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Last Updated on August 29, 2019

Why Do We Procrastinate? 9 Psychological Reasons Behind

Why Do We Procrastinate? 9 Psychological Reasons Behind

Everyone procrastinates. Since the dawn of time, people have been putting things off.

Sometimes, procrastinating is harmless. Take for instance the laundry. No one likes doing the laundry, and as long as you’re not starting to re-wear clothes that have started to get a bit stinky, you’ll still be a functioning member of society if you put off the laundry for a few hours (or days).

In order to research this topic, I procrastinated writing this article until I was getting pretty close to the deadline (to my editors: ha, I’m kidding. Please keep me on staff). And you know what? Even though I put it off a little bit (again, totally for research purposes), it’s still getting done.

Here are nine reasons other than article research that you might find yourself procrastinating:

1. You Want to Control Everything

If you put things off, they can’t go wrong! Right?

Unfortunately, you can’t put things off forever.

By procrastinating, you hold the most control over whatever task you’re working on. However, this also means, obviously, that that particular task isn’t being done.

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2. You See a Task as One Big Project

Honestly, almost everything we do can be broken down into little manageable parts.

Take, for instance, the laundry that I mentioned above. If the laundry seems like a daunting task to you, break it down into steps. Collect all your dirty clothes. Separate colors and whites. Put your clothes on a wash cycle. Put them in the dryer. Fold them.

Laundry is obviously a basic example, but this can apply to a number of situations. By breaking things down into parts, you’ll find the task much more doable.

3. You’re a Perfectionist

Sometimes, being a perfectionist works in your favor. However, it can be tempting to put things off or delay completing tasks simply because you’re worried about the outcome being less than perfect.

Just remember that it’s okay if things don’t turn out exactly how you had them in your head.

Plus, a completed, albeit imperfect, task is better than an uncompleted task.

4. You’re Worried About Failing

It can be tempting to procrastinate tasks because of a fear of failing. Of course, you cannot fail at something when you don’t do it at all.

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Unfortunately, this is an unproductive way of thinking.

Facing your fear of failure will help you eventually overcome that fear, or learn to manage it.

So next time you think about putting something off simply to avoid potential failure, tackle it head on.

Learn how to conquer your fear: Why You Have the Fear of Failure (And How to Conquer It Step-By-Step) You’ll grow as a person from the experience.

5. You Don’t Have a Lot of Self-Control

There are definitely varying levels of self-control. Everyone is different. However, there is a point in which your self-control can get in the way of productivity.

Procrastinating comes easier to people who naturally do not have the discipline to complete tasks in a timely and organized manner.

Take a look at this article and find advice about self-control: How to Improve Your Self-Control and Live Your Dream Life

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6. You Don’t Make Lists

Procrastination can come as a result of something falling through the cracks. If you put something off and then forget to write down that you need to do it later, it’s possible that you could entirely forget about the first task.

If you’re a forgetful person, make a to-do list with all your tasks on it, and only cross them off when they’re 100% completed. Here’s The Right Way to Make a To Do List and Get Things Done.

7. You Underestimate Time Commitments

It can be discouraging when a project takes you two weeks to complete when you thought it would take one.

If you consistently estimate time commitments incorrectly, it might be causing you to procrastinate more than you would otherwise.

It’s tempting to put things off if you think you have the time, but realizing you don’t have as much time as you thought can cause serious scrambling to get things done.

8. You’ve (Just Barely) Gotten By

Procrastinating a task does not always equate to worse work. Some people work very well under pressure and can produce very good work, while others are simply lucky .

Eventually, there will come a time when procrastinating doesn’t go so well. Be mindful of the quality of your work and make sure your last-minute rush doesn’t show.

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9. You’re Lazy

This is a common reason that most of us procrastinate. We just don’t feel like doing whatever it is we’re putting off.

Being lazy doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. It’s totally okay for you to sometimes lounge around and watch TV rather than mow the lawn. Just don’t let that behavior become habitual.

