Procrastination is a habit of replacing high priority actions and decisions with those of low priority. Simply put, a person that suffers from procrastination tends to put off important tasks to some other, later time. Medical experts, typically psychologists, explain procrastination as a coping mechanism that helps a person deal with anxiety that is typically involved with completing the tasks and making the decisions. There are many different forms of procrastination but things like counter-productiveness, needlessness and delaying are typical features of this behavior. Even though it is a mechanism of coping with anxiety, procrastination usually results in a lot of stress, guilt and moderately severe crisis. It has many objective disadvantages, since it dramatically reduces one’s productivity and often triggers social condemnation for not meeting the required responsibilities. Like in many other behavioral problems, this pattern leads to further procrastination and often obstructs normal daily functioning. If procrastination tends to repeat as a standard behavior, it may even be a sign of certain underlying psychological disorder.
Causes of procrastination
Procrastination may occur as a result of many different factors. In most cases it is a direct consequence of someone’s fear of failure. A person who constantly fears that something is going to turn out wrong may avoid executing important actions and making significant decisions in order to avoid the unpleasant feeling of fear.
Fear of success is another major cause of procrastination. Some procrastinators fear they will be unable to cope with everything that comes with the success. Procrastinators may believe their success will lead them to work too hard, or increase other people’s expectations.
Another important trigger for procrastination is a fear of losing autonomy. Some people may delay important tasks as a way of maintaining their independence, more in control of the situations. These individuals usually have problems with authorities.
Other reasons for procrastination include two tightly related fears: fear of being alone and fear of attachment. Some people may procrastinate their actions because they feel the need to be constantly surrounded with others, which is often an obstacle or work. The others may procrastinate in order to separate from the others, forming a barrier between themselves and important actions that would involve cooperation with other people.
Stopping with procrastination
As soon as someone admits having a problem with procrastination, he or she is already starting to solve the issue. To stop with procrastination, a person should try to work on its attitude and convince oneself that a task isn’t too bad or too difficult and try to feel more positive about the final outcome.