What are The Causes Of Procrastination

What are The Causes Of Procrastination And How To Overcome Them

What are The Causes Of Procrastination

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Do you often find yourself procrastinating? If so, you’re not alone. In this post, we’ll discuss 7 top causes of procrastination and how to overcome them, so first of all what are the causes of procrastination?

1. Fear of failure

2. Perfectionism

3. Fear of change

4. Lack of motivation

5. Low self-esteem

6. Overthinking

7. Multi-tasking and switching between tasks

There are of course many more causes of procrastination but these 7 are some of the most common offenders so lets look into them in more detail now and then how they can be overcome.

1. Fear of failure

This is pretty normal, we’re not all great at everything, everyone has strengths and weaknesses and its pretty normal to put off doing something where you know your not very good at it or where you know there is a chance of failure.

But, here is a difference between being scared of failure and allowing failure to hold you back, if you are always procrastinating because of your fear of failure, then yes you will fail less, but you are also stopping yourself from developing as a person and achieving your goals.

How to overcome fear of failure:

You need to first and foremost believe in yourself and your capabilities. Think positively about yourself and your goals. If you want to become a writer, then think about the books you want to already have published. If you want to become a musician, then imagine yourself with lots of fans and fame. Visualize how you want to be, how you want to be seen and what you want to have accomplished in your life and use the power of positive thinking to overcome your fear of failure.

And remember, you need to not be afraid of failure because after all, if you’re never going to fail, then you’re never going to learn anything, if you’re never going to make mistakes (and to be honest we all make mistakes) then you’ll never be able to grow and improve.

2. Perfectionism

When your a perfectionist, you hold high standards on yourself as well as on others, which can be a great quality, but perfectionism can be major cause of procrastination.

Many times we think that if we don’t do something perfectly, then we are doing it wrong, and so we do it a little bit and then “perfect” it and then a little bit more and perfect it, and so on and so forth, or in some cases we don’t even start at all, because we are waiting for that perfect moment.

How to overcome perfectionism:

To stop perfectionism being one of the causes of procrastination you need to put pressure on yourself to get to know the imperfections and accept them.

Instead of waiting until everything is 100% before you start, get started and continue no matter what, even if something isn’t 100% perfect, it doesn’t mean you have to stop working on it, it will improve as you go and if something is going well for you, then don’t be afraid of taking it to the next level, even if it doesn’t turn out 100% perfect.

Remember, it’s always better to get started, learn from your mistakes and make the necessary changes along the way, than wait to be perfect which may never happen.

3. Fear of Change

Some people are afraid of making changes in their lives because they fear the unknown, fear that things may not go down how they want them to, fear of rejection and fear of how others may perceive them.

Any big change can be a scary thought for some people, and this can have a massive effect on your motivation and if you have no motivation, then it will be a lot harder to stop procrastination.

How to overcome fear of change

When you have a change that you need to make in your life, then you need to first and foremost try to understand your fears and why you are afraid of them, where do these fears come from? Are they realistic and are they actually something to be afraid of? Or are they just in your head and not actually a real threat or reason to procrastinate?

Try to think about it from a different point of view, for example, instead of thinking about all the bad things that may happen if you make a change, think about how you will feel after it’s been made.

If your stuck in a dead end job and you know you want to change and start your own business, rather than thinking, “what if I fail?”, try thinking “what if I succeed?”.

Consider what your life will look like when you have made these changes. What will you have accomplished? How will you feel?

Imagine this new reality and all the possibilities that it could hold for you and how much better it could be for you than the life you are living right now.

4. Lack of motivation

If you aren’t motivated to do the task that needs doing or simply don’t want to do it, then it can be really hard not to start procrastinating over it. We all find ourselves in situations where we don’t want to do something, and we tell ourselves, “I’ll do it later”.

Or we tell ourselves, “I’ll do it when I’m in the mood”, or “when I feel like it”, or “when I have the time”.

If you find that you are doing these things a lot, then you need to get yourself motivated to confront your work and stop procrastinating, rather than putting it off for another time.

How to overcome lack of motivation

You need to look at why you aren’t motivated to do something and deal with it.

Do you need to break the task down into smaller, more manageable chunks? Can someone give you a helping hand, or a helping push to get you started?

When you cant get yourself motivated to do something, you need to challenge yourself to get started and commit to it, then do a little at a time even if you still really don’t want to be doing it.

5. Low self-esteem

If you have low self-esteem, you may find yourself procrastinating in situations where you may fail, or in situations where you think you won’t be good enough. You may not take up opportunities because you think you wont be great at them, you may avoid asking for help, because you think you will look weak if you do and so you put off asking and you don’t get anywhere.

How to overcome self-esteem issues

To overcome low self-esteem and its causes of procrastination you can start by doing things that make you feel good about your own self, by setting challenges for yourself and achieving them, by putting yourself out there and seeing how well you are doing, by learning and educating yourself more and by trying new things, because you never know what you will be able to do, until you try.

Start by reading our post of 15 Easy Tips to Boost Your Self Esteem And Self Confidence

6. Overthinking

Overthinking can be a major cause of procrastination, because it can lead to analyzing everything to death, and never actually taking any action.

This can happen with pretty much anything you have to do, whether it be cleaning the house, paying bills, starting your blog, or even just going out and meeting new people.

For example, you may have an assignment to do for university, and you have three weeks to complete it, but rather than getting stuck into it, you spend the entire first week thinking about what you should write, and the entire second week thinking about how you should write it and so by the third week, there is almost no time left and you have not even started.

How to overcome overthinking

To overcome overthinking and its causes of procrastination, you need to first and foremost be aware of what you are doing.

You need to recognize when you are getting stuck in your own head and overthinking and then you need to tell yourself, “I’ll think about it later”, and then immediately start the task you are supposed to be doing.

You can also try to set yourself a time limit to think about it, for example you might say to yourself, “I have 30 minutes to think about this task” set yourself this time limit, on your watch or clock, and then get going on starting the task.

7. Multi-tasking and switching between tasks

Multi-tasking can often be another cause of procrastination or it can at least make it worse.

We all have a tendency to try to do too much at once for example, when you are trying to complete a task for work and you keep getting distracted because you have your phone on your desk and you keep checking your social media accounts and your e-mails.

But if you spend too much time switching between different tasks, then very often, it will turn out that you are barely getting anything constructive done at all.

How to overcome the causes of procrastination because of switching between tasks

You need to choose what is most important for you to be doing, and you need to stick with that choice, rather than switching between things, because you will end up doing none of them to the best of your ability and you will waste your time.

You can also sometimes overcome procrastination by task switching by blocking off certain times to be doing certain things and then trying to do your best not to break those times, or to remain focused on those tasks that are set aside for those times only.

Final Thoughts

How to overcome procrastination is a question that many people ask themselves and so I hope that with these 7 reasons, as well as the tips for overcoming them have helped you in some way and given you inspiration for how to overcome procrastination in your own life and inspired you to start to take action today.