Bottom Line

So here you go, 9 most common reasons why people procrastinate. If you can relate yourself to one of these reasons, it’s time to take actions and beat procrastination.

Take a look at Lifehack’s CEO Leon’s guide on procrastination:

What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

More by this author

Maggie Heath

Maggie is a passionate writer who blogs about communication and lifestyle on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

6 Things To Do Every Day To Ensure You Stick To Your Goals

6 Things To Do Every Day To Ensure You Stick To Your Goals

Sticking to your goals can sometimes be challenging. We all want better health, better careers, and better jobs, and we want to cast an impression on everyone that we are living fulfilled lives.

Yet to reach our goals and make every minute of our time count requires commitment, consistency, and hard work. Setting goals is one thing, but sticking to them is another. We have to observe certain daily practices if we want to get the best out of ourselves.

Here are 6 things that you have to ensure daily to reach your goals.

1. Involve Others

You have to be accountable for the actions you are committing yourself to. Involve everyone around you, get them engaged, and talk to them on how they can help you accomplish your goals.

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When you involve others you feel, you have a responsibility towards them as well as yourself. Every day, make sure you are accountable for sticking to your goals. By joining groups or engaging others, you have more motivation to reach your goals.

For example, if you want to read more, try joining a book club. If you want to be a better entrepreneur, join an entrepreneurial organization.

2. Visualize the Rewards

Reaching a goal can be challenging and sometimes, it can be overwhelming. When the journey becomes tough and difficult, try to stick to visualizing your successes every day.

Wake up to visualize what rewards you will get from sticking to meeting your goals. If you want to lose some pounds, visualize yourself already underweight and benefiting from being underweight. The mind has a way of channeling your body and intentions to sticking to your goals and reaching them.

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3. Break Down Your Goals

Try to break down your goals into tiny chunks. The smaller the size of the goals, the more willing and prepared you are to meet them.

For example, if you find it difficult to get out of the house and take a workout at the gym, why not try to break the goal into making sure you are always dressed for the gym daily? By doing this, you demonstrate that you are moving in the right direction, and you can keep this momentum so you can meet the larger goal.

4. Reward Yourself

For every progress you make daily towards reaching your goals, try to vindicate and reward yourself. By doing this you appreciate yourself and the hard work you have put in for the day.

When you reward yourself, you program yourself to benefit from a larger reward in the future. You also propel yourself to gain daily rewards, which can be enticing and motivating. Rewarding yourself serves as a form of positive reinforcement that reinforces your mind and behavior to stick to your goals and stay motivated.

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5. Measure Your Progress

It is easy to become frustrated when you are not getting instant results. Change can be slow and rewards are not always immediate. Still, progress can be measured even in tiny bits, so take time to look back at where you are coming from.

You don’t have to feel depressed about not making that major progress in an instant. But when you journal or snap pictures to document your progress, no matter how small, you will feel grateful and elated to see what difference you have made from where you are coming from up until now.

6. Believe in the Possibilities

If you don’t even believe in the possibility of reaching your goals, how can you expect yourself to stick to your goals in the first place?

By believing in the possibilities of accomplishing a goal or task, you increase your chance of reaching it and eradicating whatever roadblocks or challenges you may face. Believe in what you can achieve.

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What self-belief has over self-control is that while self-control can be depleted but self-belief cannot. We all have an enormous reservoir of how much we can believe in ourselves.

With believing in ourselves comes perseverance, determination, and desire to reaching our goals. Every day, understand that what you need to keep going is your belief toward achieving your goals. Your goals are reachable if you think you can reach them!

Final Words

Due to circumstances in life, people tend to abandon some of their goals in life. You may also feel this way sometimes. In that case, just come back to this article and remember the 6 ways you can help yourself stick to your goals.

People don’t always reach their goals, but you will never know if you can reach them if you don’t stick to them in the first place. As long as you stick to your goals, there will always be the possibility of you achieving them!

More Tips on How to Stick to Your Goals

Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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