Why Do You Procrastinate When You Know It’s Not Helping You? – Part 1

Why do you procrastinate when you know it’s not helping you? That’s an important question that you must answer. And when you do, you’re in a better position to address your issue and overcome your tendency to procrastinate. Otherwise, you’re at the mercy of procrastination.

In this three-part series, I share a few answers as to why you may give in to procrastination even though you know it’s hindering you?

You Don’t Like the Task

Anytime you have to do something you don’t particularly like, procrastination will show its ugly face. The mere thought of an unpleasant task turns you off, and when you’re turned off, the door is wide open for procrastination; you’ll find excuses to do something else, just to avoid having to tackle the task.

For example, if you don’t like washing the dishes, you’ll find excuses not to do them, hoping that they’ll disappear or that someone will do them for you. Most likely, this won’t happen. The dishes stay in the sink until you’re ready to tackle them. Usually, this is when you feel that you don’t have a choice anymore because you risk suffering the harsh consequences for your inactivity.

Usually, the dirty work doesn’t disappear; it’s waiting for you. Therefore, the sooner you tackle it, the sooner you can move on to other activities. Do it and move on.

You Find the Task Hard and Complex

When a task is complex, you may be tempted to procrastinate. Because the task will demand a lot of emotional energy and mental power, you dread it. And when you dread something, you naturally want to stay away from it, and this is a perfect opportunity for procrastination to do some damage.

Hard tasks are best tackled when broken down. This is the old question about eating an elephant: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Thinking about having to eat a whole elephant is overwhelming. But when you focus on a single bite at the time, the “task” becomes more manageable. Thus, the likelihood that you procrastinate decreases.

For example, if you have to write a 20-page report and writing isn’t your forte—as in you struggle to write an email—you might divide this assignment into smaller, less dreadful tasks. For instance, you may consecrate 30 minutes to brainstorm on your introduction. Later, you may allocate one hour to writing the draft of that introduction. There are various ways you can break down that project. You must find the breakdown that works for you.

When a task is unpleasant or complex, you may feel tempted to procrastinate. However, procrastination doesn’t profit you; taking action does.

About The Author

Vladimir Elie

I help people learn and apply success principles and strategies so that they can get the results they want in life.