What’s Hiding Behind the Habit of Procrastination? – Step To Health

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Do you remember that phrase that we always hear, “don’t leave for tomorrow that which you can do today”? Well, procrastinating is doing the exact opposite.

But what’s really behind the habit of procrastination, anyways?

People who procrastinate, often, cannot avoid it. It is like a greater force that, on occasion, doesn’t have anything to do with being lazy, but with other factors.

Let’s discover some of those today.

1. Suffering from anxiety

Many people tend to procrastinate because they don’t know how to correctly control their emotions and stress, and that may end up turning into anxiety.

They tend to have anxious personalities, get distracted easily, they often see projects as excessively large and incomprehensible. So, because of that, they decide to put off whatever they have to do.

On occasion, it isn’t because they have other projects that they have to focus on. Generally, because of that, they tend to lose time or dedicate their time to less important projects, even though the one they are putting off is a special priority.

Some ways in which people with anxiety tend to procrastinate in these circumstances are through self-deception or excuses such as the following:

  • “I’m not very focused right now, I’ll do it tomorrow when I’m more inspired.”
  • “I don’t feel very well, I’ll work on those things that are more mechanical and I’ll work on this one, seriously, when I feel better.”
  • “I have other things that I can finish right now, I’ll work on those now and leave this one for the end.”

As we can see, people will anxiety look for an immediate reward to eliminate that very uncomfortable situation. However, in the long run, it can make it worse since they will be losing so much time.

2. Lack of organization

When we talk about procrastination, it is very likely that the person who does it also has a serious organization problem. Each one of us looks for a way to organize that best works for us, since every person is different.

However, it is always necessary to keep in mind, as we said before, the priority tasks that we have at hand.

There are different tasks that we can procrastinate from doing. Whether it is because we can plan them, put them off for another day or even hand them off to other people.

However, what usually happens is that we procrastinate doing those tasks that have special priority. Because of that, great organization can keep us from procrastinating and, when the time comes, we can even find ourselves with time to spare.

To orientate our way of organizing a little, we are going to focus on the priority of our tasks. For that, we are going to use the Eisenhower Matrix.

In this matrix (that you can see in the above image) we find ourselves looking at four blocks that are classified by importance and urgency. Using it wisely and sticking to it can really help us to stop procrastinating.

3. Overestimating how much time you have

Overestimating how much time you have

Overestimating our time is something that people who aren’t punctual understand very well. They think that they have a lot of time to do certain things before meeting up with friends, for example.

People that procrastinate tend to overestimate their time, even thought this goes hand in hand with some of those excuses and self-deception that fight against them.

For example, the people that procrastinate think that they can do certain tasks in a matter of two days. However, some sort of complication, doubt or problem usually arises that decreases the amount of time they have.

Because of that, overestimating the time that you have to finish a task can make you stress out, unable to finish the task and the work may not end up being as good as it could have been. All of this comes accompanied by very little gratification.

To keep this from happening, it is important to keep the Eisenhower Matrix in mind: it will help us take care of the urgent work, eliminating the anxiety and tendency to overestimate the time that we have.

The sooner that we finish a task that we aren’t motivated to do, before freeing ourselves up to do other, less important ones, the better because we will feel like we have made a lot of progress.

Of course we all remember those times when we were studying and we were told “start by doing the work or studying the material that you like the least.”

This is a wise piece of advice that we can use in other parts of our life, like at work.


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What’s Hiding Behind the Habit of Procrastination? – Step To Health

by tysl time to read: 3 min