
62. You fear if you succeed, you will be given more responsibility and more to do
Maybe you fear too much responsibility. If you do well, then you will be given more responsibility and more to do. So you procrastinate and put things off to avoid that.
63. You fear if you do well this time, you will always have to do it well
Maybe you fear the standard it will set. If you do well this time, you will always be expected to do well, and you don’t want that. So you procrastinate to avoid that.
64. You fear the impact of your success on others
Maybe if you do well and you are successful, it means someone else isn’t. Someone’s feeling could be hurt. They may be offended.
Maybe you feel there is something wrong with the “competition” in the first place.
65. You fear the spotlight
If you do well, then it could put you in the spotlight. People may expect more from you.
They may envy you or be jealous. They may criticize you, find fault, or compare.
66. You may feel guilty for succeeding
If you do well, then in your mind, it means others are not. If you are succeeding, then that means you are leaving others behind.
You feel guilty about that, so you procrastinate and don’t do things as well as you could because of it.
67. You fear people taking your credit
You fear that if you do it well and right, someone else will take the credit for it, so why even try.
68. Fear people taking advantage of you
Maybe you fear people taking advantage of you. If you succeed, they’ll find a way to give you more to do or manipulate you, so you just avoid it by procrastinating.
69. You fear change
If you succeed, things may change. The way things work will be different. Different expectations may be there.
Your lifestyle, your family, or your work may change.
And you may not like the idea of change.
70. If you finish this task, another crummy task will fill its place
Maybe you feel that if you work hard and finish this task, you will just be given another task to do that you don’t like.
So why work hard to get this one done?
71. You focus on failure instead of gains (we have a negative outlook)
If you constantly focus on where you fail instead of where you gain, that will demotivate you.
It’s easy to put things off if all you ever look at is how you messed up.
72. You live in the past
Maybe you failed in the past – a lot. Maybe you’ve made mistakes. Maybe there are past hurts.
The question is, do you live in them or do you learn from them and move on?
If you live in them, in the past, then you will be stuck there. It’s hard to move forward and take action when you are constantly looking back.
73. You constantly jump to what’s “new”
Maybe you never finish anything or put off tasks because you constantly jump to something new.
Whatever you are working on, you get tired of it, so you put it off and jump to something new.
You end up with a bunch of partially completed projects and nothing done.
74. You don’t pace yourself and burn yourself out
If you don’t pace yourself, even if you start the task, you can burn yourself out.
Then, when you are burned out, it’s hard to keep going and finish it. So you procrastinate on it.
75. You have an aversion to frustration (you discomfort dodge)
Maybe you have a low tolerance for frustration. You start the task, it gets boring or tough or a little stressful, so you quit it.
It causes discomfort, so you dodge it.
Then you put it off because you want to avoid that discomfort.
76. You’re lazy
Maybe it’s because you are lazy. Maybe that’s all it is. You don’t like to work, so you just don’t.
77. You’re apathetic and complacent
Maybe you just don’t care. It doesn’t matter to you, for whatever reason. So you don’t do anything or don’t do much.
78. Procrastination gives you a sense of control
Maybe you feel that you don’t have much control in your life or work, but you do when you procrastinate.
When you procrastinate, you control what get’s done when. You have the power over it. It’s a sense of control for you.
When you start the task, that means you give up that sense of control, and you may not like that.
79. Doing the work is giving in
You don’t like following the rules of others. When you do the tasks you are supposed to, you are giving in.
It feels like compromise to you.
80. When someone gives you a task, they have power over you, and you doing it makes you weak
You don’t like the idea of someone having that power over you. By you procrastinating, you are maintaining your power.
It may even be more important to you to thwart your “opponent” than getting something you might want from doing the task.
81. It’s an act of revenge or retaliation
For whatever reason, you want to get back at your boss or someone else. To do that, you procrastinate. You put off the task they want.
You may not can control much, but you can control what you do, so you procrastinate to get revenge or retaliate or get at someone.
Again, it may be more important for you to get at the other person than to get the benefits that would come with doing it.
82. It’s an act of rebellion
Whether you don’t like something that’s happened, it came from something that happened to you in your childhood, or something else, you rebel.
You may rebel against anyone or anything in general, or it may be against a certain person or group of people.
And one act of rebellion is putting things off that other people want done.
83. You’re ignorant of the impact on others
You may keep putting things off because you are ignorant on how it’s affecting other people. You may think it’s an issue that only affects you, but, in reality, it has much wider consequences.
