Awareness Health

Understanding the complete concept of Procrastination


In everyday lives, we often tend to push our work or don’t do the work until there is a deadline. On our heads like a clock or we just simply tend to push work for some other work. We voluntarily do not do the work even though we are good at it. These 3 statements might sound very similar but at the end of the day there is a vast difference between them. The first two statements tell us that an individual is procrastinating and the third statement tell us that an individual is showing laziness.

Procrastination is the act of delaying completing a task until the very last second. For eg, A student has to submit a project after 15 days. He might motivate himself to do it every day, but somehow the student cannot start it. They keeps pushing it till the last day of the submission. There may be various factors that I might lead to procrastination.

Laziness is defined as a reluctance to put out effort in one’s task. For eg- A child is never doing his homework, in spite of him being very good at it or good at the subject. They are aware that not doing the homework will prevent them from reaching their goal. By not exerting any mental or emotional energy, a person might demonstrate their laziness.

There are basically three variations of procrastination, that help us to understand the nature of an individual while doing a task:

  1. The individual is working on nothing
  2. Working on something that is less important
  3. Working on something that is most important.

We view the third of these three as effective procrastination. It is because in the 3rd type, the individual works harder and their aim is towards a higher goal in life. Type 2 procrastination can be considered dangerous ones as we are getting things done but the unimportant things may be acknowledged.  Type 1 is basically an individual who doesn’t take a stand. The effort to do a work in spite of the knowledge and understanding that their goal is far.

Some of the common signs that an individual is showing procrastination are-

  1. Find it hard to begin something or finish something
  2. They are always late in doing things
  3. They cannot prioritize which work is important and which is not.
  4. They have a very long to-do list which always causes stress in their mind.
  5. Always complains about the difficulty of the work or the workload.
  6. They are constantly available on social media or binge-watching things on OTT platforms.

Research done in the year 2021, tells that the reasons for procrastination among students internally were fear of failure, perfectionism, failure in planned study habits, lack of clarity, not exhausting oneself from activities, distractions, resistance, poor communication with each other or the teacher and the students, online study, etc. While the external factors were the parenting style.

Stages of Procrastination
  • False Security: The procrastinator might undergo feelings of low self-esteem and confidence. He/ she wants to achieve a level of performance but may feel false hopes towards their achievement.
  • Laziness: The individual might feel there is a lot of time to complete the task and will push the task, ensuring that there is a good amount of time to complete it. This may continue for a long time and it may be repeated again and again.
  • Excuses or I am too busy statement: This is one of the most common stages found in procrastinators, there is a lot of stress build up that they have to finish a lot of tasks in a short time. They make excuses such as “my work is so demanding”. There is a lot of justification from their side while finishing a task or when it comes to go for a social gathering.
  • Manipulation: The individual tries to manipulate his/her behavior or of others. They might consider themselves important and say, “the meeting cannot happen without me”. In all they manipulate the environment around them.
  • Pressure or crisis: It is truly difficult to eliminate the habit of procrastination as it has been an everyday mechanism to cope. There is a fear of new pressures from society which leads to expectations on an individual. So, to avoid this pressure they delay or avoid their work.
  • Frustrated victim but repeats the process: The individual becomes frustrated because of the whole process and then to assure oneself to be better or change the behavior of their performance. Individuals make vows to themselves but conceal the reasons for their actions. They quickly forget their difficulties and resume the entire procedure.
Tips to Help with Procrastination
  • Work with your calendar: It is critical to schedule all work and determine the deadline for each project.
  • Grid your way: Make 4 columns for the day or for the week, and list these 4
    1. Important and Urgent
    2. Not important but Urgent
    3. Important but not urgent
    4. Not important and not urgent

You will have a clear image of the work that has to be done when you list the tasks in these columns, and you can then concentrate on it.

  • Visualizing: It is very important, to visualize. It is a technique that is used in NLP. An individual attempts to envision the experience of completing their activity or assignment using as many senses as possible. The more senses they employ, the more strong the visualisation, which might push them to do the activity faster.
  • Letting go of excuses: Excuses are what is leading to delay in work, one needs to understand this. Think what results have been occurred due to excuses and just say to yourself- STOP IT.
  • Environment: Environment leads to a great deal of work in one’s motivation to work. As mentioned in the research, if an individual’s environment is not friendly, there will be definitely delay in work. During the time allotted for work, sit in a distraction-free environment, put the phone on airplane mode, Lock the OTT platforms or social media platforms and try to hold off unnecessary internet searches if possible.

Everyone suffers from procrastination, and it is our responsibility to find a method to get through it. It can cause a lot of anxiety, distress, stress, self-doubt, fear of failure. But what is important is that it can be stopped. If one sets their mind to do it and be a better person who has certain goals to reach their in their mind. Procrastination can be good and bad, because the good one forces us to set higher goals for oneself.

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