What Are Some of the Causes of Procrastination

by Lakshmi Jaisimha
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How long has procrastination been troubling you? Days, weeks, or months? For many, it’s years! The average person gets to know about this devil in school when it’s the last day left to complete an important assignment. 

So, I won’t waste your time explaining what is procrastination to make up the introduction of this article. I used to do that a lot as a new writer in 2019.

I will get straight to the point.

Some of the causes of procrastination are not having proper accountability, not having enough mental energy, and perfectionism

How do I know that? Well, I just kept asking myself a series of questions and found the answer. Read on my story to know further. A little heads up, it might sound a bit sad.

My Answer to What Are Some of the Causes of Procrastination in My Life

For the past 3 months, I haven’t written any blog posts for my website here. Considering I only started 6 months ago and only have 6 articles published at this point, I cannot call myself a blogger.

Is it difficult for me to write? Not at all! I am someone who loves researching, especially about personal growth, and love playing with words too. In fact, when I started this blog 6 months ago, I was even producing 4000+ words for my clients on many days. And at least 2000 words every day. I agree they may not all be super awesome.

So, why am I not writing on my blog here? Apparently, I can write at least 1000 words of good quality words to bring you the value I promise to provide through this blog. Then what’s stopping?

Procrastination! That’s what is stopping me.

1. Lack of Accountability 

6 months ago when I was producing novel-worthy amounts of words in weeks, I was accountable to my clients. They were expecting work from me on certain dates. In spite of the pandemic, there was hardly a day when I didn’t have a deadline to meet. Unless I consciously decide to take a break. I did take a couple of days off every month to keep myself sane. Not complaining. In fact, I am very grateful.

But – fortunately, or unfortunately, I did not have the time to procrastinate. Content and client calls regarding it were keeping me busy.

2. Lack of Mental Energy

But on Jan 1, 2021, my mother fell ill. She is much better now (thanks for your blessings).

I tried coping with my client’s work for a few days, but eventually, I had to say no to them as the work was getting delayed. I didn’t have the time to do them, I said.

Honestly, I think I had the time. I hardly had anything to do in the hospital after a couple of hours of talking to the doctors. My mother was mostly trying to sleep with her pain.

I gave it a thought and realized I had time but not enough mental energy to do my work.

When my mom came back from the hospital and I got to doing the house chores she used to do, I would lose all my energy there. I was getting a couple of hours after taking care of her, my father, and the house, but I wanted to relax in those hours.

Again, the reason I realized was lack of mental energy.

After some weeks, my mother got better, she started doing many of the chores and now I only have to help her with a few things.

The time left in the day is about 7 hours. And this has been the case for the past month.

Yet, I wasn’t able to produce any content on this blog. 

3. Perfectionism

It’s high time I get down to the root cause. Was it just a lack of mental energy?

To find the answer, last week, I took a small project from one of my previous clients. These were urgent articles and I didn’t say no.

Guess what? I did them, and I did them on time.

If the reason was really mental energy, how come I did this project on time. And why on earth, did I give this project priority when I know it’s much more important for me to publish a blog post here?

Again, because there was a deadline?

Yeah, that! And the fact that the client didn’t demand the work to be to the best of my ability. 

It didn’t have to be perfect.

But why is perfection important to me? 

When I ask this deep question of ‘why’ –  why do I have to be perfect? I get an answer that I feel shameful about.

Read this quote by Brené Brown from her book The Gifts of Imperfection to understand what I mean.

“Perfectionism 💯 is not the same thing as striving to be your best.

Perfectionism is the belief that if we live perfect, look perfect, and act perfect, we can minimize or avoid the pain of blame, judgment, and shame.

It’s a shield.

It’s a twenty-ton shield that we lug around thinking it will protect us when, in fact, it’s the thing that’s really preventing us from flight.”

You see, being perfect is my defense mechanism against the possible blame or shame that society might pass on to me. It helps me cope with my imposter syndrome that I am not good enough to be sharing my thoughts with you here, as I haven’t studied this topic enough or don’t have remarkable (10+ years of) experience to talk about it.

But why are these negative feelings of blame, shame, and judgment housing in my soul? I guess, due to low self-confidence.

4. Low Self-Confidence

A simple google search explains that self-confidence is “a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment”.

The lack of it means, that people find it difficult to believe in themselves and their decisions. If you don’t believe in what you do, how you do it, and whether you will be able to do it or not, isn’t it obvious that you will try your best not to do it? 

That’s not the case, however. It’s not so obvious. 

I want to write on this blog. I want to share what I know with the world. I want to learn more by writing here. And I don’t stop myself from taking action consciously.

But the lack of confidence prevents me from taking action unconsciously. 

Every time I get to work that I want to work on my brain opens doors to thoughts that create self-doubt, switch on the imposter syndrome mode, and make me feel that danger is nearby and I need to run away.

What next? I get distracted by social media, youtube videos, and other time and energy eating activities that keep me protected from my fears, but away from my dreams.

While trying to find the solution to my problem of procrastination, I found this incredibly satisfying video.

It took me 3 days to watch after some bouts of procrastination.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=me7tWDmbXrE

Now What?

I (and maybe, you too) need to ask the same question again.

Why?

Why do I not have the confidence to put myself out there in the world? And talk about the stuff I love and want to share.

Add to that another question of what.

What do I need to do to amp up my self-confidence and get rid of procrastination as soon as possible?

A Baby Step to Move Closer to Your Goals

You can take a pen and paper right now and ask yourself – Why do I procrastinate? 

Write down your answer. 

When you get the answer, ask ‘why’ for that too, if you feel like it. Otherwise, you can do that tomorrow. 😛

You can even use the comments section!

Tell us what are some of the causes of procrastination in your life.

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