It’s undeniable that everyone procrastinate every once and awhile. Let’s be honest, nobody is perfect. We know what we should be doing but the majority of the time we avoid doing it. It’s funny and ironic, right? Knowing that the tasks are going to be beneficial to us, isn’t this reason alone enough to push us to get the tasks done? Why on earth are we procrastinating when we know it brings zero benefit for us?
Why are we procrastinating?
- Is it because we are lazy?
- Is it because we are incompetent and are unable to get things done?
- Is it because of a lack of motivation?
- Or, we procrastinate so that we can use procrastination as an excuse when we don’t perform up to our expectations?
There are a lot of reasons why we procrastinate. Different people may have different reasons for doing so. Today, we are going to be focusing on the last reason.
The Perfect Excuse
Have you ever heard someone say things like these?
“Ah, if I had studied earlier, I would have definitely passed my exam.”
“The reason I am performing so horribly is because I haven’t prepare enough!”
“If I had made more calls, I might have hit this month’s sales target!”
What they are trying to say is that, if they had never procrastinated, if they never did things at the last minute, they would have done better.
From time to time, we see a lot of these examples around us. Sometimes we ourselves are one of them. It’s easier to cope with our failures when we know that we weren’t putting 100% of our effort into it right?
Saying “I failed my exam because I studied at the last minute” is always better than saying “I failed my exam even though I put in 100% effort”.
So, we tend to procrastinate on things. If we aren’t producing a good outcome, we still have the perfect excuse to cover up for our inability to perform well.
Is this the reason why we procrastinate? I guess you are only the one who knows the answer to this question.
The Fear of Failure
Living in a society full of judgemental people results in everyone being afraid of failures. We are afraid of being judged by others as mediocre, as someone who is not good enough.
Some of us may think that if we fail to live up other’s expectations, we will be labelled as a failure. Therefore, instead of giving 100% of our effort to improve ourselves, we choose the easy way out. We stop giving in too much. We start to procrastinate on important tasks.
What do you do after you fail at something? Here are the common ones:
1. Give up.
Just like when some people fail their test, instead of trying harder for the re-sit, they choose to give up on the subject instead. Why? Because it’s even harder to face failure if they try harder and failed again the next time. So instead of trying harder, they refuse to study. If they fail their test again, an excuse of “I just never studied for it, if not…” can be used to hide their flaws.
2. Try harder.
They embrace the failures and learn from it. They try harder, put in even more effort the next time. They treat every failure as a temporary setback. (You might want to check out our “Top 10 Motivational Quotes about Overcoming Failures“)
Some people choose the first course of action, some people choose the latter. It’s much easier to cope with the same failure again if there is no effort involved in it, since we can always blame our failures on the “lack of effort”, instead of doubting our own abilities, and facing our own weaknesses.
Just in case we don’t get the desirable outcome, procrastinating can be the perfect excuse for ourselves to cover up our failures. The fear of failing makes us procrastinate. We procrastinate so we have a reason to excuse our performance, or rather, the lack of it. We failed, so what? It’s not like we put in any effort, right?
Instead of learning from it, or constantly improving ourselves, we find excuses such as ‘procrastination’ to convince ourselves that, “There is nothing wrong with me! I just lack preparation/not putting in any effort”. We are afraid of being a failure, that’s why we need to find an excuse – Procrastination, to back ourselves up.
And, It’s Easy.
I bet is really easy to say “I’m going to do this tomorrow” than actually doing it right now.
Procrastinating is so easy right? We don’t even need any additional motivation/effort to do it. It’s spontaneous. We like to do things the easy way, I mean, who wouldn’t? But the easy way is not always the right way.
Let’s ask ourselves some questions.
- “How much time have I wasted in procrastinating?”
- “How many great things would I have accomplished had I never procrastinated?”
Yes, procrastinating is really easy. Anyone can do it. But, is this the right thing to do? Spending most of our time scrolling through our news feed on Facebook?
I know, getting our butts off the couch and starting to do things is hard. The resistance exists somehow. Maybe, what you need to do is to simplify the tasks. Break it down into smaller pieces, and start doing the first small piece. The key is to start doing, to break the habit of procrastinating. Focus on the little pieces of your task. Piece by piece and the rest will be history!
This may not be the reason why you’re procrastinating. There are a lot of factor involved in it. But, we all know the cons of procrastination. It hinders us from succeeding and consumes our precious time unconsciously. To fix a problem, we must find the true cause of the problem, the root of it. Thus, it is essential to understand what drives us to procrastinate.
What is the difference between a successful person and a normal person? A normal person dreams for success, but a successful person works for it. Unlike the majority of us, successful people do things they should do, instead of procrastinating.