16 Procrastination Examples Destroying Your Life

16 Procrastination Examples Destroying Your Life

 If you think you have a procrastination problem, don’t panic; you’re not alone.

Recent studies from 2023 have shown almost 20% of adults consider themselves chronic procrastinators.

The bad news? This percentage was 5% in 1970!

I’m gonna be honest; I’ve been fighting procrastination for all my life since I’m a perfectionist.

And yes, you can work on it and become a high achiever, as I did, if you really want to.

But how can you understand if you have a problem of this type?

In this article, I will show you some classic examples of procrastination in everyday contexts.

This will help you understand why you’re not achieving your long-term goals and what you can do to start acting NOW.

As an account manager tasked with managing a team of people and achieving goals within a time target, I know how dangerous procrastination can be.

With that being said, I will help you identify and recognize it with some common examples.

Key Takeaways

  • Procrastination affects 20% of adults, leading to stress and poor performance in the workplace and personal life.

    You can manage your time better by breaking big projects into smaller steps and prioritizing them.
  • Constant distractions from emails and phone notifications make it hard to focus on important tasks.

    Setting specific times for checking messages and focusing solely on tasks outside those periods can improve productivity dramatically.

  • Perfectionism, decision-making paralysis, lack of motivation, poor time management skills, and disorganization are major causes of procrastination at work and school.

    Recognizing these triggers is the first step toward overcoming them.
  • You can fix procrastination by defining clear goals, creating your daily routine, and developing an action plan.

    Focus on removing distractions, seeking support when needed, and celebrating your small victories and learning from setbacks without self-blame.
  • Simple changes in your routines can significantly impact how you manage procrastination in the workplace and your daily life

Examples of Procrastination In the Workplace

Procrastination is a common problem, especially at work.

I manage over 15 people, and they get distracted very easily.

This habit can turn big projects into stressful sprints against time.

Here are some common examples of procrastination in the workplace.

Postponing the start of a task until the last minute

You often wait until the pressure builds up, telling yourself you work better under stress.

Yes, this common trick of delaying projects or decisions is called procrastination.

It’s easy to think you’ll get more done later, but this habit can increase stress and poor performance.

The best way to get something done is to begin.

Even though you know you should start now, you keep postponing.

By putting off tasks, you miss the chance to manage your time better and feel less overwhelmed.

Constantly checking emails and phone notifications

Phone Distractions

Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing tasks or activities.

When you scroll on social media or check emails thousands of times daily, you’re wasting time.

This action splits your attention, making you less productive.

Each time you switch from working on a task to your inbox or messages, you lose momentum.

It’s like trying to run while constantly stopping to tie your shoe.

Imagine the difference if you set specific times for checking messages and focused on your tasks outside those periods.

I had the same issue, but I worked on it to fix it with my GoalsWon’s coach.

These simple changes improved how much I achieved each day, turning wasted moments into focused moments.

Excessive planning

Struggling with procrastination means thinking and planning too much.

I always feel tempted to map out every detail before starting a task.

This feels like preparation, but often, it turns into procrastination.

You spend hours creating lists and schedules instead of diving into the work.

And guess what? You’ll never start because you don’t feel prepared enough.

It’s never the right moment.

This habit can make you feel busy while your important tasks remain untouched.

Start by setting clear, simple goals and then act on them without overanalyzing. 

Focus on completing tasks rather than perfecting your plan for them.

You must start acting to reach your goals and stop procrastinating.

Prioritizing easier tasks

This is a common trick.

You must complete a particular task, but you feel unprepared, or you just don’t want to do it.

So, you focus on another task on your to-do list, but it’s not as important.

You might think you’re being productive, but you’re just avoiding facing something that scares you.

Procrastination is the act of unnecessarily postponing decisions or actions, and this is a perfect example.

As a result, stress increases as deadlines approach, creating a vicious cycle of rushing and not performing your best.

Taking too long breaks

Examples of procrastination: Taking too long breaks

You may think taking extra-long breaks helps you recharge, but they often lead to procrastination.

I mean, it’s ok to take breaks; everyone should do it.

But if you constantly step away from work, this could indicate that you’re not managing your time well or lack motivation.

Try setting strict limits on how long your pauses are and use a timer to keep track.

What causes procrastination in the workplace?

People procrastinate for different reasons.

But in my experience, these are the most common causes of procrastination in the workplace:

  • Lack of motivation: Without a strong drive, delaying work becomes easy as there’s no compelling reason to start now rather than later.
  • Distractions: phone notifications, emails, social media, and interruptions caused by coworkers. With all these external factors, you’re likely to procrastinate.
  • Lack of accountability
  • Fear of Failure: Thinking about a task and getting anxious will push you to put it off. This has happened to me hundreds of times in my career.
  • Perfectionism: it’s never the right moment. You want to start when you’re ready and focused. But there’s not a perfect moment. You will just miss tasks and deadlines.