84. You’re indifferent of the impact on others
Maybe you do know what impact it has on others, but you just don’t care. You don’t want to do it, so you don’t, irregardless of its impact.
85. You have regal syndrome
Regal syndrome is where you think people are there to serve you and do only what pleases you.
If you have that kind of attitude, no wonder you put off tasks that need to be done – because it’s not something that “pleases” you, and you just expect others will do it.
86. You have an all or nothing attitude
If you set a goal to write 30 minutes, for example, with an all or nothing attitude, if you can only do 25 minutes today, you don’t do it because you don’t have the full 30.
Maybe your goal is to work out at the gym 3 times a week. If you only do two, you see it as a failure, and you may quit or put it off other times because you can’t do the full 3.
87. You blame others for everything (you play the victim)
If you are someone who constantly blames others for the problems in your life, you are more likely to be a procrastinator.
Because everything is someone else’s fault. The fact that you are late and didn’t start is someone else’s fault. Circumstances worked against you. Luck wasn’t for you.
If you constantly blame and look to others or something else, you will never start because you are waiting for someone else to start for you.
88. You have a lack of motivation
It could be some of the reasons we’ve mentioned (you don’t know your why, your health, or so on), but the thing is, you lack motivation.
Because you lack motivation, you put the task off for something more enjoyable or that you are more motivated to do.
We procrastinate because of something to do with what’s around us (distractions)
Another major cause of procrastination is our environment and/or distractions. Our environment can have huge effects on our productivity and in what we get done (or put off).
89. You spend too much time with the wrong kind of people
If you spend a lot of time with negative, complaining people or people who constantly blame and play victim, that will rub off on you. If you spend time with unproductive people, that will rub off on you.
If you spend time with people who chronic procrastinators, that can rub off on you too.
If you spend time with the wrong kind of people, it can push you toward procrastination.
90. You are in a noisy, busy environment
If you are in a noisy, busy environment, if you don’t prepare for it and work through it, it can push you toward procrastination.
It’s hard to focus when so much is going on or there is a lot of noise. When you can’t focus, it’s easy to put things off.
91. You have too many distractions around you
If you are at home, and need to get things done, but there are too many distractions (kids, TV, phone, other little things you need to do, etc.), it can be hard to get things done.
If at work, your phone and email notifications are constantly going off, it’s going to be hard to work and focus. If you constantly have people stopping by, it could be the same issue.
92. You have too many temptations close by
Your proximity to temptation can determine how productive you are and how much you procrastinate.
If social media is one click away, if that game is right in front of you, if the phone is right beside you, or whatever tempts you from whatever task you need to be doing is nearby, then it’s going to be a lot harder to stay focused and do what you need to get done.
In fact, Dr. Piers Steel in his book The Procrastination Equation says that “proximity of temptation is one of the deadliest determinants of procrastination”.
93. You make tiny give-ins
Whether it’s a goal you are pursuing or a task at work you need to get done, tiny give-ins can destroy your productivity.
If you take a tiny give-in against your goal or toward a temptation, even if it’s “one time”, guess what? It’s going to be easier to do another tiny give-in next time.
And over time, your tiny give-ins become big, and you have ended up not doing what you wanted to accomplish.
94. You environment (home, office, desk, etc.) is cluttered
It’s true that different people have different levels of organization. However, generally speaking, when you are disorganized, that hurts your productivity.
If you always have to “look” for something, that can be a demotivator to start.
When you see clutter, it can be easy to say “I’ll just do that later” instead of dealing with it.
Also, a cluttered environment can lead to cluttered thinking which leads to procrastination.
95. The environment you live in/work in is one of procrastination
Maybe the culture and lifestyle you live in is one of putting things off to the last minute. It’s the norm.
If it’s normal for everyone in your office to rush last minute to get everything done, it will be easy for that to be the norm for you.
If it’s that way at home, you will likely reflect it.
It’s not that you are destined to it because of it, but the influence is there, and you will have to work harder to overcome it.
As you’ve seen, there are many possible causes for your procrastination. The question is, what reason(s) do you procrastinate?
Take time to examine yourself and see what reasons you do it for. Knowing why is one of the first steps you need to take before fixing it (because it’s hard to know how to fix it if you don’t know why).
In a future article, we will go over steps you can take to overcome procrastination, depending on your why.
Now to you: What are your main causes of procrastination? Did I miss anything on the list or was anything unclear? Let me know in the comments below!