We can define procrastination as the undesirable time gap between intention and action. I intended to write this article weeks ago but didn’t get to it until last week because of competing priorities and, if I’m honest, because of my own perfectionist tendencies.
Ten Primary Causes to Perfectionism
1. Self Control – someone who procrastinates because of self-control issues may be impulsive or be unable to prioritize.
2. Shiny Objects – email alerts, paper piles, interruptions, or other distractions can serve intentionally or unintentionally as avoidance factors, causing us to procrastinate on what we really ought to be doing.
3. False Beliefs – erroneously thinking, “I work better under pressure” makes some people put off tasks until the last minute. They may even pull it off and get the task done by the deadline, but it is often not the highest quality of work than if the task had been given more time.
4. Fear of Failure – If someone does not have the confidence that they can accomplish the task successfully, they may procrastinate, preferring to be seen as lacking in effort than in skills.
5. Thrill Seeking – some people enjoy the adrenaline rush that accompanies the last minute push to get something done “under the gun”.
6. Task Related Anxieties – avoiding the difficult, boring or undesired task. “I just don’t want to do it”.
7. Unclear Expectations – vague priorities or direction might lead to procrastination if you don’t know how to start or what steps to take to get the task done.
8. Depression – for someone who is experiencing clinical depression, it can be hard to get started on something new. It may feel overly difficult or pointless.
9. Punitive Parenting – an individual who was raised with highly critical parents may have messages running through their mind that they aren’t good enough and/or they fear additional criticism. Procrastination can be seen as a form of rebellion for these folks too.
10. Perfectionism – This is the #1 cause for procrastination. Perfectionism can be paralyzing to productivity. A perfectionist will put off starting something that they worry they can’t do perfectly and they will also put off finishing a task because it never seems “good enough”.
We hope you have a better understanding of the 10 causes of procrastination. And with that, tools to help you begin the journey of fighting procrastination using these strategies to address the reason or reasons you procrastinate.