Examples of procrastination in school

The impact of procrastination on students is incredible.

66.1% of female students and 76.6% of male students think they have a chronic procrastination problem.

Yes, I used to feel the same way.

Here are the most common examples of procrastination in school

Engaging in digital distractions instead of studying

Procrastination Examples: Engaging in digital distractions instead of studying

You might think social media is the main cause of procrastination among students, but let me change your mind.

When I was younger, I didn’t have Instagram, TikTok, or other platforms like these.

Instead of studying, I used to play on my PS1 or read comics.

Of course, we have many more digital distractions nowadays, but the problem is the mindset.

Scrolling through social media or watching endless videos instead of hitting the books is a classic sign of procrastination in school.

Electronic devices become your main focus rather than studying.

These distractions might seem harmless at first glance but can lead to missed opportunities and lower grades.

Waiting for the perfect moment to start studying

Many students fall into the trap of delaying their study sessions, waiting for that “perfect moment.”

But the perfect moment will never come; you must create it.

This habit can lead to missed deadlines and lower school performance. 

Life always gets in the way of unforeseen distractions or tasks.

The key is to start now, using whatever resources and time you have available.

Set specific goals with clear deadlines to guide your study schedule.

This strategy will help you manage your time better and keep procrastination at bay.

Prioritizing easier or less important tasks

Procrastination includes choosing simpler or less crucial tasks over your schoolwork.

” I need to tidy up my room first.”

” I will complete the task after relaxing a little bit”

This habit means you delay tackling assignments that need more thought or effort.

You tell yourself you’re being productive because you’re still doing something.

Yet, these easier tasks aren’t pushing you closer to meeting key goals and deadlines.

Start by setting clear, achievable goals for each study session to change this pattern.

Abstract goals never work, neither in school nor in personal life.

By focusing on what truly matters, you’ll find it easier to prioritize important tasks over simpler ones,

You’ll get better performance in school and feel more accomplished at the end of the day.

Exceeding the line of perfectionism for a task

Striving for perfection in everything you do can make tasks seem insurmountable.

This often leads to delaying the start because you fear your work won’t be excellent.

But remember, aiming for excellence is one thing.

Obsessing over perfection can trap you in a cycle of procrastination.

By setting too high standards, you won’t never be satisfied,

The results? You’ll push deadlines further and pile up tasks.

Start by taking action, and don’t worry too much about delivering the perfect work.

You’ll learn from your mistakes and keep improving day after day!

What causes procrastination in students?

  • Lack of sleep: when you’re young, you want to stay up until late. But the next day, you’ll feel like a shit. You’ll feel negative emotions, and you may procrastinate even more. Try to set a specific time to go to bed and sleep 7 to 8 hours.
  • Low Self-Confidence: when you don’t believe in yourself, it’s easy to become a worrier procrastinator. Society doesn’t help us much with this, but it tries to make us feel insecure and fragile. That’s why you must start your personal growth during your 20s
  • ADHD: More than 9.4% of children (6.1 million) in the U.S. have an ADHD diagnosis. Unfortunately, this is an underestimated problem.
  • Feeling Overwhelmed: With so much homework and exams, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. But sometimes, it means that you’re not managing your time properly.

Real-life examples of procrastination

Yes, we procrastinate multiple times a day.

The problem is we don’t pay too much attention to it.

But it’s easy to keep off making important decisions or crucial tasks because we don’t feel like it.

In this case, procrastination can ruin your life, if you can’t control it.

Postponing the alarm

Procrastination Examples: Postponing the alarm

Everything starts in the morning.

Hitting snooze on your alarm clock seems like a small act, but it’s a clear example of procrastination that affects many people.

This will impact the attitude you’ll have towards life that day.

Your brain will think “Okay, even if I put off things to do, it’s not a big deal.”


57% of Americans are snoozers, spending over 3.5 months of their lives hitting the snooze button.

This is an insane amount of time.

To break this cycle, I started placing my alarm device in another room. 

So I need to physically get up out of bed to turn it off, reducing the temptation to fall back asleep and waste more time.

With this little trick, you’ll avoid negative emotions and start your day as a high achiever.

Skipping workouts

You might think putting off your exercise routine is no big deal, right?

Skipping workouts is a type of procrastination that can seriously set back your health and fitness goals.

Every time you decide not to work out, you miss a chance to improve your well-being and your mindset

It’s easy to say “I’ll do it tomorrow,” but those lost opportunities add up, making it harder for you to stay fit and healthy.

The best time to start was yesterday; the next best time is now.

When I’m about to skip a workout, I always think about the consequences.

