Procrastination: 5 Reasons we don't get round to doing things & How to Get Going

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Procrastination: 5 Reasons We Don’t Get Round to Doing Things

Merriam-Webster defines procrastination as  “to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done”. So if it should be done, why don’t we do it?

There are 5 reasons for procrastination which this post looks at:  one which is used most frequently, two which we use when other people procrastinate and two which we don’t often think about.  One of the most common reasons we give for someone else putting things off is laziness. Interestingly, on investigation, this is rarely proven to be the case. So that’s why it’s not on this list! This post lists the reasons, and gives some questions to ask yourself. This might be enough to get you going, if not watch out for the next posts which will look at it in more detail.

Reasons for Procrastination

Don’t Have Enough…

It may be shortage of time, no money, no venue, no staff…Whatever it is, we think we can’t get round to doing whatever it is we should be doing because we are lacking something. Lack of money and time provide acceptable excuses on most occasions.

Don’t Want to…

This is a reason we offer for other people’s procrastination. This is true sometimes–if you find something unpleasant or distasteful, you will put it off. However, in all honesty, how often is that the reason that you give for not doing things? Often it is the reason, but instead of admitting, “I hate taking out the rubbish” we find excuses and delay.

Don’t Care Enough…

This is another explanation we give for someone else putting things off–“they just don’t care about the company, he doesn’t love me etc”. It’s rarely given as the reason we don’t do things–it may be, but we find it difficult to tell someone we care about them, but don’t think the task is important.

“Where the heart is willing, it will find a thousand ways. Where it is unwilling, it will find a thousand excuses.” – Arlen Price

Don’t Know How…

This is often the reason, but people are reluctant to admit it and rarely think that others may be delaying because they do not know how to do something.

Don’t Try, Don’t Fail?

How often do we put things off because they might go really badly? We may have had a bad experience in the past, so are reluctant to try again. But rather than admit it, we find excuses. Well, I would exercise more, but just now I don’t have time”.

How to get going

First sit down and be honest with yourself about why are you are putting this particular thing off. Ask yourself

What resources do I really need to do this?

Do I want to do this? If not, how can I tell someone in a way that isn’t confrontational?

How important is this thing to me? To the people I care about?

What skills do I need to do this? Who could I ask?

What’s the worst that could happen if I do it? What’s the best? What would happen if I don’t do it?

If you’d like help in getting round to it, especially if you would like to know more about how to have those difficult conversations about why you aren’t doing something, contact us.