Procrastination is the act of delaying work or a task until the last minute. Researchers define procrastination as a failure in self-regulation, which is characterized by the irrational delay of tasks despite the potential negative consequences. Procrastination is not a serious problem, but it is a common tendency for most people, which can affect their work, grades, and lives.

Passive procrastinators delay the task because they have trouble making a firm decision. Active procrastinators delay tasks on purpose, wait for the deadline, and prefer to work under pressure.

What are the causes of procrastination?

Situations where an individual doesn’t know what to do, not knowing how to do, not in the mood to do, not wanting to do, not caring if things are getting done or not, forgetting, and being in the habit of waiting till the last minute.

Feeling bored

it is quite common for us to get bored of repeatedly doing a task or engaging in an unpleasant task. When forced to do the task, we tend to procrastinate.

Low self-efficacy

When an individual lacks belief in his or her abilities, it can preoccupy the individual with their beliefs and prevent them from taking the necessary steps to begin or work on the task.


Perfectionists are afraid of making mistakes, fear of failure, fear of being unappreciated, or letting someone down. They spend a great deal of time thinking irrationally and setting unrealistic goals for themselves. Their thinking is either all or nothing, and they always emphasize “should.”

They are stuck in the vicious cycle of setting unattainable goals, which leads to failure, and setting different unreachable goals. They engage in self-blame and self-criticism, which can affect their mental health. Constantly preoccupied with the irrational idea of being perfect can stagnate their progress.


Procrastinators usually avoid doing the task or delay doing it because the main reason for avoidance and delay is fear. Performing a task is based on rationalization, but for a procrastinator, it is more emotion-based.


Organizational skills are very essential to planning and functioning with our tasks. Organization helps an individual prioritize tasks. Most of us have the tendency to do the easiest task first, regardless of the urgency. When tasks are not effectively planned, they can pile up, resulting in a disorganized and overwhelming schedule.

Mental health

When an individual is struggling with a mental health issue, it becomes difficult for them to plan and execute their task. A person with depression can say, “What is the point of doing this?” and a person with anxiety can say, “I am scared I can’t do this.” The individual is preoccupied with irrational thoughts and thoughts that cause fear, which strands the person from performing any of their work.

Here are some ways to deal with procrastination.
The action priority matrix

The matrix consists of four quadrants, which help us categorize our task based on the urgency and effort that are required for the task.

Take one step at a time

You know your potential and capabilities. Set realistic goals and make the goals attainable by breaking them into smaller goals.


Challenge the negative, irrational thoughts and beliefs in your mind that stagnate your progress.

Identify the onset of procrastination

Develop a plan for yourself to distract yourself from procrastination. When you have the urge to scroll through social media, watch TV. Try opting for an alternative activity like reading a book, going for a walk, or listening to music, which can help you get back to carrying out your task.

Eliminate distractions

Be watchful and mindful of the distractions that you face daily and take the necessary steps to keep them out when you are carrying out your work. For example, if your phone is a distraction, keep it in another room, give it to someone, and get it back once you are done with your work.

Be kind to yourself

When you accomplish each goal, reward yourself and appreciate your progress.



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