The last book I read mentioned fourteen possible causes. It seems a miracle that we get anything done at all! I’m not going to list those fourteen, at least not now. There’s a more pressing issue. I quote*:
“Until you can see the function that procrastination serves in your life, you’ll probably put off trying our techniques.”
For me, this is the bigger WHY. What do we gain by procrastination, on a level we don’t even think about? Or, when we think about it, is hard to grasp. Because it seems so irrational. And it is.
- Fear of failure (hidden thoughts telling you that failing equals losing self-worth)
- Fear of success (hidden thoughts that claim success is dangerous in some way, or ‘just not for me’)
- The battle for control (you may be resisting authority, the ways of the world, the clock)
- Fear of separation
- Fear of intimacy
Knowing the deeper cause of your procrastination will make it easier to change it.
By the way, don’t worry: the good old “I just don’t feel like it” is one of the causes too. It’s called task aversiveness if you want to make it sound posh ;).
* Jane B. Burka and Lenora M. Yuen, Procrastination. Why you do it. What to do about it now.