Procrastination Is Common, Ways & Tips To Overcome

Procrastination is a common human behavior that affects individuals across different backgrounds, ages, and professions. It is a natural tendency to delay or avoid tasks that require effort, especially when they are perceived as challenging, overwhelming, or less enjoyable. Procrastination may be used as a coping mechanism.

Remove the social stigma

In my view the first step is to remove the social stigma from the word procrastination. Understanding that procrastination is a common tendency can help reduce the shame or guilt associated with it.

Try adopting a compassionate and non-judgmental approach towards ourselves and others. We can create an environment that promotes self-awareness, growth, and the development of effective strategies to overcome procrastination.

Procrastinating physical or mental stuff  

I seldom procrastinate doing physical stuff because my attitude is to just do it and get it over with, such as shoveling snow, mowing the lawn or washing windows. Like other folks, I don’t enjoy doing these things, though I very much enjoy the benefits of having these tasks done. 

A positive mindset helps get these chores down quickly. It feels better to realize the benefits of doing chores, rather than to start out all whiny. 

The benefits for me are I get some exercise and free my mind when I cross the jobs off the to-do list. Like I said it is so much more enjoyable to look out clean windows than dirty windows, and see the lawn mowed rather than wild.

Things I procrastinate

Of course I procrastinate doing things I dislike doing, I am human after all. I especially stall when I do not understand the subject matter and have zero interest to even know the subject.

Not having any desire to learn a particular thing is where procrastination gets me every time. There are so many things I love doing, I resent the time it will take me to slog through this, whatever this happens to be.

Having to pay attention to financial matters is the top thing I procrastinate and I am talking about with a positive cash flow. I just find that all of the words seem to be written in a foreign language that I am not fluent in. Also the stakes can be high which can cause stress. Don’t even get me started on having to make financial decisions!

Projects I dive into 

As an artist/ jewelry designer I love making big bold pieces with movement. Designing for aesthetic reasons is easy and fun. Making a great looking design functional and beautiful, for an important project I am working on, is where the challenge enters. I can happily spend hours and days lost in troubleshooting design work. No procrastination here because I love doing anything creative!

Procrastination is a complex behavior 

There is no one personality of people that procrastinate and this is influenced by various factors. Here are some insights into the relationship between personality and procrastination.


Individuals with the relentless pursuit of high standards may be more susceptible to procrastination. The fear of making mistakes or not meeting high standards can lead to delaying tasks, as they constantly seek to perfect their work before taking action.

Impulsive Personalities

People with impulsive personalities may struggle with impulsively engaging in instant gratification activities rather than focusing on important tasks. They may prioritize immediate pleasure over long-term goals, leading to procrastination.

Fear of Failure

Individuals who have a fear of failure may procrastinate as a way to protect themselves from potential disappointment or negative outcomes. They may delay starting a task to avoid the risk of failure, which can be linked to low self-esteem or a lack of confidence. To these folks – I forget who said ‘There are no such things as mistakes, only delayed successes.’

Lack of Structure

Those of us who prefer flexibility and lack a structured approach to their tasks may find it challenging to initiate and complete tasks. Without clear routines or plans in place, we may postpone tasks, waiting for the “right time” or until we feel motivated.

It is so important to have a clear and concise plan, goal, directions and time line in place before starting.

Overwhelmed Personalities

Individuals who easily feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of a task or have difficulty prioritizing may resort to procrastination as a coping mechanism. Baby steps work here! Just breaking down tasks into smaller, manageable steps will help alleviate this sense of overwhelm.

Time Management Skills

Poor time management skills can contribute to procrastination, regardless of personality type. Individuals who struggle with planning, setting deadlines, or allocating time effectively may find themselves continuously postponing tasks until the last minute.

In this case recognizing your time management issue and auditing your time are very helpful as first steps.

Lack of Interest or Motivation

When individuals lack interest or experience a lack of motivation in a particular task, they may be more inclined to procrastinate, like me and financial tasks. Just like me they may find it difficult to muster the necessary drive to start or complete the task, resulting in procrastination. 

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Physical limitations

Physical issues can make simple daily routines for some people hell. Of course these folks will have a hard time. Imagine washing windows with a broken arm or a severe arthritis flare up. The lack of physical activity may lead to mental health issues and cause anxiety disorders. It seems almost cruel to call this a procrastination problem. It would be terrible to stigmatize these people.

See! We all can be influenced by an underlying cause, including personality traits, environmental factors, psychological issues and learned behaviors. everyone has the propensity to procrastinate to some degree. People, like me, may procrastinate in certain areas of their lives while being proactive and brilliant in other areas! Procrastination is not a one size fits all description. 

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An effective way to overcome negative feelings

It is a natural tendency in our everyday life to delay or avoid tasks that require effort, especially when they are perceived as challenging, overwhelming, or less enjoyable.

The word “procrastination” does carry a certain stigma due to its association with delaying or putting off tasks. It is often seen as an undesirable behavior that can hinder productivity and progress. However, it’s important to recognize that occasional procrastination is a normal part of the human experience.

How does procrastination serve you

Procrastination can serve different purposes for individuals. It may offer temporary relief from stress or discomfort. It can provide a sense of control over one’s time, or allow for more immediate gratification. It’s essential to strike a balance and to address the negative outcome when procrastination becomes chronic and interferes with meeting one’s obligations and personal goals.

Understanding that procrastination is a common tendency can help reduce the shame or guilt associated with it. Try adopting a compassionate and non-judgmental approach towards ourselves and others. We can create an effective way to overcome the negative feelings of chronic procrastination. This will lead to less chronic stress and a greater quality of life.

Personal growth

Stop viewing procrastination as a character flaw. It can be helpful to reframe it as an opportunity for self-reflection and personal growth.

By examining the underlying reasons for procrastination and identifying strategies to overcome it, individuals can develop better habits. Practicing self-discipline, time management skills, and developing strategies about how to be motivated will be helpful.

Some students and clients have great success journaling about procrastination and the role it plays in their lives. Becoming aware is the first step. Learning your procrastination habits and getting to the core of this ongoing unpleasantness are the steps that will lead to positive change. It really can be as simple as incorporating new healthy habits.

It’s important to remember that occasional procrastination does not define a person’s worth or abilities. It’s a behavior that can be managed and improved upon with self-awareness, practical techniques, and a supportive mindset. By fostering a positive relationship with productivity and embracing proactive habits, individuals can reduce the impact of procrastination on their lives.

Help is available

There is help available for folks that suffer psychological disorders. There definitely should be no stigma attached to this. Cognitive behavioral therapy may be helpful. The American Psychiatric Association is a great resource for helping patients access care.

I hope I have made the case for destigmatizing the term procrastination. Life can be hard enough without adding a layer of stigma to it.

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Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutterer and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

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