Why Do You Procrastinate And What Can You Do About It?

“Procrastination is the act of replacing high-priority actions with tasks of lower priority”
Wikipedia

I would add to this that the replacing can go on and on without any time left any time soon, and that’s why some cases of procrastination can be called “chronic procrastination”.

Why do we procrastinate? Does procrastination has anything to do with lack of time or maybe the fact that we are disorganized when it comes to our important to-do list?

Does Procrastination has Anything to do with Lack of Time?

Do we procrastinate because we don’t have enough time to take a specific action or do a specific task? I know that most people who do procrastinate would love to answer yes to this question. Well, at the risk of disappointing you greatly, the answer to this question is a rezoning NO. We do not procrastinate because of lack of time. Most people having a problem with procrastination could have all the time in the world and still manage to find a way to procrastinate. I’ll explain that more in detail later in this post.

Are you Procrastinating Because you are Just Disorganizes?

Does your lack of organization and prioritization make you procrastinate, not taking very important steps and actions that you know you need to be taking? Well, again, even though it could make your life a bit harder to be disorganized, it’s not the real cause of your procrastination either.  You could be disorganized and yet not suffering from procrastination.  So, again, no, Procrastination has nothing to do with this either.

These suppositions are just superficial problems. Lack of time and lack of organization are physical issues. Procrastination is an inner issue.

So, Where does Procrastination Comes From?

Procrastination comes from some type of fear. If you are not consciously aware of such fears it’s because they are, for the most part, subconscious fears. Those fears are stopping you from “physically” taking actions to move forward in life, and in order to stop you physically, your subconscious uses procrastination. This is the reason why most people who procrastinate have no clue or can’t rationally explain why they do.

It’s like a negative force within you that is way too strong to resist. Most times, we don’t resist it at all because we mentally can’t. Sometimes, we do resist it to a point, or for some times before it comes back with a vengeance.

In some cases, a hidden fear of success may be all it takes to make your procrastinate. Now, you’ve heard of fear of success, haven’t you? If you have not, make sure you read this post.

As I explained several times over the past couple of years on this blog, our subconscious mind doesn’t like change, if we were taking those very important actions that would help us change our lives, we would be working directly against our subconscious mind make-up.

Another thing that you need to understand is that the subconscious mind will use everything in its power to block us from any change. We have an inner protector called the critical factor which job is to protect us from any new ideas to unsure that good old things stay just the same. This critical factor does an excellent job, and every time we want to feed a new idea, concept, or action plan to our subconscious mind we need to by pass this part of our mind in order to success.

What Does it Take to Fight Procrastination?

There is no need to fight this critical factor also called gatekeepers to stop procrastination, because fighting includes a notion of resistance, and resistance only work against us. That’s why I used the the expression by passing.

What would be easier, fighting the guards at the gate to enter the castle or putting them to sleep? Well, the second option would be your best bet, wouldn’t it? It’s the same things with the invisible guards to our subconscious programming room, so to speak.

You could fight them with constant repetitions, self talks and affirmations, and it’s totally possible, even probable that you would win in the end, but it’s going to be a long fight. You are going to need stamina, and persistence to win. Or you could pretend to be the guards’ allies and gave them a drink that would put them all to sleep, so you could enter the castle without any type of resistance. You could enter and get back out totally un-noticed. Then it would be too late for the guards to find out that you’ve moved things around in the castle. It would be done. Period.

That’s exactly how you can remove any type fear of success, or anything that may be preventing you from succeeding in the form of procrastination. Remember, procrastination is an inner issue and it can be fixed only form the inside. If not, it will always, somehow, keep showing up.

The best way to get into the subconscious to remove any trace of procrastination is to reprogram your subconscious mind, and remove whatever is making you procrastinate while replacing it by what you want to accomplish.

The Negative Effects of Procrastination

Procrastination doesn’t come side effects free.  Procrastination may lead to anxiety, frustration, guilt, stress and feeling of worthlessness.  If you want to get rid of those symptoms, you need to get rid of the cause.  One of the best tools that I have found in order to get rid of procrastination for good is self hypnosis.  I am not going to go into details about this as it was the theme of my last few posts.  If you feel that you are suffering from procrastination and can’t seem to get rid of it, just check it out.

Give us your feedbacks down below!

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20 thoughts on “Why Do You Procrastinate And What Can You Do About It?”

  1. Insightful post Sylviane!

    I always did think that procrastination was because we never had enough time or weren’t really able to manage our time well enough! And I’ve been guilty at times for putting away things for later and working on those that needed more of my attention sometimes. Guess I was wrong after-all. 🙂

    Most of us have our hidden internal fears, but are they always the reason for procrastinating? I think speaking of myself, even though I have no fear as such, but I find that I have a problem with lack of time or always find the time short at hand because of the busy routine my end. And once I end the task that needs my attention on a priority basis, I do take up the other one that I was procrastinating. So, if it was fear, I might still have not taken it up and delayed it further – isn’t it?

