Mood and Behavioral Disorders

How to Overcome Procrastination? 8 Signs of Procrastination

Last updated on October 20th, 2022 at 07:55 am

In most cases, procrastination is not a sign of a serious problem. It’s a common tendency that most people give in to at some point or another.

What is the meaning of procrastination?

Procrastinating means putting off doing something until a future time. When people sit down to write term papers, they can find all kinds of clever ways to procrastinate: reorganizing the paperclips, calling everyone they know, typing “I am bored” fifty times in a row.

What is procrastination?

Procrastination is the act of delaying or putting off tasks until the last minute, or past their deadline. Some researchers define procrastination as self-regulation failure characterized by the irrational delay of tasks despite potentially negative consequences.

No matter how well-organized and committed you are, chances are that you have frittered away hours on trivial pursuits (watching TV, updating your Facebook status, shopping online) when you should have been spending that time on work or school-related projects.

What are the major causes of procrastination?

There are 8 major causes why the people procrastinate. There are;

  1. Perfectionism
  2. Fear of failure
  3. Fear of criticism
  4. Avoidance
  5. Low self-esteem
  6. A tendency to self-defeat
  7. Depression
  8. Trouble focusing

What are the signs of procrastination?

8 Signs of procrastination are;

  1. Having uncertain goals
  2. Feeling overwhelmed
  3. Experiencing difficulty concentrating
  4. Holding onto negative beliefs
  5. Experiencing personal problems
  6. Becoming or being easily bored
  7. Setting unrealistic goals
  8. Being afraid of failure

What is chronic procrastination?

Chronic procrastination is the practice of consistently avoiding or putting off completing tasks or responsibilities, even when doing so can cause negative outcomes. While chronic procrastination isn’t a disorder, it can be associated with mental health conditions.

Theories of Procrastination

Here, we review four of the most popular theories of procrastination and consider the evidence for and against them.

Anxiety: Fear of failure, perfectionism, etc.

There are hosts of anxiety-related reasons that have been thought to cause procrastination. Essentially, people are believed to procrastinate on tasks because the task itself is aversive or stressful. Those who are more susceptible to experiencing stress should procrastinate more. There are a variety of conditions that make people anxious, especially irrational beliefs. Irrational beliefs, cognition, or thought is a broad term that include several dysfunctional or anxiety-provoking worldviews. Ellis (1973) characterizes them as:

  • Almost certainly hindering the pursuit of happiness and fulfilment of desires,
  • Almost completely arbitrary and unprovable. Some examples of irrational beliefs are fear of failure and perfectionism.

There is a dispute over whether self-handicapping should be considered procrastination. Self-handicapping is when people place obstacles that hinder their excellent performance. The motivation for self-handicapping is often to protect self-esteem by giving people an external reason, an “out,” if they cannot do well. However, self-handicapping isn’t necessarily procrastination, which is: “To voluntarily delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse-off for the delay.” Self-handicappers appear to be acting in their self-interest, thinking they are protecting themselves from shame and humiliation. Dr Clarry Lay, one of the first researchers into procrastination and developer of the General Procrastination Scale, concludes that “to intend to put off some activity to protect one’s self-esteem in not procrastinatory behaviour.”


According to the clinical literature, rebelliousness, hostility, and disagreeableness are thought to be major motivations for procrastination. For those with these personality traits, externally imposed schedules are more likely to be experienced as aversive and thus avoided. Also, by delaying work and starting it on one’s schedule, autonomy is reasserted.

Temporal Motivation Theory

Temporal Motivation Theory (aka The Procrastination Equation) represents the most recent developments in motivational research; it is an integrative theory from which most other motivational theories can be derived. It suggests that the reasons people decide can be largely represented by the following equation:

Motivation = Expectancy * Value / Impulsiveness * Delay

How do I stop being a procrastinator?

  1. Reduce the number of decisions you need to make throughout the day. Every decision we make has an energy consequence.
  2. Finish your day before it starts: Rather than frantically figuring out what you’ll do on any day, a better way to approach your day would be to take a few minutes at the end of each day to map out the following day.
  3. Nothing Alternative: To try this out for yourself, figure out your most important goal for tomorrow morning and set aside 90 minutes of totally uninterrupted time to focus on that goal.
  4. The next action habit: Focus on something doable. One small step leads to another, and another, and another, and before you know it, you’ve got momentum.
  5. Adjust your environment: Avoid procrastinating all over yourself is to removing the cues that trigger your procrastination habits.
What is a procrastinating person?

A procrastinator is a person who unnecessarily postpones decisions or actions. Certain personality traits are common among procrastinators, including low conscientiousness, impulsivity, low self-efficacy, and low self-esteem.

Are procrastinators lazy?

Procrastination is not laziness, and it’s possible to procrastinate even if you aren’t lazy, or to be lazy but not procrastinate. For example, someone who wants to work on a project may delay doing so (i.e., procrastinate) because they don’t know where to start, even though they aren’t lazy.

What are the types of procrastinators?

There are four main types of avoidance archetypes, or procrastinators:
the performer,
the self-deprecator,
the overlooker, and
the novelty seeker.

Is procrastination a mental disorder?

Procrastination itself is not a mental health disorder.

Is procrastination a form of anxiety?

Procrastination results from avoidance, and both the result of and driver of anxiety. Anxiety associated with procrastination continues to fester and grows. Anxiety can become so uncomfortable that we seek relief for it, hoping there is some better way to tolerate things left undone.

What age group procrastinates the most?

14 to 29 years

What is the most common form of procrastination?

Perfectionism is one of the most common types of procrastination. Perfectionists delay their tasks because the thought of not doing them perfectly is overwhelming, and it’s stressing them out. They often put a lot of pressure on themselves and they set a lot of unrealistic goals.

Is procrastination related to ADHD?

Procrastination is a common behaviour among people with ADHD. While everyone procrastinates sometimes, evidence shows that people with ADHD may be more likely to procrastinate often or daily.

Is procrastination a symptom of depression?

Depression, which often wears away at energy and self-worth, can also involve procrastination. You might neglect certain responsibilities because you can’t muster up the motivation to complete them, or because you doubt yourself and your skills.

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