6 reasons we procrastinate
‘I’m definitely going to stop procrastinating. As soon as I get around to it.’ How many times have you begun your week full of good intentions, swearing you won’t let yourself be distracted and that you’ll get things done only to find that you’re spending time mindlessly scrolling Facebook, falling into a Youtube spiral, or worse, reading blogs about time management… How is that possible? You swear you just want to get your work done and yet you keep on getting distracted. Turns out, you’re pretty good at procrastinating. There are many reasons we procrastinate. Let’s look at 6:
We procrastinate because we want instant gratification
Whatever your task, there are a million and one ways to procrastinate finishing it. And we manage to find them all. Having a nice nap on the couch may seem a lot more fun than going out running in the cold. Sipping on your coffee and staring out of the window is easier than working on that boring report. Checking your notifications or scrolling through Instagram gives you a quicker result than finishing the project that takes hours of work.
We procrastinate because we’re afraid
If it seems hard, putting it to the side for something easier or more pleasurable is very tempting. Maybe you’re postponing your work because there’s a problem or question that hasn’t been solved yet. Maybe you’re afraid you’ll fail or look stupid. Sometimes it’s easier to do something easy and save the real work for later. That way, you don’t get confronted with possibly negative results.
We procrastinate because we get paralysed by perfectionism
If you like things to be done really well it’s probably going to take a lot of work. Just thinking about the work your project will take can stress you out to the point of pushing it aside. In fact, it can make you so stressed that you never get started. You’d rather dream about the result than have to face the possibility of not having a great result.
We procrastinate because we’re not children anymore
When we were in school there was a teacher breathing in our necks that chided us for not doing our work. In some work environments, the same applies. Under external pressure, however unpleasant, you do have the tendency to get work done. As an independent adult, you’re supposed to be doing this by yourself, which sadly many of us don’t. You probably wouldn’t be reading this if you did.
We procrastinate because we overestimate our future self
We often postpone things because we think we’ll get them done in some bright future where you’re more productive than ever and work is effortless. Sadly, reality tends to be a bit less optimistic. If you’re not working on it right now, in your bright future you’ll probably be the same procrastinator you are today. If you want to be more productive in future, you need to start working on it now. Every explanation or reason that leads to not working on your task now. Remember: your future you is still you.
We procrastinate because we want to do too much
We all know the phenomenon: you get so sick of procrastinating that you swear it’s going to change this time. The first thing you do works, so you get hungry and try to fix everything at once. Soon, you’re so swamped in things to do for the sake of time management that you’re more stressed than before. Exhausted, you give up and fall back into the same old routine.