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As mothers, procrastination is all too acquainted to most of us. It’s because we regularly have an inventory of issues we’d reasonably not do! Piles of laundry or dishes, homework assignments, train, and dealing with funds are frequent duties that we procrastinate. Add the allure of a smartphone and it’s simple to immediately end up off observe. (I’m all too responsible of this!)

However the fact is, we additionally procrastinate issues we do wish to do, like beginning a enterprise, writing a e-book, adopting a constructive behavior, and so on.

Procrastination isn’t so simple as not eager to do issues we don’t really feel like doing — it goes a lot deeper. On this put up, I’ll clarify why you’re actually procrastinating (and what you are able to do).

Why Do We Procrastinate?

Opposite to what many individuals imagine, procrastination isn’t about being lazy. I used to imagine that procrastination was merely about not eager to do one thing. And this is sensible. The issues we most frequently delay are boring duties like laundry or troublesome duties like writing a university paper.

Analysis printed in 2000 factors to an inventory of seven triggers that trigger procrastination:

  • Boring
  • Irritating
  • Troublesome
  • Ambiguous
  • Unstructured
  • Not intrinsically rewarding
  • Missing in private that means

These triggers appear to make sense. However on the identical time, I can identify loads of duties that I don’t procrastinate that fall underneath these identical set off classes. And what in regards to the duties we actually wish to do (like lastly write that e-book) however we maintain placing it off (and scroll by way of social media as a substitute)? We’ve to look a bit of deeper. What I found was that procrastination is rather more linked to an interior battle.

Concern of failure, worry of success, and feeling unworthy of success, are all interior conflicts that may make you place off doing the factor you need to (or need!) to do.

The explanation that these interior conflicts trigger procrastination is that our unconscious thoughts is at all times making an attempt to guard us from hurt (actual or perceived). Procrastination is a technique of doing that. If a job presents a scenario that might be “harmful” in response to the unconscious thoughts, it’s going to cease you from continuing. Something that’s disagreeable is perceived as a hazard within the unconscious thoughts.

Inside Conflicts That Trigger Procrastination

In keeping with a Psychology Today article written by Dr. Susan Krauss Whitbourne, there are 4 major interior conflicts that trigger procrastination:


That is the place an individual creates a scenario that ensures they gained’t be capable of succeed. That is often executed subconsciously. For instance, somebody who’s afraid of failing will delay writing their e-book after which they are going to run out of time. The explanation for not writing then turns into lack of time which is simpler to cope with than lack of potential.

One other instance of that is the worry of success. If an individual has an ideal thought for a enterprise, however their complete household is blue-collar staff, they may really feel responsible for making a enterprise that makes plenty of cash. Placing duties off can be sure that they don’t make more cash than their relations.

Tapping is one method that’s actually helped me overcome these ingrained ideas.

Low Self Efficacy

One other interior battle is low self-efficacy. Just like self-confidence, self-efficacy is your self-confidence for a specific job. For instance, you’ll have plenty of confidence in your potential to bake a cake, however very low confidence in your potential to develop a tomato.

For those who don’t assume you’ve got the power to do one thing, you would possibly delay making an attempt it. This isn’t only a worry of failure. Low self-efficacy can also be about the stress that is caused when you’re making an attempt to do a job you don’t imagine you might be able to. Your unconscious thoughts needs to keep away from this stress too.

Thrill Looking for

For some folks, the stress of a decent deadline can provide them a thrill. Analysis means that that is extra typical in extroverts.


Perfectionism is the fourth explanation for procrastination. Whitbourne argues that some persons are so afraid of imperfection that they might end a job, like writing a paper, however delay submitting it.

However some analysis means that perfectionism is definitely a symptom of low shallowness. A 2011 examine discovered that a minimum of some perfectionism is the product of low shallowness and self-criticism.

The way to Overcome Procrastination (& Grow to be a Productiveness Machine)

For those who are likely to procrastinate and wish to lastly cease, listed below are some suggestions that may assist:

Acknowledge Procrastination

The very first thing you could do is acknowledge when you find yourself procrastinating. This may be troublesome to acknowledge, particularly when the duty you utilize to distract your self can also be one thing that must be executed (like cleansing). It’s simple to make the excuse that the cleansing was a precedence.

As talked about above, perfectionism is one other manner that folks procrastinate. For those who’re pushing aside ending one thing since you don’t imagine that it’s ok but, you might be procrastinating.

For those who create obstacles for your self you may additionally be procrastinating. For instance, For those who spend $1,00zero on clothes as a substitute of the brand new pc you could write your e-book, you’re self-sabotaging.

Determine Out the Underlying Trigger

When you acknowledge that you simply’ve been procrastinating you can begin to dig deeper and determine what the underlying trigger is. Listed here are some prospects:

  •  worry of failure
  •  worry of success
  •  feeling unworthy
  •  feeling responsible

Determining the mindset situation that’s inflicting your procrastination may help you get again on job.

Procrastination is commonly a mindset drawback however generally it’s extra in regards to the job itself. Are you procrastinating doing one thing as a result of it’s actually not one thing try to be doing?

All of us procrastinate at sure occasions, like placing the laundry away, or paying a invoice. However these issues often get executed ultimately as a result of we see the good thing about them. After I don’t put laundry away it makes my life much more troublesome!

