Procrastination Facts: Stop Delaying Your Tasks Right Now!

Abhijeet Modi
Nov 03, 2023 By Abhijeet Modi
Originally Published on Apr 12, 2022
Procrastination is an extremely common trait

Procrastination is an extremely common trait!

About 95% of the population engages in short-term procrastination at some point or the other. While 75% call themselves procrastinators, 50% are more likely to be chronic procrastinators.

Not only do students procrastinate, but so do adults who are professionally engaged. They tend to delay every task, which can affect their performance. Procrastination is not a millennial trait, nor is it a result of the internet. People have struggled with this habitual behavior from ancient times.

You, too, might have encountered this roadblock while starting a new task, reading a book, or preparing food. Though people believe that procrastination occurs because you might not care much about the assignment, research reveals that it's quite the opposite.

People tend to procrastinate only on those things that are meaningful to them. Also, the two basic reasons for procrastination are either that the person is reserving their energies to complete a task in an efficient way, or they are stuck at the first step.

A psychiatric medical director operating at a center for therapy in New Jersey, Dr. Indra Cidambi, claimed that many people procrastinate, but it does not interfere with their everyday activities. A suitable way to find out how to deal with procrastination is to look for the root cause.

With that, you can understand how to address the problem and feel motivated.

Causes Of Procrastination

The causes of procrastination are as follows.

Poor emotional regulation: In many cases, regulating your emotions can be the real issue behind procrastinating. People dealing with difficult emotions and negative feelings tend to avoid doing the activities they need to complete at the earliest. Some can even get involved in self-destructive patterns or behaviors.

Perfectionism: This is considered a desirable characteristic by many, as perfectionists always strive to achieve the optimal result. They put themselves under strict self-regulation.

However, it is impossible to always achieve the expected result. There is a fear of failure in this instance, so perfectionists wait for the right time to complete an activity. This is another reason for procrastination.

Low self-esteem: Procrastinators suffering from high anxiety and stress and low moods can find themselves depressed or dealing with reduced self-esteem. Individuals delaying tasks engage in self-deprecating thought patterns involving themselves as compared to non-procrastinators.

People with low self-esteem can fall into a cycle of negative self-talk, which leads to procrastination. Here, self-regulation is necessary to come out of this cycle.

Fear of the unknown: Suppose that one day you find that there is a mole on your hand. You may become anxious thinking that it might be cancerous and avoid getting it checked by a specialist.

At times, individuals are afraid to decide as it can reveal a truth they do not want to face. Instead, they continuously worry over the issue.

Lack of motivation: At times, people do not get the motivation to begin a task and instead delay it. That's why lack of motivation is another cause of procrastination. When your friend encourages you to complete a task, you get some extra energy. That boost gives you the motivation to tackle the task.

Skill deficits: That sense of being totally absorbed in your work and following a flow is attained when your ability is matched with the task at hand. Contrary to this, beginning an activity your skills do not match leads to inertia.

It can be another cause of procrastination which you can avoid by being confident. You can enhance your skills by learning new things and overcoming your shortcomings.

The complexity of a task: The main reason for tackling your dream project lies in the complexities. Handling big complicated tasks might not be easy for everyone, even after taking advice from experts.

Additionally, when people fail to accomplish tasks, it leads to procrastination. To avoid that, you can prepare a plan, break up the task into chunks, and complete it.

Active Procrastination Vs. Passive Procrastination

Passive delaying is a condition where you avoid doing activities on time. This issue is associated with negative effects like increased stress and decreased performance. Active delaying involves postponing actions or decisions to use the near deadline as motivation to complete the task.

Procrastinators who are passive delayers keep delaying activities because of their inability to decide what to do, while active delaying is associated with good academic results, time management, and more. In the case of passive delaying, individuals become pessimistic and feel pressured when they cannot get the desired results.

Procrastinators who are active delayers are capable of making decisions on time.

Active procrastinators can complete their tasks on time, whereas passive procrastinators fail to complete their tasks and give up. Apart from these two varieties, you can categorize procrastinators as follows:

Some procrastinators force themselves to work under pressure by reducing the time to tackle the task. They are placed in a separate category.

The main reason behind this issue is perfectionism. If you are short of time, there is no way you can put in enough time to complete the task. That's why there is pressure to complete the task, and the issue is always getting started.

Other procrastinators claim that they are filling up their calendars. They may say they are always too busy. If someone is always full of excuses because they haven't completed a task, it indicates avoidance, another procrastination category.

When chronic procrastinators do not do something, they are too hard on themselves. They often need to be treated with compassion.

A procrastinator with this issue might have Shiny Object Syndrome. They keep coming up with new tasks but get bored after a few weeks. These individuals are great at making decisions when starting a task, but they do not follow instructions completely and fall prey to procrastination.

Procrastination sometimes leads to the piling up of work.

Impact Of Procrastination On Mental Health

Can you recall the last time you put off doing things on time? The impact of this behavior on mental health can result in depression, anxiety, and a lot more. Some other impacts are have been listed below.

Procrastination is a vicious cycle that you might encounter yourself, as people with low self-esteem think they cannot complete projects before the deadline. Such thoughts tend to increase low self-esteem, forcing people to doubt themselves. People with lower self-esteem feel that they are unworthy of success. They hold themselves back and begin to self-sabotage.

