You procrastinate. I procrastinate. Even the most successful of people fall victim to procrastination from time to time.

Even though we wish we could focus on things 100% of the time, procrastination is normal and something that everyone has to overcome if they wish to achieve great things…or you know, get anything done. Whether it’s writing that paper, pounding out 1500 words to meet your goals for the day, or sticking to a gym routine for more than 3 days, procrastination is everywhere just waiting to pounce.

It’s up to you to decide to overcome it’s temptations against you.

So even if you’re not alone in your procrastination, there’s still a lot to learn from it. Here are a few facts that you probably didn’t know about that sudden urges to binge watch an entire season of that new show on Netflix:

  1. According to some researchers, procrastination has more than quadrupled in the last 30 years. There is, at this point in time, no known reason as to the cause of this upward trend.
  2. Procrastination is often viewed as a lifestyle (whether by choice or not) largely because the behaviors  take over all aspects of the individual’s life. Put simply, procrastinators do not usually notice any negative consequences of performing tasks at the last minute and this is likely why they continue to keep up their procrastination habits
  3. It’s a common misconception that procrastination is due to a problem with managing time, when in fact, it’s a much more complex issue. People who procrastinate don’t do it because they underestimate how long a task will take. Instead, they are overly optimistic about their ability to get the job done.
  4. Procrastination has been linked to higher levels of consumption of alcohol among those people who drink.
  5. 1 out of 5 people admit that their procrastination has gotten so out of hand that they have jeopardized their jobs, credit, relationships, and even their health.
  6. Research has shown that procrastinators often have a weakened immune system, meaning that they are more prone to develop gastrointestinal problems and suffer from colds as well as flu more frequently. Additionally, procrastinators are more likely to experience sleep disorders such as insomnia.
  7. There are 3 different varieties of procrastination: 1. Arousal type, who wait until the last minute to complete something for the euphoric rush. 2. Avoiders, who may be avoiding fear of failure or even fear of sucess. And 3. Decisional type, who find it highly difficult to make a decision.

Do you struggle with procrastination within your own life? How do you fight through procrastination when you really need to get something done? 7 Interesting Facts About Procrastination

18 thoughts on “7 Interesting Facts About Procrastination

  1. Me, me, me! I think I am a combo of type one and two – I need a deadline, and I delay starting because I am worried it won’t be as good as I want it to be. I’m also always sick and tired and I think that’s huge factor – I can never really find the energy to begin. Above sort of implies the sickness etc is a result of procrastinating, but I wonder if it could be the other way around?

    1. Oh believe me, so many of these hit a bit TOO close to home for me as well!

      And that’s an interesting question. I bet it could be the other way around too although I’m not sure.

  2. For me, none of those three main factors feel like they’re at the root of my behaviour. I think I’m a bit of a stimulus junkie – I like having lots of things to do or learn or read or watch. That means it’s very easy to start a new “thing” when I’ve finished the most interesting part of whatever problem I’m working on at the moment. When I can see exactly what needs to be done to finish it off, a lot of the enjoyment evaporates.

    A checklist that I can cross tasks off helps me rein in the procrastination.

    Guilt helps a lot, too.

    And making promises to other people: I feel honor-bound to do what I’ve promised to do. So publicly stating “I will complete X by such-and-such date” really helps, too!

    My guess is that our modern “always-on” lifestyle, and the deluge of stimulation and ways of spending our time, and our sense of rushing and our need to fill every minute of the day is the key factor in the huge increase in procrastination. I think it’s part of the issue of having too many choices (“decision paralysis”).

  3. I try to set deadlines and make plans. Recently I noticed that counting helps as well, as odd as it sounds. Similar to counting to ten when angry, I found that counting to 30 helps me to gain focus for the task at hand.

    1. I do a lot of counting too. There’s a lot of science behind the fact that counting gives us a sense of control!

  4. I’m doing a TED talk on Procrastination next week so this was very helpful thank you to everyone who commented too! :)

  5. I was procrastinating on a blog post when I came upon this. I think the success/failure thing is really more my wheelhouse. I use to do the rush study/thesis in college and it was a blast, but now that I’m looking down the barrel of 40 yrs, it’s not so fun any more.

    And I can vouch that the immune system tanking, at least for me, is true. I’m sure it’s because even though we THINK we are avoiding doing X, we’re still subconsciously thinking and fretting over X, which increases cortisol and blows all things into badland.

    Ugh. But I don’t wanna!

    Great article! :)

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