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Everything to Know About Procrastination and How to Deal With It

Is it impossible to distract yourself from bad thoughts and make yourself do something? Here’s why you shouldn’t scold yourself for procrastination, where the habit of doing things at the last minute comes from, and how to keep a work attitude in the face of intense anxiety and stress.

What Is Laziness

Psychologically speaking, laziness is an attempt to avoid unpleasant work that involves difficulty, responsibility and the need to make an effort. You’ve definitely been in this state – when you put off cleaning, working out, or working on a difficult project.

We have been indoctrinated since childhood that laziness is something bad. Noticing a child’s lethargy and apathy, parents and teachers ask him to stop being lazy, without looking into why he has lost interest in learning. There may be many reasons: perhaps the child is worried because of the turbulent situation in the family or just doesn’t understand the new topic. Over time, we get used to the concept, and as adults, we describe through it ourselves and others. But this is a mistake – laziness always has an underlying reason that points to something.

Laziness arises for a variety of reasons. We put things off when we do not see the final goal or are not inspired enough by the result. This is why taking on a project that promises a promotion is much easier than doing an ordinary task. Laziness can also be caused by anxiety or a poorly planned work schedule – if you cannot boast of vigor and productivity in the morning, it’s better to postpone work to the evening.

Common Causes of Laziness


Deep down, you feel that you are not doing the right thing, so unconsciously boycott the activity. This often happens in jobs you don’t like or when you are under a lot of stress.

Lack of Incentive

Chief instructed you and a colleague to make a presentation, but you can not get on it. It seems that you have no motivation – you know that your colleague will not let you down, and therefore you are in no hurry to get to work.

Lack of Benefit

You have been trying to win while betting on your favorite sport for many years, but the courses and classes do not give results. Decide why you need this win and set a goal. For example, you can do this not just to check best bookmaker in Canada but to know everything about your favorite sports discipline.

Negative Experiences

Laziness often comes from indecision, lack of initiative, or negative attitudes. If in the past, you have not succeeded in doing what you wanted to do (for example, implementing a project), the psyche will try to avoid failure and therefore prefer to postpone work on a new case: “I won’t succeed anyway – why start then?”

Misunderstanding the Task

Imagine the situation: you need to prepare a complex dish without a recipe. You can not look on the Internet – have to remember the list of basic ingredients. Under the influence of stress you are unlikely to master a new recipe, so you will try to find an alternative – to cook something else or order a meal.

What Is Procrastination and How Does It Differ From laziness?

Procrastination is the habit of putting things off, even when they are urgent and important. Unlike laziness, procrastination does not interfere with everyday activities – cleaning, working out or taking a walk with the pet. On the contrary, when we are procrastinating, we are willing to do anything but work. Because of this, procrastination often leads to feelings of guilt and inner criticism-which is why we get upset when we break a deadline or waste a weekend.

When people are lazy, they tend to do nothing. Procrastination differs: one makes a to-do list, comes up with a plan – in short, does everything to get things done – but never gets down to work. There is a conflict between intention and action: a person knows that he needs to pull himself together, but something prevents him from doing it – a strong anxiety, stress, inability to prioritize or a feeling that he will have time to do everything just before the deadline. In this case, a person prefers to work at the limit of his abilities and gets an adrenaline boost from this. This is where the habit of putting things off until the last moment comes from.

Procrastination can be caused by the fear of failure, which is the basis of perfectionism. A person is so afraid of failing that he or she endlessly perfects the plan of action without starting the work itself. Unpleasant emotions and sensations in the body, which are caused by thoughts of doing things, he tries to compensate with something pleasant – delicious food, shopping, or scrolling through social networks.

10 Quick Ways to Get Your Productivity Back

Take a Rest

We often get lazy because of accumulated fatigue. This is how the brain lets us know that it needs a rest or a change of scenery. Think back to the last time you took a day off or went to the theater. Have trouble answering? Set aside all business and have a proper rest. We advise you not to sit in social networks and read the news, and spend time healthy for mind and body: go for a walk, read or meditate. You’ve probably noticed that fresh ideas come when the brain is disconnected from intrusive thoughts and is in a relaxed state.

Organize Your Workspace

Put your desk in order and remove unnecessary things that distract you. Put away gadgets to avoid the temptation to look at social media, and ask loved ones not to disturb you. For extra concentration, you can schedule time to devote to work. But don’t forget to take 5-10 minute breaks every hour and a half or two hours – you need this to help your brain recover and work efficiently.

Develop a Habit

Getting exercise, business meetings, correspondence with clients – there are probably things in your schedule that you need to do regularly. Try to set them at the same time – that way you’ll form a habit of routine work, and it causes less rejection than tasks that seem new. Reading the news can also be put into your work schedule: give them no more than 30 minutes in the morning and evening – this will help reduce anxiety, distract from negative thoughts and focus on work.

Set a Goal

Sometimes we get lazy because of a lack of motivation. There seems to be a plan, but it’s not clear why we need it and what the result will be. If it’s not your first day of procrastination, set a specific and tangible goal that will inspire you.

Break down a big task into several sub-items – it’s easier to handle that way.

You can have a planner as an extra incentive: crossing off your to-do list of completed tasks will make you feel satisfied and want to do something else.

Do Difficult Things First

In time management, this principle is called “eating a frog for breakfast.” It will be easier for you to get to work and take your mind off reading the disturbing news if you start with the most unpleasant and monotonous task.

Take the First Step

We often can’t bring ourselves to start, but it’s worth it to take on a job that doesn’t seem so difficult. If there is no inspiration at all, work for at least 10 minutes. It will be easier for you to start doing things, and there is a chance that in the process the work will take you away.

Establish Control

Ask for help from your relatives – ask them to follow the work and periodically remind you of the approaching deadline. You can entrust it to children – they are eager to perform the duties of the controller. Besides, you don’t want to look lazy in your child’s eyes.

Get to work in good health – this requires a good night’s sleep and a good breakfast. If you wish, you can go to a workout – during physical activity the brain produces neurotransmitters that are responsible for a good mood and reduce cortisol levels. And sports also bring up willpower and discipline – thanks to regular training it will be easier to overcome the reluctance to do something.

Praise yourself for your achievements – even if it’s a workout (which you didn’t want to go to) or watching a useful documentary instead of a TV series. And don’t forget to make yourself feel good-you’ll find it much easier to get started on a difficult task if you treat yourself to a sweet treat as a reward.

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Ruth Doyle