A chronic procrastinator might encounter increased stress levels due to delaying activities. They tend to keep everything for the last minute, and that's why the task does not get completed on time. This increases stress levels, which can worsen the outcome of any task.

Executing a complicated project needs a lot of effort and is time-consuming. Due to this, many people can lose interest, causing the task to be delayed. It is important to be able to manage your time well, especially if it is a task you do not want to do.

Did you count the number of missed opportunities for not paying attention? It is another impact of procrastination, and the fact is you do not realize that this opportunity could have been a life-changing moment. You might experience many things once only. So, it is important to learn about the ways of overcoming procrastination.

Did you realize the amount of time you have wasted procrastinating? The most difficult time about procrastination is when you realize that you are quite older, but nothing has changed.

It feels terrible, but you cannot change anything but only regret thinking about the past. Rather than thinking about how you have wasted time in the past, start planning for a good future by being self-disciplined.

If procrastination leads to depression, stress gives rise to anxiety. All these things can directly impact your health, for which you need to go for check-ups. People often tend to postpone check-ups and put off appointments which can worsen the condition. That's why people should avoid the negative effect of procrastination to lead a healthy life.

Tips To Avoid Procrastination

How to avoid procrastination is a common question asked by many people. Many of them might have Googled this question to find the answer. They can read through the tips to follow to avoid this disorder.

People procrastinate when they do not plan or have a proper idea of completing the task. They should start preparing a planner and keep track of all assignments.

Prioritizing your assignments and work is one more thing that will avoid chronic procrastination. Before the start of the week, you should prepare a to-do list. It will give you an idea of all the activities that need to be accomplished and avoid delaying activities. It also helps in time management.

Another way to avoid distractions is by eliminating the things that distract you. It would be best to take everything out of your space that distracts you from getting your work done.

Some examples that cause distractions are watching TV or spending too much time playing video games. It would help if you also keep away from your smartphone, stop listening to music all the time, and more.

Another reason for procrastination is that things seem to be overwhelming. Every project gets easier when you can establish the goals in simple words instead of preparing a vague and big plan. For example, instead of saying that you will study physics tomorrow, specify it by saying you will study a particular chapter.

In that way, you know what to study and where to start. Otherwise, you will be confused about what to do. It will help in time management and getting involved in other activities.

Rewarding yourself from time to time is a way to create an incentive to accomplish the task and eliminate this disorder. Whenever you complete a task or study for a test, presenting a reward to yourself will motivate you.

One more way to avoid procrastination is to take a break from regular activities. You should take a break for around 10 to 15 minutes to speak with your friends, listen to music, or rest for some time. A study has claimed that taking a break will help eliminate fear, reduce failure, and much more.

If anyone has a mood issue, it could contribute to procrastination. It will also help regulate one's behavior, thoughts, and emotions. Procrastination is the evil in the path of success, and the only way to curve it is by embracing self-discipline.

That's all about procrastination facts that stop you from accomplishing your tasks on time.


Why do we procrastinate?

Some procrastinate because of laziness, some because of overwork, some may find the task difficult and for some, it might be a creative pursuit. There are different reasons why people procrastinate.

How common is procrastination?

It is a very common trait that everyone has exhibited at some time.

How to motivate a procrastinator?

Offering a reward for the completion of a task on time can help to motivate a procrastinator.

How to stop procrastination and laziness?

Being organized allows you to set a proper time frame to accomplish the work. Prioritization and avoiding distractions can also prevent procrastination.

What is the root cause of procrastination?

There could be many causes, however, the common ones are laziness and distractions.

Is procrastination good or bad?

If it has become your natural tendency then it isn't good.

What is the root of procrastination?

Most often, it is a distraction or difficulty of the task, and only in some cases it's a creative pursuit.

When should you procrastinate?

Sometimes when an idea needs deeper brainstorming, you can procrastinate. Once you get the picture right in your mind, it won't be difficult to bring it to life!

How does procrastination affect college students?

Procrastination not only leads to missing deadlines or scoring low in examinations, but it also increases the stress level. It can also lead to skipping important topics of high value.

How to avoid procrastination in your studies?

The best way to avoid procrastination in your studies is by making a routine and sticking to it. Assigning deadlines for each topic will help you understand the topic before your exams and thus save you from the last-minute chaos.

Can procrastination be a disorder?

However, procrastination is not a healthy trait. From increasing anxiety to stress to fatigue, it has been linked to a number of health disorders. Sometimes, procrastination becomes so chronic that it interferes with daily life and can lead to physical, financial, and mental loss.

What are the four types of procrastinators?

The four types of procrastinators are the perfectionist, the dreamer, the worrier, and the crisis-maker.

Is procrastination a mental illness?

Experts claim that putting off things is common with mental disorders and ADHD patients. However, just the trait of procrastination cannot be claimed as a mental illness. Everyone tends to procrastinate at some point or the other!

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Written by Abhijeet Modi

Master of Computer Science

Abhijeet Modi picture

Abhijeet ModiMaster of Computer Science

An experienced and innovative entrepreneur and creative writer, Abhijeet holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Computer Application from Birla Institute of Technology, Jaipur. He co-founded an e-commerce website while developing his skills in content writing, making him an expert in creating blog posts, website content, product descriptions, landing pages, and editing articles. Passionate about pushing his limits, Abhijeet brings both technical expertise and creative flair to his work.

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