How to Unearth the Root Cause of Your Procrastination – And it’s Not Laziness

Why are you procrastinating? While superficial answers may come up (such as a lack of time management), there is often a real reason why you are procrastinating – and it is not laziness.

To surrender bad habits, understand your emotions thoroughly and be in control of them.

Get to the root of your procrastination. Once you are able to identify why you truly are procrastinating, it becomes much easier for you to stop procrastinating.

Procrastination is a symptom, not the issue.

Procrastination manifests in your mind – the more connected and conscious you are of yourself and your life, the easier it becomes for you to understand where your procrastination truly stems from and subsequently stop it.

A Simple Way to Get to The Root of Your Procrastination

The process of discovering the true cause of procrastination is a process of constant internal probing. Basically, you ask and answer a series of self-administered questions. If this is your first time doing so, it may be difficult, but keep trying and you will get to the root of your procrastination.

First, ask yourself why you are procrastinating.

Then keep probing deeper. And deeper. Ask yourself why, and go in-depth into how you are feeling and what is truly responsible for those feelings. Or ask yourself: Why does that matter?

Continue until you hit the jack pot. How would you know if you have hit the jack pot? You’ll just know it – something in your heart will go “Click!” and for that temporary moment, you’ll feel enlightened about this new discovery of yourself.

Common Root Causes of Procrastination

1) Insecurity about one’s abilities

Most of the time, we are just afraid because of a lack of self-confidence in various aspects of our lives/ character/ looks/ relationships. We go into a vicious cycle of self-doubt and negativity.

2) A subconscious fear of something negative happening

For instance, I realized that I have not cleaned my room in weeks. Here is my thought process to get to the root cause of my procrastination:

“Why am I not clearing up my room?” ->”I have no time” -> “That’s not really true, you have time to be on social media” -> “I don’t see cleaning my room as something important” -> “I am scared of being unproductive and not focusing on tasks that’s important”

The truth was that cleaning my room was an important task, but I didn’t want to to it because I’ve always associated cleaning as a very unproductive activity. Add that to the fact that I hate being unproductive, and you have the reason why.

The root reason for the same task will differ from person to person.

3) The activity has some form of implied meaning to you which you associate with negatively.

My friend has the same problem of not packing up his room, but due to reasons that are very different from mine.

“Why are you not clearing up my room?” -> “I am too lazy” -> “Why are you too lazy to clean your room?” -> “I am immature to do such adult tasks” -> “What?” -> “I guess I just don’t feel like I’m mature enough to do such adult tasks like cleaning”

When I probed deeper, I realized that it was because he saw packing his room as a very “adult” thing to do – and as someone who has just reached the age of being a legal adult – he was not ready to be seen as an adult. (That is, he is insecure about his maturity).

How About You?

What’s one task which you are procrastinating really badly on? Think of just one.

Then, I want you to think of why you really are holding it off.

Raelyn Tan is a blogging and digital marketing strategist at Raelyn Tan. She helps bloggers and online entrepreneurs build a solid and thriving online blog business. Sign up for her free 12 Day Blog Traffic Mini Course to get 12 days of strategies to skyrocket your blog traffic.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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