Why do some people procrastinate?
Procrastination is the tendency of people to have an unnecessary postponement of their
decisions and activities. Procrastination is mainly detrimental to the ability of people's
efficacious trail of their goals. According to Aziz, Nazrina, et al., procrastination is significantly
linked with extensive secondary issues including increased stress as well as worse mental and
physical health. People often think that when they procrastinate, it is a matter of willpower;
however, in reality, procrastination is a more complex situation that willpower. There are so
many causes of procrastination including lack of self-control and motivation, abstract goals,
indecisiveness, task aversion, perfectionism, fear of negative evaluation and fear of failure.
People frequently procrastinate because their goals and objectives are abstract and vague
compared to when their goals and objectives are clearly defined and concrete. For instance, a
goal such as "get fit" or "start physical exercises" are relatively abstract and vague and as a
result, they are more susceptible to procrastination. Conversely, a goal like "go to the gym center
three days per week and take at least an hour on the treadmill, running at a high speed" is a
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profound and more focused goal (Aziz, Nazrina, et al. 183). Therefore, it’s more likely to direct
an individual with determination without quitting.
Kokane, Tushar Vilas claims that indecisiveness is a factor or a reason that might lead to
procrastination. People tend to postpone actions and activities because of their incapability of
making a suitable decision promptly. Indecisiveness can be caused by too many options or
alternatives to a situation. When there are too many alternatives, making a decision becomes a
burden. When the available options or alternatives are closely related to each other, it becomes
hard to make a decision. Also, when the decision to be made is so important, the process
becomes hard. Therefore, when these factors and reasons come into play, and an individual
might be forced to procrastinate for more brainstorming process.
Another reason for people to procrastinate is task aversion. People are antagonistic and
unenthusiastic to the activities or tasks and they want to perform. For instance, in case you want
to make an important visit to someone you don't like, you might postpone the courtesy visit
rather than doing it immediately since you don't want to see and talk to these people (Aziz et al.
186). In case people feel that the activity is tiring, boring and frustrating, there is a high
probability of procrastinating because they perceive some competency gap.
According to Sirois, Fuschia, most of the people practice postponement of activities and
decision making because of their perfectionism personality. Most people fear to make a mistake
and fail. Mostly, people also fear to publicize their flaws and weaknesses; as a result, they end up
reworking on their activities indefinitely. Making the results or the outcome flawless and perfect
is not a bad thing; however, when perfectionists focus on achieving unachievable flawlessness
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induce procrastination. Perfectionism gives people unnecessary excuses that advocate
Fear of failure and evaluation that would attract negative feedback is another cause of
procrastination. Further, the study by Kokane, Tushar Vilas suggests that fear for failure result
from people being afraid of evaluation that would give a negative outcome or feedback like
failing. For instance, someone can delay publicizing a project for they are worried about how
people will judge them. When people fear to fail, they are more likely to postpone their
activities. For example, when one wants to start a business and is worried about failing might
cause them to procrastinate.
Conclusively, procrastination is not a good idea in most cases. However, not every reason
for procrastination is always negative. The reasons for procrastination vary depending on the
situation and people's personality. Fear of failure, lack of motivation and self-control,
indecisiveness, lack of concrete goals and task aversion are the main common reasons for
procrastination. Avoiding procrastination behavior is not an easy task. It calls for commitment
and determination. Understanding why people postpone their activities has a personal advantage
as it assists one to comprehend the forces behind their procrastination.
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Aziz, Nazrina, et al. "Prioritizing Causes of Procrastination among University Students: An
Empirical Analysis." Journal of Telecommunication, Electronic and Computer
Engineering (JTEC) 9.2-12 (2017): 179-183.
Kokane, Tushar Vilas. Get Your Golden Egg: 19 Ways to Win Over Procrastination. Educreation
Sirois, Fuschia. Procrastination and Stress: Exploring the Role of Self-compassion. Self and