The Psychology of Procrastination: Why We Do It and How to Overcome It
No. 1 out of 5 little-known secrets from the field of psychology to supercharge your productivity
This article is part of a series on the psychology of productivity. Start here.
Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing a task that needs to be done.
It’s often associated with feelings of guilt, shame, and anxiety. And it can be a major obstacle to getting your work done.
So, why do we procrastinate? The answer lies in psychology.
There are several psychological factors that contribute to procrastination, including:
- Perfectionism: The belief that your work must be perfect to be successful. This can lead to paralysis by analysis as you strive for perfection and get nothing done.
- Fear of failure: The fear that you will fail if you don’t do something perfectly. This can lead to procrastination as you try to avoid the possibility of failure.
- Fear of success: The fear that you cannot handle success if you achieve it. This can lead to procrastination as you try to avoid the pressure of succeeding.
- Low self-confidence: The belief that you are not good enough or capable enough to do something. This can lead to procrastination as you try to avoid the disappointment of not being able to do something.
So, how can you overcome procrastination?
The first step is to understand why you are procrastinating. Once you know the reasons behind your procrastination, you can work on overcoming them.
If you’re a perfectionist, try to give yourself some grace and allow yourself to make mistakes. Remember that no one is perfect, and that mistakes are part of the learning process.
If you’re afraid of failure, remind yourself that everyone experiences failure at some point in their lives. It’s how you learn and grow from your failures that counts.