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Blame it on your humming and hawing ways all you want, but there are deeper psychological reasons behind your procrastination. Many scientists describe procrastination as a defense mechanism. You find yourself getting anxious at the prospect of a task, so you seek temporary refuge by putting it off. That’s why characterizing yourself as a lazy person and taking an elaborate guilt trip is not going to help you solve this problem. You have to get to its roots.
Trust scientia potentia est, which is Latin for ‘knowledge is power’. If you become aware about the reasons behind procrastination, you will have the power to overcome this baleful habit. You must overcome procrastination as it can lead to stress.
To understand what triggers people to voluntarily stall their work, Health Shots reached out to Dr Kamna Chhibber, Head – Mental health at Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Fortis Healthcare.
“There are a lot of factors – related to the task you’ve undertaken, situations you’re in and the people that surround you – that make you pick up your phone every time you’re supposed to pick up your work,” says Dr Chhibber.
4 causes of procrastination
1. Fear can put your work on hold
Fear of failure or rejection. If you have any of these gloomy outlooks, it is enough to throw you off course. If you’re spending most of your energy trying to calculate the ways in which things can go wrong, you will find yourself too drained to actually take the actions which can assure you success. The result? Procrastination.
2. Feeling inadequate can cause delays
Doubting your capabilities and talent anytime you enter the working arena – especially if you’re a beginner – causes your self-confidence to take a hit. If you believe that your output won’t be up to to the mark, the urgency to avoid your work will be dire. A chronic procrastinator will rather have people think they lack effort than lacking ability, according to Joseph Ferrari, a psychology expert who researches on procrastination.
3. Perfectionism can make you procrastinate
Perfectionism seems like a good quality to have, doesn’t it? Always pushing yourself to achieve the best. But sadly, there’s a downside of this virtue. “When you wish to do everything in a perfect way, at a perfect time, you tend keep delaying the task at hand because you haven’t found the best approach yet,” says Dr Chhibber. Beware! The ‘all or nothing’ approach can cripple you at times, and leave tasks unfinished.
4. Don’t know where to start :
You might find yourself dilly-dallying if you can’t get the whole picture of the impending task. It is better to focus on the basics, rather than worrying about the end result.