Do It Now

Sometimes Later Never Happens!

Author: Dr. Julie. Sorenson, DMFT, MA, LPC

Procrastination can be linked to a person’s self-control; it is easy to put off tasks occasionally, but people who procrastinate avoid tasks on purpose and look for distractions. Around 20% of humans represent chronic procrastinators (Batcho, K, 2024). People who procrastinate may say things like “I don’t want to” or “I’ll do that later,” which can detour people from achieving their goals. They may start having negative connotations, leading to negative emotions because they think they need or want to do what they never did as procrastination takes over and their lives take a back seat.


People who procrastinate are aware of their actions and the consequences of putting off the things they need/want to do, but changing their habits and mindset may be overwhelming. Often, procrastinators are perfectionists. They may not want to dive into the task for fear of failure. They avoid taking the risk of completing things to fear how other people may view them. There is a tendency for procrastinators to believe they perform better under pressure; however, Batcho, 2024 reports the research provides data saying that isn’t always the case. Batcho continues to report that people who procrastinate tend to feel a rush of adrenaline to beat the odds of finishing a task at the last minute. Some reasons people procrastinate are:

I do this after work_ I even procrastinate my procrastination_
  • Fear of failure
  • We don’t think we will enjoy the task at hand
  • The task is complex and confusing
  • They are tired or bored
  • They may have low self-esteem
  • Lack confidence
  • Anxiety takes over
  • Lack of structure
  • Inability to motivate self
  • Fixated on negative pieces of the project

While procrastination may relieve stress for the moment, avoidance is a safety behavior providing long-term psychological hindrances. The following are the consequences of procrastination:

  • Emotional and Physical strain
  • Lower work performance leads to lower grades in school or possibilities of promotion at work.
  • Reduced feeling of overall well-being
  • Insomnia
  • Gastrointestinal Issues
  • The strain on friendships or intimate relationships
  • Jeopardizing professional and personal goals
  • Putting off exercise can lead to hypertension or cardiovascular disease.
  • This is linked to depression because people who suffer from depression may have difficulties planning or lose confidence in following through.
  • Negative self-talk

The good news is that it is possible to take the front seat in your life and conquer the habit of procrastinating. Changing negative behavior takes effort, an “I can do it” mindset, and consistency. If you are struggling with changing your procrastinating habits, contact a local therapist. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one of several modalities assisting in changing behaviors. Here are some strategies to help you stop procrastinating and “get ‘er done.”

  • Build in extra time for delays.
  • Using the four quadrants from Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People
  • Break the task down into sections so it doesn’t seem too overwhelming.
  • Limit distractions (put your phone on the other side of the room, turn off the TV, work in a setting that assists in motivating you)
  • Give yourself grace
  • Develop empathy for self.
  • Reward yourself for a job well done.

Remember to celebrate the successes no matter how small they may seem. It is critical to learn how to change your mindset for you to accomplish your goals. Don’t take backstage your life; you can choose which is more complex, putting off the tasks at hand or watching your goals slip away. Choose your hard! Reach out to a local therapist to help them change your habits and walk alongside you to reach your goals. When seeing a therapist, remember if one isn’t a good fit for you, you get to shop around to find one that is a good fit for you. You can find a therapist on psychology today; just type in your zip code, and it will provide several professionals waiting to assist you.




Batcho, K, 2024 Procrastination 7 Reasons Not to Procrastinate. Resisting procrastination can have surprising benefits. Psychology Today

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