The Psychology Of Procrastination

The Psychology of Procrastination

Procrastination is a phenomenon that we have all experienced at some point in our lives. Basically, we could define it as leaving the tasks I have to do for another time. From postponing important work tasks to putting off until tomorrow what we could do today, the tendency to procrastinate can significantly affect our productivity and emotional well-being.

In this article, We will explore in depth the psychology behind procrastination as well as effective strategies to overcome it and improve our quality of life.

The keys to procrastination

As you can imagine, procrastination has an explanation on a psychological level. In fact, it may have various psychological roots that contribute to our procrastination behavior. One of the most common causes is the fear of failure. The fear of not meeting our own or other people’s expectations can lead us to postpone tasks to avoid facing the possibility of not achieving them. This avoidance of failure may be related to perfectionism, where we seek perfection in our actions and fear not achieving it.

The thought linked to this cause is usually “why am I going to try if I’m not going to do it well?”, which as you can imagine is very limiting because most of the time it is practice that makes us improve, if I am afraid of not doing it right the first time and that is why I don’t do it, there will be many activities, tasks, obligations, etc that I do not carry out and that therefore affect my professional or personal life.

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Another common cause of procrastination is the search for instant gratification. In a world full of distractions and immediate pleasures, it is easy to be tempted to postpone our responsibilities in favor of more pleasant and less demanding activities. Social networks, video games and online entertainment can become an escape from tasks that require effort and concentration.

Logically, these activities may give me an immediate boost of “passive” dopamine but, in the long term, it is those activities that we procrastinate that will help me grow in my daily life and generate the famous “hormones of happiness” in the long term. , like serotonin.

What can I do to beat procrastination?

Overcoming procrastination requires a multifaceted approach that addresses both the underlying causes of the behavior and practical strategies to change it. One of the most effective techniques is time management. This implies set realistic schedules and deadlines for our tasks, prioritizing the most important activities and breaking them down into smaller, more manageable steps. For this, the Eisenhower method or matrix could come in very handy, for example.

Another useful strategy is positive visualization of success. Instead of focusing on the fear of failure, we can visualize ourselves successfully completing the task and experiencing the benefits and satisfaction that come with it.

This technique can help us overcome the fear and anxiety associated with the task, and motivate us to take action, although we must be mindful of how we envision success. For example, if I am taking the exam and fear is paralyzing me, I can visualize myself writing on the exam and feeling good for having done it and that will help me in the process, however, if I visualize myself with the place, it may be counterproductive and add more burden. to that fear.

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Additionally, setting clear and achievable goals can be key to combating procrastination. By breaking down a task into smaller, more concrete goals, we find it easier to get started and stay focused on the process rather than feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of the entire task.

Something we should keep in mind when we talk about procrastination is the role of self-care and self-compassion. It is important to recognize that procrastination is often related to high levels of stress, anxiety and self-criticism. In this sense, practicing self-care and self-compassion can be essential to overcome this pattern of behavior. Taking time to rest, relax, and take care of our physical and emotional needs can help us reduce stress and improve our overall well-being.

Plus, treating ourselves with kindness and understanding instead of punishing ourselves for procrastinating can be transformative. Instead of blaming ourselves for our past actions, we can learn from them and commit to doing better in the future. Self-compassion allows us to accept ourselves with our imperfections and work towards change in a more gentle and compassionate way.


In conclusion, procrastination is a common but addressable challenge that affects many people in their daily lives. By understanding the underlying causes of this behavior and learning effective strategies to overcome it, we can improve our productivity, reduce stress, and cultivate a greater sense of accomplishment and well-being in our lives.

By taking proactive steps to address procrastination, we can free ourselves from the cycle of procrastination and reach our full potential. If you feel like you can’t get out of that procrastinating circle, don’t hesitate to contact me and together we will start those changes that you need to incorporate into your daily life.