5 Reasons Why We Procrastinate

5 Reasons Why We Procrastinate

Procrastination is one of the things we all have in common.

It lies deep within us. And comes whenever we’re about to start working on something important, something big, that may make us a little more successful, a bit more experienced, but that also takes a certain amount of time and energy.

And that scares us.

And, again, we find ourselves putting off a task and switching to easier, simpler and quicker things to do that won’t make us that anxious or stressed.

But the more we put things off, the worse it gets. We become stressed and overburdened with thoughts about the task. And even though we’re doing something more enjoyable now, our mind is still focused on it.

Solving that problem starts by understanding what causes it.

And fear is mostly what lies behind us not doing the task right away.

Here is what scares us the most when it comes down to being productive and working on important stuff:

  1. We’re not familiar with the task.

That makes us feel insecure, we don’t know what to do and where to start.

  1. It causes discomfort.

It feels so much easier to open the browser and read some articles, check notifications or go to the other room and start doing something else now, rather than facing the task.

It’s easier to put it off and do something that you actually enjoy and won’t bring you so much stress or make you upset.

But as it turns out, that’s not an easier solution. Because anxiety increases and you don’t stop thinking about what needs to be done. You do that much more, actually – you fear the task, try hard to think of a way to finish it quickly. You can’t relax, not to mention to enjoy any other activity.

  1. You worry about not finishing it in time.

Ironically, you don’t even start any time soon. You just waste time on imagining the result and play the worst turnout of events.

But you can never know how that will end until you actually work on it and complete it. So without giving it a try, there’s no need for worries. It may be easier and quicker than you expected.

  1. You may fail.

Of course. That’s true for everything in life. But does it mean we should just stay at home and not try anything?

No. It means that we try. And if we fail, we just think of another way that may work better.

  1. It will take a lot of time.

Many times that’s why we don’t start in the first place.

And yes. Things take time. Especially the things we need to do in order to improve ourselves and our lifestyle.

But they don’t need to be dreadful. And you can always break them into smaller, manageable tasks. You can even make them so tiny that each part of the big project will be ridiculously simple and quick to do.

There are many other fears we come up with when we face our to-do list.

And all of them are the excuses our mind makes when it wants to escape from obligation and turn to something easier.
But the easier stuff causes you worries in the future. So you never actually escape.

We fear the task because we might fail, then we’ll feel bad about ourselves, others will see that, we may fail at other things too because of it, will get to nowhere, etc.

But if you think about it, all these are illusions. You will never know what can happen. And the only way to understand is to give it a try and just start working on the most important thing for the day.

Choose just one.

Start now.

Start small.

Leave everything else behind for now and focus on the task. It’s the only thing that’s essential now. And nothing else matters but starting.

Lidiya K. is a writer and blogger in the fields of self-improvement, life hacking, human potential and minimalism. She’s the creator of Let’s Reach Success , where her mission is to motivate and inspire and think of creative and unusual ways to overcome fear, procrastination, insecurity, clutter, failure, overthinking, discontent and much more.

11 Responses to 5 Reasons Why We Procrastinate

  1. Pique says:

    I’ve been a procrastinator all my life . Found an aphorism here that’s going to help me for a long time . JSS: Just one , start now ,start small.

  2. I think focus is key Lydiya.
    But to get momentum sometimes it doesn’t matter how small or unimportant what we do is as long as it’s in the right direction.
    Small actions build to big ones.

  3. Lidiya K says:

    So true. Starting small and right away is what actually helps us move forward.

  4. Lidiya K says:

    Yes, they do. Many start big and soon regret it. I’ve come up to the conclusion that the best way to start and achieve something you truly want, is to break it into small chunks and just be consistent.

  5. Rose Costas says:

    Thanks for this. I have been procrastinating all my life and have made a conscious decision that this year I will try to do all the things I have for so long been putting off.
    Thanks for the encourage and motivation.

  6. Lidiya K says:

    Welcome. And good luck with that :)

  7. Reece says:

    I agree – procrastination affects us all and it is a nightmare…..and I’m definitely not procrastinating right now by reading your blog instead of doing my writing!
    As Peter said above, sometimes the key is just to get moving, no matter how small the steps. On that note, I’m off to do what I should be doing.
    Thanks for a great read!
    Reece

  8. Lidiya K says:

    Welcome. Thank you too for stopping by and for being mindful of you procrastinating. That’s a start.
    Best wishes!

  9. Reason #5 is my top reason for procrastinating! When I have a huge project ahead, I put it at last of my priorities and take care of the little tasks first. A bad practice that I am trying to change :)

  10. I was the same way and then I found the secret of forming habits and JSS is exactly how we start forming habits, before you know it, you are doing those important things on autopilot. This actually inspired me to share my experience with procrastination. Will be working on it and will post it on my website.
    -Lorenzo

  11. #5 is also my main reason for procrastination. When I’m faced with a big project that I know my family and I will benefit from, I tend to put it off and mull it over again and again until I finally have no other excuses left.

    A lot of it also has to do with mood. When I simply wiped out from taking care of kids or from work, it just seems easier to play a video game or read some articles.

    It is something that I have been working towards for a few years now, and I found that simply doing it while starting out slow is the best way. For example, if you have a huge cleaning task to complete, simply start in one corner and go out from there. Soon, you will be in a “groove” where the work becomes easier, perhaps even enjoyable!

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