Why People Procrastinate

Author: sethskim  |  Category: Viewpoint

Bob Alexander in his article, “Why People Procrastinate,” shares his insights on why people procrastinate. He starts off by giving “A Procrastinator’s Creed.” Alexander shares that it might be one or all of the following:

1) I firmly believe if I ignore something long enough it will cease to exist.
2) Anything worth doing is worth doing later.
3) If at first you don’t meet a deadline, don’t worry about it. There will always be another month.
4) I will never put off until tomorrow what I can forget about forever.
5) I will never do anything immediately, unless it is to find a better excuse than the one I am using now to avoid work.

He continues and writes, “There are many reasons people choose to procrastinate. The perfectionist gets caught up in the inconsequential details of his project and loses sight of the end result. Passive-aggressive people don’t feel competent and in control of their lives, so they constantly arrive late to work, miss project deadlines, or are late for dinner or social gatherings so they can get the attention of and irritate others. The depressed procrastinate by talking themselves into waiting to start a project until they ‘feel like it.’ The escape artist finds creative ways of avoiding unpleasant tasks, and the ‘rebel without a cause’ likes to put things off because it frustrates his co-workers and boss. The list is endless.”

The list is truly endless. We all find ourselves procrastinating from time to time, but there are some people who struggle with this in a way that it is debilitating and it renders them ineffective. Procrastination is not entirely rooted in laziness. Sometimes it is caused more by fear – fear of failure.

The fear of failure has a way of paralyzing us and it stops us from achieving our goal and reaching our destiny. Therefore, a procrastinator will do everything possible to avoid taking action. The logic behind this is that when we procrastinate, we avoid the pain and difficulty that comes with taking responsibility and action.

I am wondering if procrastinators give us insight to the human heart.

We have raised up a generation of people who will avoid pain and difficulty at all cost. Rather than seeing the difficulties as the price we pay for getting to the next level, we see it as more of an obstacle. But maybe this is where we have to start.

This article hit me pretty hard because there are a few things that I am pushing off on and I realized that I need to change. I am guilty of being a perfectionist at times and it hinders me from doing things a little at a time.

Sometimes the best wisdom comes from my wife – “Just do it! And do it NOW!”

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