procrastination statistics

The Harsh Reality Behind Procrastination Statistics

What do Dalai Lama, Bill Clinton, and Leonardo Da Vinci have in common?

It may surprise you to find out, but each of them was a procrastinator.

If this news surprised you, you’ll be shocked by the procrastination statistics and facts in this article.

A study conducted by experts has discovered that 20% of adults consider themselves chronic procrastinators, an extremely worrying fact.

So why exactly do we procrastinate? And what are the impacts that it has on our lives?

After extensive research, I have collected the most recent procrastination facts and statistics based on research and expert studies.

Key Takeaways

  • Procrastination is a global issue, with 1.59 hours spent procrastinating every day and an estimated 55 days spent procrastinating on average per year.
  • Teens and young adults aged 14 – 29 are most prone to procrastination, with 81% of undergraduate students identified as habitual procrastinators.
  • The negative effects of procrastination include lowered productivity, academic performance issues, financial losses and mental health concerns such as stress and anxiety.
  • Technology plays a big role in procrastination – 57% of total online time is wasted due to various distractions instead of focusing on tasks at hand.

General statistics on procrastination

Procrastination affects most of the population, with many admitting to postponing tasks and spending a considerable amount of time each day not focusing on their work.

Here are some key statistics that shed light on the extent of this issue:

  • 20% of adults admit to being chronic procrastinators, compared to the 5% in the 1970s
  • People spend an average of 1.59 hours per day procrastinating
  • Bedtime procrastination is a problem that affects women much more than men
  • Procrastination is a more common problem than alcoholism, substance abuse, and depression, affecting a more significant number of people.

These general facts about procrastination should make you understand how widespread and often underestimated it is, which can severely impact our daily lives.

How much time does the average person spend procrastinating?

In the current generation, we have reached the highest procrastination levels.

The average person spends 218 minutes (about 3.5 hours) procrastinating daily, which amounts to around 55 days per year: you’re wasting almost two months of your life yearly!

Internet doesn’t help in terms of distraction 57% of people procrastinate online.

These numbers are alarming, as the ripple effects of wasting precious time procrastinating can be detrimental in several aspects of life.

Procrastination impacts our well-being, leaving us stressed and overwhelmed by the accumulating tasks. It hinders academic performance, causing grades to plummet.

In fact, anti-procrastination apps are an excellent ally to defeat this problem once and for all and regain control of your time

According to a recent study, It’s estimated that a person who procrastinates for three hours a day wastes a whopping $15,000 annually, among the negative consequences of this behaviour.

So, don’t you think it’s time to overcome procrastination?

Student Procrastination

Student Procrastination

We all went to school, so we know well that students often prefer to have fun and go out rather than spend their days studying.

The data speaks clearly:

  • Between 80% to 95% of college students are prone to procrastination
  • Approximately 81% of undergraduate students are identified as procrastinators
  • Around 68.7% of students tend to procrastinate on their presentations
  • About 64.4% of students procrastinate when it comes to studying for exams
  • Procrastination is more prevalent among college and university students than high school students
  • 53% of high school students, 53% of undergraduate students, and 61% of graduate students frequently procrastinate.

Workplace Procrastination

What better place to procrastinate than the workplace?

Nobody likes to spend the day doing boring stuff,  and that’s exactly why 80% of employees spend  1 to 4 hours experimenting with procrastination in the workplace.


The absurd news?

76% of entrepreneurs spend the same amount of time procrastinating and all this obviously leads to poor performance and wrong time management.

If you’re starting to worry after reading these workplace procrastination statistics, it’s time to develop leadership accountability and regain control of your time!

What age group procrastinates the most?

Research suggests that the age group most prone to procrastination is teens and young adults between 14 to 29

According to a survey conducted by DePaul University, over 80% of respondents in this age range reported feeling overwhelmed with work due to their tendency to avoid essential tasks in favor of more pleasurable ones, such as watching cat videos. 

The reasons why adults are less likely to procrastinate is because they generally have more responsibility and self-esteem (in fact, one of the main reasons for this behavior is low self-esteem)

How many people admit to procrastinating?

Procrastination may seem it might seem like something to be ashamed of.

However, according to one survey conducted by Piers Steel, a professor of human resources and organizational dynamics at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business, 95% of people admit to procrastinating at least some of the time.

This makes you understand that procrastination is common and often too underestimated.

It’s okay to admit we have a problem, but this should motivate us to solve it, not snub it.

Negative Effects of Procrastination

The impact of procrastination in your life can lead to various negative physical, emotional, and mental issues such as feelings of stress and anxiety, decreased productivity, academic performance problems, financial troubles and even health issues.

For example, the latest procrastination statistics showed that procrastination has been linked to lower income, more unemployment, and a shorter duration of employment.

There’s also a link between chronic procrastination and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

Causes of Procrastination

What are the real causes and triggers of procrastination?

You must know that there are many types of procrastination, but the five types often have points in common.

Distractions

Procrastination is a part of life, but it can take over and derail progress if we don’t focus on its triggers.

Distractions are among the most common causes of procrastination, especially in 2023 and so on.

Checking social media, phone distractions, internet browsing, and communication platforms are typical procrastination examples, providing endless entertainment opportunities that pull us away from important tasks.

In addition to these digital distractions, personal obligations such as cleaning or errands can lead to procrastination instead of tackling essential projects.

Taking on too many activities at once without proper planning significantly contributes to feelings of stress and anxiety.

Fear of failure

Fear of failure

Very often, the fear of making mistakes prevents us from acting, and as a result, we procrastinate indefinitely on the tasks we should be completing.

This causes extended delays, putting off essential deadlines and responsibilities.

As a result, we end up feeling stressed when it’s too close to the deadline because we haven’t completed any work yet.

For example, this may manifest as excessive perfectionism when completing projects: we become overwhelmed by details and spend unnecessary time trying to make sure everything is “just right” before submitting it for review or turning in assignments on time.

These are the typical traits of the Worrier and the Perfectionist, two of the five types of procrastinators.

Poor time management

Poor time management is a leading factor when it comes to procrastination.

Without adequate organization and schedule-making, tasks can feel overwhelming and cause anxiety about completing things on time.

Common behaviors associated with poor time management include leaving tasks until the last minute and not planning for future projects or assignments, multitasking too much.

In recent years, keeping away from distractions such as social media browsing has also become challenging.

Unfortunately, this lack of focus leads to decreased productivityfeelings of stress and anxiety, and eventually, a self-sabotaging cycle where all important tasks become equally hard to prioritize or manage.

Overcoming these adverse effects of procrastination due to poor time management requires vital decisions and structure about daily activities.

Perfectionism

Perfectionism

Perfectionism is wildly associated with the causes of procrastination.

A study found that perfectionists are two to three times more prone to procrastinate than non-perfectionists, regardless of age or gender.

Perfectionism oftentimes comes from anxiety, which may result in inaction due to worries about making mistakes, leading people to sometimes give up before even beginning the desired task.

This state of mind, often developed by childhood insecurities, can either block us from initiating an activity or keep us working until it’s flawless.

Conclusion

We all procrastinate daily, and it’s normal if it doesn’t become a problem that seriously affects our businesses and routines.

But as these statistics and facts about procrastination have shown, this problem is often too underestimated, and we do not realize the damage it can cause us.

Ultimately, we must recognize the consequences of postponing activities too frequently; taking concrete steps to limit distraction may help us overcome undesirable habits like procrastination sooner rather than later.

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