Procrastination: The Psychology Behind It

If you want to figure a way out of procrastination, you first need to figure out why you do it.

You can try but you can’t help it! Procrastination is a problem most of us are struggling with and no matter how hard we try procrastinating the idea of not procrastinating seems like a better solution. However, the best way to find the solution to a problem is to track down its source at first. So, if you are trying to find a solution to procrastination, you must first understand why you do it.

Setting Abstract Goals

One tends to procrastinate more, if the goals set seem to be vague compared to concrete ones. Setting abstract goals or not defining your goals in concrete perimeters often result in the loss of motivation which increases chances of procrastination. Popular opinion of behavioural experts suggests that the success rates of fulfilling abstract goals are highly improbable. Evidently then, if you even remotely believe that your set goal is unattainable, you are more likely to procrastinate.

Far-Fetched Rewards

People tend to procrastinate when the rewards associated with the task could be achieved far into the future. This is because when we do not receive the reward right after the completion of the task, the value of the reward gets discounted. Inherently, people are biased towards tasks that earn rewards over shorter periods. On the contrary, even if a task is capable of generating better rewards, if it is far into the, people procrastinate.

Being Too Optimistic of the Future

Call it overconfidence or optimism, sometimes people procrastinate because they trust in their ability to complete the tasks at hand in the future (maybe a little too much). This sense of confidence or optimism can be a result of two parameters. First, there might be enough time before the person actually has to get the task done. Secondly, it might be that the person ois capable of functioning better and more efficiently under pressure.


Anxiety is one of the major factors that lead people to procrastinate. Anxiety over the possibility of failure in handling a task is a reason why people procrastinate. However, the major problem behind this reason is that it forms a vicious cycle. A person procrastinates because of anxiety and the procrastination increases the person’s anxiety, which leads into the formation of a feedback loop.

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