    Yes, procrastination is an inner issue I feel because we delay things at will – knowing what the outcome will be. And it surely leaves you frustrated and depressed. Though letting the solutions come from the subconscious helps, just as you explained so well in the previous posts through self-hypnosis.

    Thanks for sharing and letting all of us know how we can get rid of procrastination. 🙂
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    1. Hi Harleena,

      As Wikipedia’s definition explains, procrastination is replacing important tasks by non-important ones, which doesn’t include leaving important tasks to be done later as soon as your time allows. So, there is a difference here, and that is why, procrastination is almost ALWAYS related to inner issues.

      Now if you feel that you are pushing back only because you haven’t gotten to it yet, but will, as soon as your time permits, than that’s not procrastination.

      Thank you for your great input, Harleena.

  2. Hi Sylviane,

    thanks for sharing your insights and great to see you on video !

    I love Wikipedia’s definition of procrastination although it hurts 😉

    I agree with you that fighting against procrastination doesn’t really help because it increases resistance – it becomes even more fun for the destructive forces.

    Self-hypnosis could be a gentle way to finally bypass the mind filter that prevents us from effectively dealing with procrastination.

    Be blessed

    Oliver

    1. Hi Oliver,

      Yes, you get the point, even though I might not call those distructive forces, because it’s still your subconscious mind trying to protect you, because it doesn’t know any better. It knows only what’s it’s been programmed with.

      Glad you enjoyed the video, even if I’m never satisfied with the look of them 🙂

  3. Darn, that subconscious mind! Why is it always trying to wreck things??

    Yes, I procrastinate and no, it has nothing to do with time or organization. I know exactly what I have to do! But I don’t want to. I totally resist, sometimes even when it;s easy. My brain is just stuck. Then at the very last minute I have to rush around getting things done with lots of stress involved.

    Fortunately I don’t do it ALL the time or I’d be in trouble! But there are some things…. ugh. Some of them are things I don’t really like so I avoid them. But what you said is also true – sometimes you’re a little afraid of success or even failure! Right now I’m working on a book and I think I’m a little afraid of both. What if it’s a good one, and people want ANOTHER one? Or what if it’s totally horrible and nobody wants to read it? what if what if…

    Between you and Donna now I’m very curious about what you’re doing with the self-hypnosis. I have to check it out but I think I’m procrastinating 🙂
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    1. Hi Carol,

      I love your comment because in a few lines you’ve just mentioned all the symptoms that, well, most of us have. So, rest assure that you are not the only one for starter.

      You know what you should be doing, but don’t, then you have to rush doing some of those things or you might be in big trouble, or you are just afraid of success and failure, kind of both at the same time…. the list goes on 🙂

      I’m glad that Donna and me made you want to investigate about self hypnosis, because it does help with just about any issues.

      P.S. I can’t even imagine that a book by you will be boring 🙂

  4. Hi Sylviane,

    Oh yes…procrastination. I seem to improve in that skill with age! I remember when I was in school I was so on top of everything and always had every task done early. I would have reports finished long before they were due.

    Then something happened in college (needing to do way more than was humanly possible!) that ’caused’ me to learn the art of procrastination.

    These days I find that I procrastinate for many different reasons. The obvious reason is of course that I don’t want to do something that I know I need to. Related to that I will look at what needs to be done and simply start with the most pleasant tasks and not get around to the less pleasant ones.

    One that has surprised me as of late is procrastinating in the face of success. I’m writing a novel and many times along this path I’ve found myself procrastinating from things that bring about success. But I’ve pushed through and it’s been very good for me and also very exciting to stretch and grow like that!

    Stacy

    1. Hi Stacy,

      Just like Carol above, you’ve pretty much mentioned the many faces that procrastination can have. It’s seems that procrastination will hit us all at one point or another. I had a serious case of procrastination, and still working on it, but as I mentioned in this post, I’m working on it from the inside, of course, because there so much I can do from the outside.

      Thank your for your input.

  5. Hi Sylviane

    Oh this one was close for me. I never used to procrastinate when I was younger but I do now. I know it has nothing to do with time and I am very organised – an organised procrastinator.

    I do not procrastinate on everything, just some major things!

    A great post Sylviane.

    Sue
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    1. Hi Sue,

      Ahaha, love it “I do not procrastinate on everything, just some major things”. I know all about this, Sue, believe me. It’s really the essence of procrastination, replacing important things by insignificant ones.

