by Rawan

Procrastination: Why Do We Do It?

January 21, 2022 | Mindset

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Have you ever wondered why you end up procrastinating even if you want to get things done? It’s like a part of our brain just doesn’t want to cooperate and we can’t seem to unlock the reason why. Well, today is your lucky day! We’ve done the research for you and gathered all you need to know right here in this article. Simply put, procrastination is actually heavily linked to our confidence. How? Allow us to explain:

Low confidence: The Core

Not being confident in your own abilities turns out to be the root of procrastination. The lack of confidence can reside in multiple aspects that are related to completing the task you’re assigned.

The aspects can include not being confident in:

  • Getting the task done on time
  • Getting the task done with the quality standard you wanted it to be


  • Getting the task done in general

The Catalysts

The Fear of Success

Sometimes, we are scared of doing well on the task, so we end up procrastinating. Success can be accompanied with an irrational sense of guilt and fear of being better than family/loved ones. We can also be scared of raising other’s expectations of us, which would lead to them being disappointed if we perform poorly next time. 

It may be comforting for some of us to deliberately self-sabotage or even unintentionally by creating circumstances that make it difficult to succeed like: leaving this till the last minute.

Low Self-Worth

We often equate our performance on tasks with how ‘worthy’ we are. we get caught up in the reward that comes after, be it the good grades or the raise or even just praise.

The potential negative feedback scares us, because we feel like our value as people rests on how well we did on the task. We get intimidated by what the outcome would be, so we deliberately delay the work to make up excuses for ourselves and to convince ourselves that this isn’t the best we can do.


Trying too hard to achieve perfectionism is usually counter-productive. It may lead to failing to submit the task on time or not submitting it at all.

Constantly making changes to your work and spending so much time trying to think of things that can go wrong will eat up your confidence and cause you to panic. This may end up in demotivation and even more procrastination, further sacrificing the success of your task.

There is a comfort to be had in blaming time and circumstances instead of our lack of commitment, right?

So How Do We Stop?

  • Look ahead instead of only considering present feelings/temptations and plan your time effectively. This way, you can avoid tasks piling up and last-minute stress.
  • Looking at a task from an overall perspective can make it seem overwhelming and complex. Try breaking the task down into many smaller tasks to be more motivated to complete them.
  • Make temptations less convenient. Try doing the work somewhere that doesn’t have your usual distractions, or maybe even invite someone to encourage you.
  • Believe in your abilities and work hard without focusing on the outcome. If you ace it, that’s great and if you don’t, then use the feedback to improve and grow.
  • Always remember you deserve to be where you are, so don’t dumb yourself down to please others.


Further Sources

  • Why You Procrastinate (It Has Nothing to Do With Self-Control) by Charlotte Lieberman, via The New York Times
  • The Paradox of Procrastination by Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D. , via Psychology Daily
  • Tired of procrastinating? To overcome it, take the time to understand it by Daryl Chen, via Ted
About the author, Rawan


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