We have all been there; you know you need to get work done, but you just do not want to. Procrastination is self- sabotage, so why does everyone do it? There are five root causes to why you may procrastinate, and once you figure it out, you may be able to fight it better.
The first cause is a subconscious fear of failure. If you are a perfectionist, sometimes the stress of trying to get things ‘just right’ causes you to delay engaging with the assignment. Sound like you? If so, your root cause is failure. Failure can be combated by visualizing yourself completing the task successfully. For example, if you are doing a presentation in class. Think of yourself in the classroom presenting your project perfectly, and see the A+ your teacher will write on your rubric. Focus on how good that would make you feel to succeed, and use this to help you move forward with your project.
The second possibility is a dreamer’s lack of action. This type of person has millions of amazing ideas, highly creative, but they can not bring these ideas to action. The main reason for procrastination is the fact that there is no structure or goal setting involved. It is just another aimless idea floating around, which causes delays on getting started. The best way to fight this, is to create structure or perhaps a timeline - something to keep you on track and accountable for production. Creating a timeline before getting started will help keep your mind from wandering to other ideas.
Another cause of procrastination is being overwhelmed. If the task seems rather daunting, your brain will lose motivation and choose to avoid the task by staying in your comfort zone. You may look for a more enjoyable task to do instead and stress when the due date arrives for your previous project. The best way to get over this is to break your task down into smaller assignments. Order them hardest to easiest, once you have the harder parts done it gives you a type of momentum to get through the project. It is also a good idea to have a reward system, to give yourself a bit more motivation.
The fourth type of procrastinator is the busy bee. You either have way too many tasks to do, or you lack prioritizing your assignments. Time is spent constantly switching between activities, or just deciding which one to do first. The best way to overcome this procrastination is to make a list of which tasks are the most important. Be sure to figure the value and purpose of each activity, and set a goal for working through your prioritized list.
One of the more common reasons people procrastinate is because they get distracted. It is not normal to focus on one thing for hours on end, our brains get tired. They need a break. This kind of procrastination is not self- sabotage, it is caused by the lack of a proper workspace. It is an easy fix. Turn your phone off, and put in headphones to discourage conversation. Only work for about 30 minutes, then take a short break to be on your phones or chat with some friends.
To sum up, procrastination is not something you can fix in a day. It is a process, and you do have to make some changes to accommodate battling your procrastination. However, it is not impossible to overcome. Once you identify why you procrastinate, you will be on the right path to changing your habits, and becoming a more efficient worker.
Ho, Leon. “Why Do I Procrastinate? 5 Root Causes & How To Tackle Them.” Lifehack, Lifehack, 6 Dec. 2005, www.lifehack.org/articles/lifehack/6-reasons-on-why-are-you-procrastinating.html. Accessed 18 May 2020.