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Understanding the Causes of Procrastination

By Edited Apr 13, 2016 1 2

Before starting to explain the causes of procrastination I would like to share that I am a procrastinator myself and working hard on breaking a habit that has been building up for years. I would have been way further in my professional life had I not been procrastinating for such a long time, but realized that it was about time to get things done and get them done as soon as possible if I really wanted to get ahead in life at all.

The reason for writing about procrastination right now in this moment in my life is three-fold. First I would like to share my own experiences in the hope somebody can relate and maybe even take advantage of what I have learned these past months. Second because through research and writing about procrastination I am getting a better understanding of how to overcome procrastination myself. And the last reason is that one of the things I have been putting off was writing a lot of content so these articles are in a sense a way to break my bad patterns and replace them for better working ethics, one article at a time.

These past months I have started setting myself specific daily writing goals in order to grow my online earnings and every day I write, every article I finish, is a little step towards my goal of creating a comfortable financial situation.

But let´s have a look at the causes of procrastination as I see them. Understanding them is yet another little baby step towards overcoming procrastination. I am sure many of you reading this might be able to relate at one level or another, so please leave your comments at the end of this article if you feel there is something missing.

- Indecision. Indecision is probably one of the larger causes of procrastination. Not knowing what to do or how to do something will result in wanting to think about things before taking action. Now I am not saying that one should not think about things before taking action, but overthinking things will eventually lead to procrastination. At one point or another you will have to make some decision, any decision really and get started. If you tend to overthink things, you are wasting the time that you could be doing things, because you are occupied thinking and thus not doing anything at all.

- Convincing yourself that their conditions are not right. This will be the case for many people at one point or another in their life, but normally you just grow over it and take action at one point or another. There are however people who will start dwelling in their situation, saying that "if only this or that would be different, then they would definitely...". They convince themself that until they have lost a certain amount of wait, they can not do a certain thing. Or they convince themself that first they should learn a specific technique in order to do a task. Of course that weight never gets lost and that technique they so badly needed to learn is never accomplished, leaving them unsatisfied but worse even, unable to take a step forward.

- Putting off starting your task because the situation they are in is not perfect. I am sure you know people who are wanting to start a business for example but never really get around it because they first have to get many things in place to start. Personally I have been guilty of this, saying that if only my office were set up in a better way, I would really start working on growing and expanding my online portfolio. Truth of the matter is though, that no matter how beautiful an office I would have, no matter how comfortable, how geared towards productivity, one thing would not just change. That one thing was ME. The only person who can really break through procrastination is the procrastinator themselves, so if you are one, you better get going and break your habits!

- Making excuses of any other type. Procrastinators are true champions in creating excuses and making up a whole set of reasons why they should not get started with what really needs done, but rather continue doing all other things that are more pleasant. They can become so convincing that even people around them might believe them, but more importantly, they believe all their reasoning themselves, becoming their own biggest enemy.

- Perfectionism. Now this is a really tough one to beat, especially if the perfectionist also has a combination of the above. You could say this causes the most tough procrastination combination to beat. Perfectionism at some level is seen as a quality to admire. It is seen as something positive. But perfectionism really is not all that admirable, especially not when it becomes the cause for people not to get started at all out of fear that the outcome will not be perfect straight away.

What happens is that the perfectionist, rather than completing a job with mistakes and little faults, will not start the job at all to avoid it not being perfect. This again can be caused by fear of failing.

As you can see, there are a lot of causes of procrastination and if you have never been there I am sure you will think one thing after reading this. One word... Excuses!

I can totally understand that point of view and maybe there is a big truth in it, but for those people suffering from procrastination, it isn´t all that clear. However, if you are a procrastinator and have come all this way to the end of this article, I would really like you to understand that now is the best time ever to start breaking your habits and learn how to overcome procrastination. Your life is worth it, you are worth it and you will see that as soon as you start getting things done, your life will change for the better!



Nov 18, 2010 3:38pm
This was an easy read and very informative.
I'm the epitome of procrastination. I could write an e-book with very convincing excuses. Hey...maybe I should snot procrastinate and do this right away.lol
Actually I think I broke through some of my procrastination and wrote two articles today and actually published them.Well. I sent them to the Directory and am waiting for approval. And now you're given me a boost to maybe write another two today.
Thanks for the kick in the pants!
Nov 23, 2010 1:41am
hey JCTvR :D hoping the kick in the pants will help you keep on writing! and then you can kick me in the butt =))
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