If there’s a job or aim that you simply’re pushing aside indefinitely, perhaps that aim isn’t a part of your life path and that’s one thing that must be thought-about, too.

Forgive Your self

Analysis printed in 2010 found that forgiving your self for previous procrastination may help cut back future procrastination. If you feel guilt or shame about procrastinating up to now now’s the time to let it go so you may make an actual change.

Use Productiveness Hacks

When you uncover any mindset points which might be inflicting your procrastination you should use productiveness hacks that can assist you keep on job and attain your targets.

Break Massive Duties Into Small Chunks

For those who procrastinate due to overwhelm, breaking your duties into manageable items is an effective way to be productive. I wish to backward plan by beginning with my aim after which determining what must be executed simply earlier than the aim is reached, what must be executed earlier than that job, and so on.


When my to-do listing is uncontrolled I are likely to wish to keep away from it altogether! But when I spend 10-15 minutes within the morning prioritizing what must get executed I really feel rather more in management. It even makes me really feel extra succesful! I select Three major duties that have to get completed and the rest I can do is a bonus. Time administration can also have an effect on self-confidence, so getting management of it’s a enormous assist.

Eat the Frog

Brian Tracy’s e-book Eat That Frog teaches many productiveness hacks, however an important is to eat a frog each morning. He says that if it’s a must to eat a frog every single day, get it over through the morning and the remainder of your day will likely be simple.

He (after all) doesn’t imply really consuming frogs. As an alternative, he’s referring to these essential duties which might be boring, irritating, troublesome, and so on. For those who get that executed very first thing within the morning, you’ll have gotten an important factor out of the best way in order that if it’s the one factor you accomplish that day, it was a profitable day.

Use the 5 Second Rule

If consuming the frog is just too troublesome, do this: the 5 second rule. Mel Robbins, writer of The 5 Second Rule, explains that “when you’ve got an impulse to behave on a aim, you should bodily transfer inside 5 seconds or your mind will kill the thought.” She recommends counting down — 5-4-3-2-1-GO after which transfer towards no matter motion you could do (even when it’s small).

Use the 80/20 Rule

This my private favourite.

Doing unimportant duties is a type of procrastinating. As an alternative of doing the whole lot, keep on with the 20 p.c of duties that offer you 80 p.c of your rewards. For instance, meal planning or spending the time to ensure youngsters cling up barely used garments (as a substitute of tossing them within the laundry) are nice methods to save lots of plenty of battle later.

Get Accountability

Having somebody in addition to your self to be accountable to is an effective way to remain on job. Ask a pal or colleague to have a weekly or month-to-month check-in in your progress. This at all times helps me as a result of I hate to disappoint another person or should admit to them that I didn’t do what I stated I’d.

Use the Pomodoro Technique

This technique comes from Francesco Cirillo and his tomato kitchen timer. The pomodoro technique is easy:

  • Set a timer for 25 minutes and work in your job
  • Then set the timer for five or 10 minutes and take a break
  • Repeat the cycle for Four pomodoros, then take an extended break; 15-30 minutes.

This system provides a small time frame to get work executed and in addition guarantees the reward of a break. If 25 minutes is just too lengthy, select an period of time that works for you. You possibly can at all times improve the time as you get used to the system.

Focus Lengthy-Time period

Procrastinators are likely to concentrate on the short-term advantages of placing a job off. While you discover that you simply’re procrastinating, remind your self of the long-term advantages like extra money, a clean home to enjoy, a level, a calmer family, and so on.

Take Care of Your self

Ensure you’re getting sufficient quality sleep and also you’re eating healthy food to gas your mind and provides your self the perfect probability of reaching your targets.

Overcoming Procrastination: Is it Attainable?

Procrastination can generally really feel prefer it’s taken maintain of you and you haven’t any management. However there are many issues you are able to do to beat procrastination and attain your targets. At all times consider the underlying trigger first. No productiveness hacks are going that can assist you till you discover the supply of self-sabotage and use a few of these methods to maintain transferring ahead!

This text was medically reviewed by Dr. Lauren Jefferis, board licensed in Inner Drugs and Pediatrics. As at all times, this isn’t private medical recommendation and we suggest that you simply discuss along with your physician or work with a health care provider at SteadyMD.

Are you a procrastinator? What trigger do you most establish with?


  1. Blunt, A. Okay., & Pychyl, T. A. (2000). Process aversiveness and procrastination: a multi-dimensional strategy to job aversiveness throughout phases of private tasks. Persona and Particular person Variations, 28(1), 153–167. doi: 10.1016/s0191-8869(99)00091-4
  2. The Paradox of Procrastination. (n.d.). Retrieved from
  3. Dunkley, D. M., Berg, J.-L., & Zuroff, D. C. (2012). The Function of Perfectionism in Every day Self-Esteem, Attachment, and Adverse Have an effect on. Journal of Persona, 80(3), 633–663. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2011.00741.x
  4. Wohl, M. J., Pychyl, T. A., & Bennett, S. H. (2010). I forgive myself, now I can examine: How self-forgiveness for procrastinating can cut back future procrastination. Persona and Particular person Variations, 48(7), 803–808. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.01.029

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