Reasons We Procrastinate

Hey superachievers! I’ve spoken about procrastination before because even us superachievers fall victim to it. I recently came across the work of Michelle Tullier, in her book Overcoming Procrastination, and wanted to share what she said are the thoughts and feelings going on when procrastinating. She identified 10 main categories. They are (see if you see yourself in any of these):

Fear: Fear of failing, success, or how you’ll be judged.

Perfectionism: Making tasks more difficult and the anticipated outcomes more critical than they need to be.

Being overwhelmed: Finding a task so difficult or cumbersome that you don’t know where or how to begin or end it.

Feeling frustrated: Having a low tolerance for the ambiguity or delayed gratification that comes with some projects.

Adrenaline rush addiction: Relying on the thrill that comes from getting something done at the last minute.

Negativity toward the task: Disliking or being uninterested in the task itself.

Rebellion: Having negative feelings toward the person who assigned a task or who will benefit from it and resenting that you have to do it.

Unrealistic view of time: Having a faulty sense of time and how much you can get done within it.

Psychological issues: Disorders such as clinical depression or attention deficit disorder, among others, make it difficult to get things done.

Physical problem: Having a physical ailment that drains your energy and makes you less likely to get things done.

Knowing why you are procrastinating on a particular task will help you figure out the best way to overcome procrastinating. I am a big fan of what Mark Twain once said – that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long. In summary, figure out why you are procrastinating and then just eat that darn frog first thing in the day to get it over with.