Internalising procrastination

Sometimes we must take action or we’ll get slammed!

In this second last post in this series, we look at the internal factors that can add to the mayhem and cause us to procrastinate. Sometimes the reasons for procrastination can stem from our own fears and doubts. Here’s five ways to complete the list of the top ten reasons for procrastination that we started in the last post.

Confusion. People procrastinate because they’re unsure what to do, how to start or where to look for help. They feel overwhelmed by the size or complexity of the task so they delay and hope it will somehow get easier or someone will assist them. Confusion leads to an inability to see the forest for trees. Approaching deadlines intensify the anxiety.

Perfectionism. People will delay performing a task until they believe they can do it perfectly. They often take on many tasks at once without finishing anything. They can’t ever get it all perfect and if they don’t finish they can’t be criticised for failing. It’s always a work in progress.

Boredom. This is the way a person reacts to having to do something they consider monotonous, uninteresting, forced upon them or of little benefit. Bored people take little interest in what they’re doing and become weary and dissatisfied.

Anxiety and fear. Anxious people can be confused about reality and their ability to deal with it. They get anxious about the consequences of their actions, usually about the chance of criticism or being seen as a failure, so they procrastinate.  The longer they put things off the greater the anxiety this creates because they know the task must be done. Some will face their fear and others will attempt to escape in the hope that it will go away or someone else will attend to it.

Fatigue. Physical and metal fatigue is a major cause of procrastination. Sometimes people will have the desire to complete a task but don’tbecause they lack the energy or mental space to do so. Getting home after a full day’s work to launch into establishing a part-time business, exercising or studying can be a daunting task. Sometimes you may need to create the space in your life or attempt to do fewer things so you can approach them with a clear and focused mind.

This is not a definitive list by any means. There is a common theme of failing to take action for fear of the consequences and how that will make you feel or be seen by others. Sometimes you may not have the physical or mental skills to achieve the results you desire. Perhaps you’ve set the bar too high so no amount of effort or determination will get you there. If you think this may be the case, perhaps you need to reassess your goals and set smaller steps of achievement that you can learn from and celebrate along the way.

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