Laziness is not the cause of procrastination / Unplash, anniespratt

Are you the person who keeps putting things off until later? Moreover, “later” never comes and you wonder “Why can’t I get myself together?” or “What’s wrong with me?”. Probably everyone around you tells you that you’re just lazy, but that’s not necessarily the case. It turns out that procrastination has little to do with laziness and much to do with emotions.

Laziness is not the cause of procrastination / Unplash, anniespratt

Photo: Unplash, anniespratt / Unplash

See also: Chronic stress – how to diagnose and treat it?

Every excuse is good

Do you remember that moment when you are about to start a task and suddenly a million more interesting things appear to do? Before you sit down to study or work, it would be good to clean up the room, and preferably the whole house, because only then can you focus. In the whirl of cleaning, you decide to wash the windows and clean the grout in the bathroom, the scheduled task will not run away. The apartment is shining, and you deserve rest and a good dinner. Every day you realize that you have time to get the job done less and lessand you keep running away from it. The only thing that can motivate you is this deadlinedue in twelve hours. And then: stress, sleepless night, irritability, guilt and self-blame “why did I do everything but what I should have?”. Sometimes, however, the amount of duties is so great that even the passing deadline is not a sufficient reason, you let go, and as a consequence you fail your year of studies, you get fired from your job or you lose a great opportunity. Is it because of laziness? Of course not, you’ve done a lot of chores in that time. So where should we look for the cause?

The reason is in emotions

Procrastination is constant procrastination execution of planned tasks. Contrary to popular opinion, it usually has nothing to do with laziness. The procrastinator, in the time allotted for work, usually deals with other, equally useful duties. It turns out that emotions are the causeand more specifically trying to avoid those negative. Procrastination is not usually about a lack of time management skills either, often by itself thinking about duty, is embarrassing for us and causes reluctance. It can be caused by putting unhealthy, too high requirementsperfectionism, fear of failure and criticism, or too many duties.

A psychotherapist appearing on Tik Tok under the name @nadiaadessi says — Procrastination is not caused by a lack of time management skills, it is caused by avoiding unwanted, negative emotions. […] One of the reasons is that the task may be too difficult and make us feel stupid or overwhelming.

How to deal with procrastination?

Procrastination gets us into feeling guilty, significantly lowers self-esteem and makes us not feel good enough. A temporary relief is too small a reward in relation to the costs that we will incur in some time. The key to overcoming procrastination is to ask yourself these questions: “What emotions am I trying to avoid?”, “What am I afraid of?” and “What am I running from?”. The next step will be working on your own beliefs:

  • Allow yourself to make mistakes – replace “perfect” with “good enough”.
  • Avoid all-or-nothing thinking. Break the material into parts, small steps make a huge difference.
  • Set yourself a time limit and TRY to stick to it, don’t give up, but if you don’t succeed.
  • Find the best way for you to get the job done, maybe you need some variety.
  • Consider visiting a specialist who, thanks to the acquired tools, will help you change harmful patterns.
  • Work on your self-esteem and self-confidence. “If you truly believe you can do it, you can.”

See also: How not to be stressed? “40% of worries are about something that will never happen”

Expert comment

“It’s true that procrastination is the most common ground in our emotions. If we are not taught to accept the momentary discomfort in our lives, we look for ways to avoid it and we fall into it escape mechanisms. Procrastination is one of them, because we still have a momentary, strong sense of relief. – says Magdalena Daniłoś, trainer and mentor in the field of self-care and self-kindness. — The decision to postpone something difficult is therefore very tempting. Over time, unfortunately, it turns out that the problem does not disappear, but is born in us even more tension. This scheme leads to vicious circle of procrastination, often in the infinity. It evokes it in us a sense of declining trust to themselves. The more we fail to keep our word, the less motivation we have to face a difficult challenge. – stresses Daniel

— One of the most effective ways to work with changing your postponing pattern is the “micro steps” method based on life values. If you have a report to write with a deadline for completion in a week, the first step should be to divide the material into the smallest possible stages in terms of time. Secondly, and most importantly, ask yourself “What is my motivation to achieve this goal?”it should relate to your life values. If she is independenceyour motivation should not be time pressure, because it can backfire in the form of tension. Instead, realize that this report is one small item your professional path, a step forward that will lead you to a place of complete independence. And finally, remember! Nobody likes to live in discomfort, but we all find ourselves in it sometimes. It cannot be completely avoided, but it can be controlled. the expert adds.


“Procrastination is most often rooted in our emotions” / private archive, Magdalena Daniłoś

Photo: Magdalena Daniłoś private archive

See also: Do you want to emphasize your independence without hurting others? You have several options

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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