People procrastinate all of the time, but even though it’s incredibly common, have you ever thought about why people do it? Not being as productive as you could be might be a sign of a much deeper issue, and this article will explore some of the possible reasons why procrastination occurs and what can be done to reduce its impact on your life.
Why Do People Procrastinate?
Procrastination has many causes, and its reasons can vary from person to person, but there are several recurring themes that are why people put off doing tasks until later.
However, these themes are generally mental health-related, specifically with how we handle our emotional energy. Here are a few examples:
Feeling Fearful And Overwhelmed
Have you ever felt anxiety or dread about an assignment, whether it be for work or school? It’s very typical for people to try to push away these feelings because they’re uncomfortable rather than confront the task at hand.
In reality, being productive and getting the assignment done would probably be less stressful in the long run, but this avoidance provides a temporary sense of relief. It’s temporary because eventually, the individual will have to do the task, except now they have less time to do so now, which can cause people to stress out and feel the need to rush.
There can be numerous reasons why people can feel the way they do towards certain activities; some might fear making mistakes or outright failing, or they might not have a clear idea of how they should approach the task, which can create indecision and a sense of feeling overwhelmed.
Mental Health Issues
It’s important to note that people don’t need to have any apprehension about the tasks specifically, and they may struggle with a lack of motivation in all or most areas of their lives.
Depression and anxiety disorders are very prevalent mental health conditions that can make it difficult to get up and be productive. These disorders can contribute to a lack of emotional energy needed to be motivated, and therefore, responsibilities are placed on the back-burner.
Fatigue is a frequent issue with mental health disorders, and since procrastination issues are correlated with how one chooses to use their mental energy, it’s only logical that someone experiencing depression, anxiety, OCD, and all types of conditions will try to preserve their energy by procrastinating tasks that don’t seem favorable.
Distractions & Lack of Focus
While the previous two examples illustrate that procrastination can be complex and strongly tied in with one’s emotions, sometimes the issue can be as simple as one being distracted, especially by more enjoyable things than what they’re supposed to be doing.
Texting on the phone, browsing social media, watching videos on YouTube are all activities that can be amazing (when it’s in your free time), but they can take your attention away from responsibilities that are more urgent.
At the end of the day, these things don’t require much concentration and are pleasurable, which is why they can easily distract people from things they don’t necessarily want to do.
Although it might not be as emotionally driven as the other examples, being easily distracted and unable to focus can be chronic issues, but luckily, they can be worked on.
How You Can Overcome Procrastination?
If procrastination has been a recurring problem in your life, and you don’t know how to start tackling the issue, working with a therapist is highly recommended because you can learn more about the specific reasons that could be causing you to procrastinate and also find practical solutions for them.
For example, if you have undiagnosed depression, this can certainly be why you have a lack of motivation and trouble focusing on different responsibilities. By treating the depression techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy, you can learn how to identify the negative thinking patterns that are affecting your mindset and change them into ones that are more positive and helpful.
By dealing with the big picture here, you can feel more productive and energized and have a happier outlook on life as a whole, and consequently, the procrastination issues will often resolve themselves.
However, there are still skills that you can work on with a therapist that can help address procrastination specifically, such as planning, prioritization, and time management.
If you’re looking for more advice on procrastination from professionals, check out this resource on BetterHelp to answer any of your procrastination questions, and to learn more about how this is impacting your daily life and well being. Signing up and getting connected to a licensed professional is easy – don’t wait another day to beat procrastination and gain control over your life.
Procrastination can be tough to deal with, but by understanding why it can happen and reaching out for support, you can learn how to change the thoughts and feelings that could be contributing to unproductiveness. Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into some of the possible reasons why procrastination can occur, and importantly, has pointed you in the right direction to overcoming it.
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.