For example, today, I feel tired; it’s 8 p.m., and I’d like to skip my leg day.

But I know if I miss a workout, tomorrow I’ll feel guilty.

It’s ok when you can’t, but it’s different when you’re just procrastinating.

Think about the consequences, how you’ll feel in the next few days, and the impact of these bad decisions.

You must sacrifice instant gratification to work hard and reach your long-term goals.

Avoiding Responsibilities

Procrastination Examples: Avoiding Responsibilities

Procrastination leads you down a path where duties start to pile up, making life seem overwhelming.

That’s because we don’t want to take accountability for our actions.

How comfortable is it to blame someone or something else?

This often involves shirking your responsibilities, which might end up being ignored until it’s too late.

Think about the work or school projects that sit untouched because you feel unsure of how to tackle them.

As these tasks accumulate, so does the stress and anxiety, pushing you further away from getting things done.

Taking action now can transform this cycle.

Start by identifying what responsibilities you’re avoiding and ask yourself why.

Is it fear of failure, not knowing where to begin, or feeling swamped?

Break these tasks into smaller steps and set manageable deadlines for each one.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help or seek an accountability partner; we’re humans and we need external support.

Postponing Personal Growth

Personal growth activities can be boring compared to more exciting stuff like going to parties, hanging out with friends etc

Putting off your personal improvement will slow you down.

You can’t keep procrastinating on self-improvement.


Because in a few years, you will regret the wasted time and where you could be now.

I’m not saying you can’t go out with your friends anymore, but you should start working on your dreams.

If you keep postponing actions toward them, it’s like saying no to growth.

Maybe you can go out one night on the weekends instead of two.

For example, when I go to a party, I try to come home at a decent time, which allows me to be productive the next day.

Try to make time for your personal growth and your consistency will pay off over time!

Avoiding Uncomfortable Situations

I used to delay important conversations or tasks because they felt too tough. 

This habit can lead to procrastination, where you avoid these moments almost entirely.

Start by acknowledging that uncomfortable situations don’t vanish on their own.

This is the only way to expand your comfort zone.

By tackling a challenging task or discussion, you take back control of your life.

Make a list of the things you’re putting off because they seem daunting.

Break each one down into smaller steps that are easier to handle. 

Each step forward will reinforce your resolve, helping you build momentum toward completing even the most difficult tasks.

What causes procrastination in your personal life?

  • Distractions: yeah, they’re always one of the main causes of procrastination! That’s why you need to learn how to handle them and increase your focus
  • Feeling Bored: sometimes, we don’t want to do things because they’re boring. But remember, you must do them even when you don’t feel like it. You go to work even when you don’t want to, right?
  • Lack of accountability
  • Fear and Anxiety
  • Perfectionism

How to fix procrastination?

Procrastination can lead to bigger problems like anxiety, depression, low self-esteem etc

The sooner you start working on it, the better is.

Here’s how you can tackle this challenge head-on and transform your work ethic:

  1. Realize you have a problem: you shouldn’t be ashamed of it. You can start working on a problem only when you realize you have it.
  2. Define what type of procrastinator you are. You can’t defeat procrastination with one unique method. You must understand why you’re doing it and find relative solutions.
  3. Define Clear, Achievable Goals: Setting vague goals is like trying to hit a target in the dark. Break down your objectives into smaller, manageable steps that you feel confident about achieving.
  4. Assess Your Procrastination Habits: Keep a journal for a week to track when and why you procrastinate. You might notice patterns that reveal specific triggers.
  5. Develop an Action Plan and start acting: today it’s always the best day to start fighting against procrastination
  6. Use anti-procrastination apps: these are useful tools you can use to stay on track and defeat your bad habits.
  7. Remove Distractions: Identify what sidetracks you( like social media, noisy environments, or personal devices) and eliminate these distractions during work hours.
  8. Seek Support When Needed: If procrastination stems from feeling overwhelmed or due to mental health conditions, talking to friends, family, or a professional can provide new perspectives and coping strategies.
  9. Celebrate Progress: Recognize and reward yourself for making progress against procrastination. Celebrations reinforce positive behavior changes and make continued efforts more appealing.
  10. Learn from Setbacks Without Self-Blame: If you find yourself slipping back into old habits, analyze what went wrong without criticizing yourself too harshly. Use these lessons to adjust your approach moving forward.
  11. Don’t give up: you need to build resilience. Giving up it’s not a choice you can consider

Suggested reading: How to overcome laziness and procrastination


Procrastination it’s a common problem.

I’ve been working on it for years now and trust me: if you keep procrastinating, you’ll never reach your goals.

If these examples of procrastination seem familiar to you, then it’s time to act.

You need to make a decision.

Working on this problem, or just giving up to reach your goals.

So, what is your choice?

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