Why We Procrastinate and How to Stop for Fight Procrastination Day

8 minute read

Are you supposed to be doing something else right now? Reading articles on procrastinating, or any other topic is one of the many ways people procrastinate. 

If you’re one of those people who procrastinate, but would like to get a handle on it, you’ve got an entire day dedicated to helping you build better time management skills so you can get stuff done. 

Fight Procrastination Day is set in stone and scheduled to happen on September 6, 2019, around the world. 

So, what are your favorite methods of procrastination?

Categorizing Ways People Procrastinate

Going beyond specific ways people procrastinate, like watching YouTube videos or cleaning the house, there tends to be a psychological reason for these delays. 

If you understand the reason behind a delay, you may be better equipped to manage it. Be forewarned, not all delays are forms of procrastination, although they may feel like it.

The six forms of delay are:

Inevitable delay is beyond your control like your car broke down, you’re sick, or your dog legitimately ate your homework.

Arousal delays are for chronic procrastinators who swear they do a better job when they’re a little panicked. These people also really enjoy the rush of relief they feel when they’re done.

The hedonistic delay means you just decide to do something you enjoy more, such as watching kitten videos.

Purposeful delays happen when you could do something, but you decide to do it later, and then come up with a good justification for putting it off; e.g., "I could call about that interview, but it might take a long time, so I should do it after lunch."

Irrational delay is when your mind is caught up with anxiety or stress, and it makes you put something off.

Psychological distress delay is when you’re simply not able to complete the task due to depression, grief, or other profound emotions.

Of these six forms of delay, hedonistic and arousal are the two truest forms of procrastination, as they’re ways of avoiding negative emotions. 

It’s important to remember that delays are a part of life. They happen for reasons out of your control, or they’re a part of your planning process. 

Why Do People Procrastinate

According to Psychology Today, there are different reasons for procrastinating. Many people are told or believe that they procrastinate because they’re lazy, they’re disorganized, or they don’t care. This is usually far from the real reason people procrastinate.

The three main psychological reasons that people procrastinate is that they’re afraid of failing, they’re afraid of succeeding, and all of the pressures that come with that, or they’re so determined to do things perfectly that the stress of reaching impossible standards holds them back. 

If you’re a chronic procrastinator, the best way to determine your underlying reason for procrastinating is to look at why you’re doing it. Ask yourself some pointed questions about the results you expect from doing the task; are you afraid you’ll fail, or it will put a bigger burden on you? 

If you think you’ll fail, is it because you are unsure of your abilities or because you want it to be perfect? What would happen if you succeed at the task? 

While the motives behind procrastination vary, the results can be the same. Many people feel a sense of self-loathing, shame, or disappointment in themselves when they procrastinate. During procrastinating, many people also feel guilt and anxiety. 

The good news is that there are ways to overcome anxiety about your performance and to keep yourself on track and on task. 

| Related: Playing an Instrument Benefits Your Brain |

Ways to Fight Procrastination

Joining in on Fight Procrastination Day can help you get back on track and stop putting off things that you really need to get done. These extra tips can add to your arsenal of knowledge and tools that will give you the strength you need to overcome procrastination.

Sharpen your focus. When you feel you’re constantly mentally drifting, it’s time to enhance your cognitive ability. Taking a krill oil supplement like 1MD KrilMD has been proven to sharpen your cognitive vitality with ingredients like Omega-3 fatty acids, which form the building blocks of your brain. 

Slow and steady counts. Moving ahead full steam is a great way to get things done but not the only way. Slowly making progress is still a viable way to accomplish your goals.

Relax and step away from the task at hand. It can help you refocus and feel energized. Don’t use this as an excuse to do something else, but it’s okay to take a break and go for a little walk, do some breathing exercises or anything that helps you relax and revive a little.

Address what’s causing you to delay. Do you feel you don’t have the knowledge or skills necessary? If this is the case, then further action needs to be taken in this area. If you’re bored, then you need to find the motivation to prompt yourself to keep going. Once you know why you’re delaying, you can overcome the issue at hand.

Acclimate to discomfort. When you start doing a task, think about what is causing you discomfort. Learn to accept that feeling and work through it, or work on modifying your reaction to those feelings.

Change the "but" in your procrastination to an "and," then work on acceptance. Often, procrastination comes with two very true statements, separated by the word "but": “I need to write a report, but it requires a lot of research.”

Change that to “I need to write a report, and it requires a lot of research.” The sentence is equally true here, but there’s a lot more acceptance involved and fewer reasons to procrastinate.

The Bottom Line

Procrastination is a common practice that most people engage in, to some degree. While everybody does it, the methods of procrastination and the reasons for it are varied. 

Within the same person, there may be several different reasons at play. By figuring out what is causing you to delay, you get a better handle on controlling it. Taking a krill oil supplement can also give you an added boost when it comes to controlling a wandering monkey brain.

If you’re looking to turn Fight Procrastination Day into a turning point in your life, then using some tips that help you understand why you’re procrastinating and then dealing with that cause can help you be successful. You can make the changes you want to see happen in your life become a reality; it just takes a little time and insight. 

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