Procrastination – The Causes

Through my exploration of procrastination, I have discovered there are many causes of procrastination. Some of this material comes from postings on the Royal Roads University Executive Coaching Listserve, some from discussion with friends, colleagues, clients and some from reading texts and Internet material.

How many of these causes resonate with you?

  1. The task is boring or repetitive, and I just don’t like doing it.
  2. The task will go away – if I wait long enough, maybe it won’t be necessary to do it.
  3. Thinking about how much time is needed to complete the task – so if there doesn’t seem to be enough time available, then there’s no point in starting it.
  4. Fear of failure – not feeling adequately knowledgeable or experienced for the job. I don’t need a failure.
  5. Fear of success – avoiding the changes that success would bring.
  6. Feeling unworthy of success.
  7. Waiting for inspiration – looking for something original.
  8. Thinking there is no point in doing this – it may be a waste of time!
  9. Inadequate information.
  10. Being asked to complete a task that runs counter to my values.
  11. Perfectionism – setting such high standards for myself that they are unattainable.If I do it last minute then I have an excuse for lack of perfection.
  12. Needing still more information – This may be related to perfectionism.
  13. Being afraid to make a wrong decision – not seeing it as a learning experience.
  14. Feeling overwhelmed by the task – IT’S SO BIG!
  15. Poor time management – having an unrealistic sense of how long it will take, or it is crowding other areas of my life.
  16. Poor organization, clutter.
  17. Being unable to prioritize – What should I do first?
  18. Lack of required tools.
  19. Avoiding control – a form of sabotage – this may be the only way I can take some control at least.
  20. Unmanageable work load.
  21. Allowing others’ priorities to take precedence over mine.Not setting personal boundaries.
  22. Lacking the emotional/psychological space. I am so occupied with my ongoing responsibilities that I can’t cope with something else.
  23. Addiction to adrenalin – can’t keep focused or maintain the energy to do the task without the added adrenalin. Sometime adrenalin brings out our creativity.
  24. Lack of concentration – A distracted mind prevents focus.
  25. Your intuition tells you to wait before acting.
  26. Lethargy caused by poor diet and/or lack of exercise.

Coaching Questions to Stimulate Reflection About Your Life

  • If you took more control over your life, what would you do with it?
  • What would you be able to achieve if you took the action(s) you know you need to take?
  • If you want more control of your life, and dream about achieving more, do you know what is preventing you from doing it?