Why do we procrastinate, and what can we do today to change our ways?

United States
November 12, 2012 2:28am CST
This is a question that I have been pondering lately. Why do we procrastinate? It is like some task that will only take a few minutes, but perhaps I am not in a mood to do it, so I will put it off. The result of procrastinating is that lots of times we end up feeling completely overwhelmed. We get overwhelmed by what we need to do, what we did not do, the approaching deadlines that we may not meet, and worse is the overwhelming guilt that we feel that we did not do something that we should have done. While I can see all the negatives to procrastinating, I find myself feeling even more confused at why do I procrastinate? I mean if the task would only take a few moments why do I put it off saying that I will do it later? Why is it that I do not just go get the task done? Is procrastinating a way of life in modern society because we have way to much to do or is it just a bad habbit that is terribly difficult to break? What are your thoughts? What tips can you give on simple things that can be done today to break the procrastinating cycle?
1 person likes this
3 responses
@mzz663 (2776)
• United States
12 Nov 12
I make lists. If I have things that I need to do but know I'm going to put them off, I make a list. There are things that need done that are just not fun or time consuming and I end up more upset at the end of the day if I don't do them that if I would have just got it done and over with.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Nov 12
mzz, lists are helpful. I tend to make lists, but still do not get everything done that I set out to do. Also, I tend to sometimes struggle to keep up the good habit of making a list of the things that I need to get done.
@thesids (22455)
• Bhubaneswar, India
12 Nov 12
Hi aireanna The biggest fact that holds us guilty here on procrastination is - our being lazy by nature and add to this the ego which we have. Our being lazy sets the tones that we start to believe there is always time and we can complete this one some other time. And the ego part says - Oh yes, this is not so important for this moment, let us do something which is more important right now - and the ego plays to win most of the time. We never ever feel that this task at hand could be done away easily and should be done this moment to avoid complications later... and it is never until late that we realize the fact that we have procrastinated. To break away from this, as we know the cause, we should start to re-compose ourselves and try to take simpler and smaller steps instead of trying to hurry up skipping a few steps.
• United States
12 Nov 12
thesids, great response! Yes, I do think that our ego tells us that we have all the time in the world, and that there are more important things to do now. You are right when we try to hurry we tend to cut corners. I do think to sometimes we procrastinate because we do not think that we have enough time to complete a task. I like your suggestion of breaking it down into small tasks. Then, we can see that we at least have time to start on the task rather than procrastinating the entire task.
@inertia4 (26576)
• United States
13 Nov 12
I think part of procrastination is anticipation. And I mean anticipation to the unknown. Like if we do it, we are anticipating if there will be more to it or not. Maybe it would be better to just try and do it quick, but what if. You know what I mean? It's that what if that stops us. That is where I think procrastination stems from. I am a procrastinator of some things. I think everyone feels this way at times. And I do agree, if it is something that could take a few minutes, then why don't we just do it. It also have to do with motivation and drive. If we are lacking that, then we are more apt to procrastinate.
• United States
14 Nov 12
inertia, good point! I think if I follow your reasoning it is partly that we are overthinking the task. I mean rather than just going and doing it, we are either thinking about how we do not want to do, how it will take to long, or somethimg along those lines. We could also be overthinking about all the other things that we would prefer do so we tend to feel that we do not have time for the little things. I think for me doing the dishes is one of my worst things that I procrastinate over doing. The odd part is that I am starting to realize that if I would just wash them when it is 1 or 2 dishes it would not be to bad. Instead I just let the dirty dishes pile up until it becomes a major chore to wash the dishes.
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