      Thank you for your input and hope you can improve on that 🙂

  6. Well hello Sylviane, as I lay in bed due to a procrastination created illness, I can certainly vouch for truth you revealed.

    Yes, I want to lose weight, yes I know I can do it but eating junk food is something that keeps the gatekeepers happy thus todays illness will soon be forgotten unless I sneak past them and remove all the I love junk food posters from within my mind.

    By the way, its just a massive headache nothing too serious.
    igor Griffiths

    1. Hi Igor,

      Reading your comment made me think of a friend of mine who has a food addiction. He is not even fat, not even overweight, as a matter of fact, because he works out like an animal, but he even has a condition that is called sleep eating. But even when he is fully awake he can’t eat just two or three cookies, he eats the all freaking box.

      He also knows that he could work on it, but he procrastinate and just don’t.

      Again it’s an inside job 🙂

      Thanks for sharing, Igor.

  7. Well that was interesting Sylviane and I enjoyed hearing your views on this topic.

    I don’t find myself procrastinating a lot but when I do it is because I just don’t want to do a specific task. I know a lot of men that are like this as well and for them they don’t see it as a priority. For the people that I know who have done this it had nothing at all to do with fear.

    One in particular I’m using as an example is my brother. He’ll say he’ll do something because we ask for help but he really doesn’t want to. So he’ll put it off and put it off and sometimes get out of it completely. The other times he really doesn’t want to so will put it off as long as possible. I know it has nothing to do with fear though.

    Probably in the case of a lot of the things we do online where we aren’t familiar with the territory we’re stepping into we might be fearful of the task at hand. I can see that I suppose I’ve just never had that be the case myself so I can only speak from my own experience.

    I am learning something new though so I appreciate you sharing this. Very interesting and now you have me thinking.

    ~Adrienne
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    1. Hi Adrienne,

      It may be that you do not have any procrastination issues or very small ones that are not even an issue, and in such case you are very fortunate my dear 🙂 But for as much as I know you, it doesn’t surprise me 🙂

      Now, in the case of your brother, I totally agree, this is not called procrastination, it’s called not wanting to do what I said I will 🙂 Again, procrastination is the act of pushing back important task and replacing them by insignificant ones, so you can see that what your brother does has nothing to do with that.

      I am myself, much better now, but I was a big procrastinator and a master of it. Procrastination is a dream killer, so that is why it’s important to diagnose it and kill it as soon as possible.

      Thanks for sharing your story, Adrienne.

  8. Hey Adrienne,

    This post caught my attention big time. This is surly one of the biggest reasons I can see that holds people back from their success.

    Making a to do list surly helps also with procrastination. Great Post, thanks for sharing this great information.

    1. I know that Adrienne is so popular, that I am call Adrienne, now 🙂 I’m sure you meant Sylviane, right?

      I’m glad if you enjoyed the post. It’s really a topic that is affecting many people.

      Thanks for coming 🙂

  9. Hi Sylviane,

    Ahhh my favorite thing to do is self hypnosis! It is currently helping me so much with tasks and marketing. Yes, I can procrastinate, but at least I know when I am doing it, so voila….I clap my hands and stop!

    I love Wikepedia’s explanation of procrastination. Very true! Thanks for the enlightenment,

    Donna
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    1. Hi Donna,

      Yes, we all procrastinate, don’t we? The point is what do we do about it. I absolutely love self hypnosis too 🙂

  10. Hi Sylviane,

    I was believing I’m so busy and I couldn’t have enough time to work on my stuff. But I think I was wrong at that time. Procrastinating… Sometimes I was trying to fight it, but as you mentioned, it’s holding me back. It’s worse than I thought before.

    Actually, I wasn’t intended to do so, but as I feel it happens when I try to think more about future but not the present situation. I feel I’m not serious about what I do at that time though I work on my stuff and let in negative feelings about me that I’m weak, worthless and eventually it comes to frustration. Could it be? Or am I just imagining a different cause for procrastination? I did some time off from the work. Meditation works and I love it too 🙂 It helped me back on the work with improved self-esteem…

    Cheers…
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  11. My sister always procrastinates on almost everything and it seems like she does not care at all. I think I’ll have her read this post of yours and see if she can find out what causes her to feel like that.

    I agree with you that when we procrastinate, the number 1 reason for many of us would be that we think we are so busy with things to do that we do not have enough time to do everything in a day, and we leave out some things and think we can do them tomorrow, and then again we procrastinate and the task to be done becomes more delayed than ever. Fear of doing it (because of encountering difficulties while doing something) is what makes us procrastinate – I haven’t thought of that actually. Thanks for helping us realize why we usually procrastinate and what can we do about it.

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