3 Causes Of Procrastination And How To Overcome It To Be Productive

3 Causes Of Procrastination And How To Overcome It To Be Productive

You’ll never reach your full potential if you continue to be a procrastinator. There, I said it. I apologize if it came out a little harsh and direct but I wanted to get straight to the point. Get it? *wink wink.* haha. (a little humor before we get to the real meat of this blog post.) So, I’m guessing you’re here because you’re a procrastinator, right? You are also someone who knows there’s a better life waiting for you in the future but you can’t quite seem to get there. Am I right again? You’ve realized you’re probably not moving forward in life as fast as you would like because your procrastination and is taking control over your life, amplifying your stress and anxiety, and you want to know why, so you can stop it. If you’re thinking, “yep this sounds like me,” keep reading.


Growing up, and for many years after graduating college, I was an avid procrastinator. I waited until the last minute to complete assignments, I showed up late to events and pretty much avoided completing most responsibilities in a timely fashion. It’s safe to say I was the “Queen of Procrastination.” A self-proclaimed title that I use to be proud of. I would continuously test the limits of time and you would seriously think I was married to the art of procrastination. 


It’s almost a wonder how I managed to graduate school with honors and be so successful when working my 9-5’s. Except, I know how I did it. I like to say I was a high achieving procrastinator who wanted success, so I was slow to begin tasks then became overwhelmed and anxious because I was trying to go above and beyond in a condensed timeframe. I was being busy but not productive. Silly me. After sitting down with myself and doing a little research to figure out why I habitually screwed myself over when I could instead spare myself of fear and panic, I learned a few things. But, more importantly, I learned how to keep my procrastination under control. If you’re interested in learning how to do the same and why it happens to you in the first place, keep reading.


3 Causes Of Procrastination And How To Overcome it and Be Productive


1) Perfectionism

What is Perfectionism?

Perfectionism places high amounts of pressure on the perfectionist to be perfect. Some people believe perfectionism is a healthy motivator when in reality there can be dangerous side effects. Perfectionists look at life as one big test and if they receive anything other than a perfect score as their grade, they can suffer from toxic emotional reactions, and physical problems such as disorders, unhappiness, and chronic stress. These effects can trickle down from themselves to other places of their personal life such as family, friends, work, and school. 


So, why would a perfectionist procrastinate if it could risk them finishing their goals on time, thus leaving them susceptible to imperfection? Since perfectionists fear not completing a goal with utter perfection, they put off working towards achieving that goal as long as possible.

How Does One Manage Perfectionism?

  • Split large tasks into smaller ones
  • Realize everyone makes mistakes
  • Recognize that making mistakes provide us with lessons moving forward
  • Practice Single-Tasking (the opposite of multi-tasking)
  • Face your fear of failure by thinking through realistic outcomes if you make a mistake or fail.


2) Lack of Focus

Do you often get distracted? Are you often multi-tasking? Do you click on new email pop-ups because you saw SALE in the subject line? Do you constantly find yourself sitting down to conquer your To-Do List, only to find yourself having scrolled through Instagram for the last 30 minutes? You, my dear. are not focused on your tasks and are therefore leaving yourself open to distractions and procrastination.  There is no way you’ll be the productive person you desire to be if you are stuck doing everything, except focusing on the task at hand. 


How Does One Combat A Lack Of Focus

  • Stay off your phone (place your phone in another room so you’re not tempted to pick it up)
  • Close all those tabs on your computer, except the ones you need to complete your goal
  • Practice Single-Tasking (the opposite of multi-tasking)
  • Work on your longer creative task first (save your mindless work, like answering emails and setting appointments, towards the end of your day so you don’t deplete your energy before doing the meaty tasks)


3) Fear of Success

Are you subconsciously afraid of success? When you’re on the verge experiencing success do you get nervous and start making mistakes that you weren’t making before. You notice things are starting to go downhill, you become easily irritated, and it becomes difficult to focus on tasks. Therefore, you begin to procrastinate on tasks that would lead to success? If any of this sounds familiar to you, you may have a fear of success. 

Sure people have a fear of failure but a fear of success is just as real. Everyone has experienced failure and making a mistake in the past. We're human and it happens.  Failure is something that most people are familiar with, meanwhile, success is something fewer people experience. Since success is a more unfamiliar territory for most people they shy away from it because they are afraid of change and the new responsibilities that are associated with their success. 


How To Get Over Your Fear Of Success

  • Recite affirmations that will strengthen your relationship, trust, and belief in yourself
  • Learn the benefits of the achieving success you’re running away from (it may not only help you but others as well)
  • Practice becoming more self-aware so you can handle discomfort and fright sooner and more effectively than you have in the past.
  • Boost your confidence in handling success with my List of Lit Confidence Quotes


Procrastination is nothing to play with. There’s a difference between having patience versus procrastination so I encourage you to recognize the difference and refer to this post when the latter seems to be the case. Happy Succeeding!


Now, I’d love to hear from you. What methods do you use when overcoming procrastination? Comment down below.