Lack of motivation, poor time management, and bad quality of work: these are some of the consequences of procrastinating too much.
But what are the top 10 reasons for procrastination? And how can we solve the problem?
These are two fundamental questions because everything is much simpler once you understand the reasons for this behavior.
I fight with procrastination every day, and I know it’s tough, but it’s time to find your root causes and start getting things done!
Top 10 Reasons for procrastination
Here are the top 10 reasons people procrastinate based on recent statistics and facts.
Obviously, they are not the only reasons, but they are certainly the most common.
Knowing them will let you understand why you’re procrastinating and help you slowly escape this vicious cycle.
Shiny- Objects Syndrome
The Shiny Object Syndrome is the tendency to be attracted by new trends and fashions that seem more attractive, often leading to reduced focus on important existing commitments.
In an era in which the attention span is increasingly lower, we are expected to choose something that seems easier and more interesting to us instead of working.
Internet browsing, checking social media apps frequently, phone distractions and watching TV shows instead of working on your goals are just some examples of procrastination that take up massive amounts of time.
But when it comes to procrastination, the consequences of shiny object syndrome can be significant: you feel less productive, and it’s challenging to get something done because you’re constantly distracted.
Also, you should start an activity or hobby that requires concentration and consistency, like a sport or reading a book.
Lack of accountability
Accountability is accepting responsibility for your actions instead of making excuses or blaming someone else.
And trust me, if you lack accountability, it becomes tough for you to stay focused and not procrastinate
You will always find excuses not to take responsibility, but this will keep you further and further away from your goals.
Personally, it helped me a lot to find an accountability partner but also to use specific accountability apps, which allow you to help yourself in this process of personal growth,
Most of the time, you don’t procrastinate because you’re lazy but because you’re afraid of failure.
People with low self-esteem may worry constantly about the need for external validation or approval and they are scared of making mistakes.
Lots of people struggle with this problem, so you’re not alone.
Start expanding your comfort zone daily by doing actions that scare you: asking a simple question during a meeting or proposing an idea that you think might work.
Small steps are the key to building confidence, but you must be consistent and make it a habit.
There are five types of procrastinators, and one of them is the perfectionist: I am indeed this type, and I can guarantee that is one of the ten reasons why we procrastinate.
Perfectionism can have a massive effect on your productivity.
It is the fear of not achieving perfection, that can lead to procrastination, as people may not even start an important task due to the pressure they put on themselves to be perfect in everything they do.
Many people work better under pressure, but if you’re this type of procrastinator, is the complete opposite.
I experienced this type of thinking, and it led me to paralyzing levels of anxiety where I became unable to seek out help or receive criticism and advice.
Moreover, you need to lower the bar and recognize that you don’t have to be perfect, as anyone is.
Start improving some areas of your life and surround yourself with positive people: this will lead to significant improvements in your life.
Too many distractions
The modern world is full of distractions in the form of notifications, emails, phone calls, talkative friends and colleagues, and various forms of social media.
It often happens to me that I pick up my phone to check an email and, after half an hour, I still haven’t done so, wasting my time on other useless things.
Constant interruptions can get things done much harder, waiting until the last minute and demotivating you: this is why procrastinating and time management are strictly related.
For example, you could use phone blockers or isolate yourself when you are working on an important project, especially if you need to use your phone anyway
Lack of discipline
” Since today I don’t feel motivated, I think I will skip the gym”.
You don’t need motivation, you need discipline.
My friend, only a few days per year you will feel motivated, and this is a massive problem for people who tend to procrastinate because the right day will always be tomorrow.
You’ll never reach your goals until you understand that you must complete your tasks, whether you feel great or tired.
Lack of discipline can lead to procrastination, resulting in lower-quality work and increased stress.
People with ADHD may particularly struggle to stay on track due to their disorder; this lack of focus is often linked to a lack of discipline.
Absence of clear goals
How can someone help you stay accountable and defeat procrastination if you don’t know your goals?
People who procrastinate may wander without tangible objectives to focus on or progress towards.
So, get out of bed, take a pen and piece of paper, and start writing down your goals CLEARLY.
For example, mine are:
- Get in the best shape of my life at the end of this year
- Increase my company’s turnover by 10%
- Having more free time for me and my family
And I know very well that every time I procrastinate, I get further away from my goals.
And you don’t want that, do you?
Having clear goals will help you stay motivated and feel more energy, especially if you lack of self-control.
Suggested reading: How to conduct a life audit
Fear of failure
Fear of failure is closely related to low self-esteem.
Even when you know how to do something, you’re afraid you could fail, and someone will judge you.
Seriously, who cares? I make mistakes every day, but at least I try every single time, unlike many people who just judge.
Start step by step, and you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish.
You don’t workout
One of the ten reasons people procrastinate is they don’t work out.
If you want a strong mind, your body must also be strong.
And by that, I don’t mean you have to become a bodybuilder or a professional athlete, but you have to start taking care of your body
Exercise releases endorphins that can help boost your mood while also providing an outlet for stress relief, which decreases impulsivity when making decisions and managing time efficiently.
That means regular exercise provides the necessary foundation to fight off feelings of anxiety, depression, or boredom that could enable procrastination behavior and further prevent progress toward goals.
Being consistent in working out is one of the best way to develop an healthy habit and feel more productive!
You don’t organize your day properly
Maybe you have clear goals and are determined to achieve them, but you realize that you cannot organize your day.
You need a routine!
First, take back your list of goals (you made it, right?) and divide them into micro-goals.
For instance, if you want to learn a new language, you know that you will have to study for at least an hour a day.
Download Todoist ( it’s a free app) and start creating your to-do list for your day and week.
Then, you can finally structure your day based on your micro-objectives, eliminating distractions as much as possible.
What is the main cause of procrastination?
There are different reasons why procrastination happens, but in my opinion, the leading cause is one: we don’t realize that it takes us further and further away from our goals.
I can say we underestimate procrastination and its negative effects, and this is why it is essential to become disciplined and always have clear objectives to achieve them.
How to overcome procrastination
- Stop avoiding the task. Make a clear, specific plan about when to do the task and get started.
- Set deadlines for yourself, including tiny goals while completing larger tasks.
- Break large tasks into smaller steps or manageable chunks that are easier to tackle one at a time. Allowing yourself small successes will build momentum towards finishing the final project.
- Overcome fear of failure by recognizing that mistakes are part of learning and should be embraced rather than avoided to grow skills, knowledge, and confidence over time.
- Develop self-accountability by investing in helpful resources such as mentors, tutors, or accountability apps that can provide personalized encouragement and advice.
- Understand what makes a particular task difficult: is it being overly ambitious? Is it because we don’t know how to overcome certain challenges? Be honest about why something seems hard and figure out actionable steps that can be taken make it less daunting while still striving continually towards realistic objectives
Procrastination is driven by a variety of behavioral factors like avoidance, perfectionism, or indecision, which can be related to psychological issues such as fear of failure or low self-esteem.
The good news is that there are ways for us all to break free from chronic procrastination once we understand the psychology behind it.
I know how you feel: it’s much easier to put off tasks and think about it later, but what does all this mean?
You’ll feel bad, depressed, and anxious, but above all, your goals will be even further away.
So, now that you know the main reasons why you procrastinate, it’s time to put yourself out there!