We all do it. We put off starting a project, dealing with an unresolved conflict, fulfilling an obligation,
improving our health, or taking a class to improve our job skills. Fundamentally,
procrastination is a decision one makes, consciously or unconsciously, to delay
getting into action due to some underlying fear or concern.
Some people are naturally starters while others are finishers. In either case,
procrastination can cause problems. Can. It can not also, but that's a different subject.
Persistent procrastination can drain one’s energy and result in nagging feelings of
guilt, diminished self-confidence, missed opportunities and anxiety.
Procrastination is common reason for performance problems in the workplace,
and persistent procrastination can restrict one’s career progression or even pay
raises. Moreover, the cumulative effect of procrastination on an organization can
negatively impact the bottom line, considering today’s fast paced business
climate and the need to continually improve the organization’s products and
So, why Do People Procrastinate?
There are a number of reasons people procrastinate, and a person who
procrastinate may do so for more than one reason. A few of the most common
- Task Complexity – the task seems daunting, and one doesn’t know where to begin.
- Under-Developed Organizational Skills – the skills required to plan and
orchestrate the sequence of activities’ needed are absent.
- Resentment about complying with the wishes of others – if it’s not one’s own
idea or if the task is not a result of willing participation.
- Perfectionism – hold unreasonably high standards, and being fearful they might not
- Time Crunch - the task will require the commitment of large blocks of time, and these
are not easy to arrange.
- Fear of Failure, or Fear of Success – either way, fear gets in the way of getting
started, and often.
- Task Saturation - there are simply too many things on the agenda to do, so it’s hard
to get started on any one of them.
- Diversions and Distractions – focus and attention are difficult to sustain because
the environment is not controlled.
To that end....