10 Reasons you might be procrastinating

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10 reasons, blue street signs pointing opposite directions, one that says now, the other, later

Procrastination can be a real troublemaker in life. For some people, it becomes a bad habit that is tough to break. You want to be determined and diligent and purposeful in life. Your intentions are pure, but when push comes to shove, you keep putting things off. Sound familiar? Understanding what causes you to procrastinate is the first step toward overcoming this bad habit. There are 10 reasons you might keep procrastinating even when you want to stop.

Are the issues that cause you to procrastinate listed among these 10 reasons?

keyboard with black, red and blue keys, red keys spell out success, blue keys spell out failure

There’s a difference between having a momentary “meh” where you just don’t feel like doing something you should probably do and struggling with procrastination. The following list includes common causes of this bad habit that may apply to your current circumstances:

  • Struggling with chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Fear of success
  • Fear of failure or an unpleasant result
  • Conflict in a relationship
  • Lack of organization or planning
  • Lack of creativity
  • Sense of entitlement
  • Inability to cope with stress or anxiety
  • Laziness

There are no doubt far more than 10 reasons that cause people to procrastinate. Some of the issues mentioned here pertain to physical and mental health. The rest are more personal, having to do with interaction with others or individual mindset. Some issues mentioned here might intersect with both categories. For instance, laziness might merely be an attitude problem but could also have something to do with a health condition. Laziness and fatigue can be confused with each other or may be connected in some way.

How to overcome procrastination

jigsaw puzzle, blue piece says think, yellow piece says plan, green piece says act

We can list 10 reasons or more for procrastination, but knowing what causes it in your own life is only the first step toward a solution. Procrastination can adversely affect various aspects of your life. Perhaps you’re not handing in school work on time if you’re a college student. Maybe you’re putting something off because you’re angry at your spouse.

If you keep putting off an important decision or task in business, it could have disastrous consequences. Procrastination can also have adverse effects in other areas of your life. Regardless of where, when or why you are procrastinating, the following ideas might help you resolve the problem and develop better habits:

  • Health examination
  • Keeping a journal
  • Adjusting your attitude
  • Setting achievable goals
  • Avoiding toxic environments and people
  • Celebrating victories
  • Reaching out for support as needed

Once you’ve ruled out underlying physical or mental health conditions as possible causes of your procrastination, you can start working on developing better habits. Keeping a journal or list is helpful if you write out the tasks you hope to accomplish. At the end of the time you had set as a goal to complete the list, go back and circle any task you procrastinated on, then write WHY you procrastinated.

In time, you might begin to recognize a pattern that you can break or change by implementing new strategies. If you try to take on more than you can handle, it might cause you to procrastinate, which is why it’s best to learn to set achievable goals. You’re more likely to do what you set out to do if you believe you can succeed. Take time to give yourself a pat on the back when you DON’T procrastinate. Also, analyze your victories and determine what made you more willing to take action in that particular circumstance?

Toxic environments and people can have a negative effect on your well-being. If you hang around with negative-attitude people and people who are comfortable in their own procrastination, it’s bound to influence your thoughts and behavior. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. If you know that you lack the skills needed for planning or lack creativity to come up with a way to resolve a certain issue, seek additional support. Turn to someone who has those skills and ask for assistance or advice.

Why you should stop procrastinating

red letters spell out goal, letter o is bullseye target with arrow in it

If you keep putting off something you need or want to do, it’ holding success at arm’s length. Is fear of success a cause of your procrastination? The bottom line is that it’s easier to put things off than to do them. Not only is it easier, but, sometimes, you get something more pleasant in return.

Let’s say there’s a mountain of laundry on your bedroom floor. You choose to procrastinate and climb under the covers and watch a movie instead of washing the clothes. On one hand, you might gain immediate satisfaction by enjoying the movie instead of doing a chore you hate to do. On the other hand, however, the mountain of laundry is still there and will be there until you stop procrastinating. What has procrastination gained you in the long run? If we make the decision, complete the task or do and say whatever it is we need to do or say, we’re better off.

Overcoming the habit of procrastination means you don’t want to take the easy way out. It means you’ll gain a sense of satisfaction from achieving your goals or completing necessary tasks. Every small step forward is a step in the right direction. As you strive to stop procrastinating you’ll begin to see positive results almost immediately. Kick this bad habit, and start living your best life, today!


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