Researchers have discovered that the Present YOU really likes instant gratification, not long-term rewards.
The Present YOU and the Future YOU are usually at odds with each another. The Future YOU wants to be slim, trim, and healthy, but on the other hand the Present YOU wants a cheesy pizza, candy, or donuts. For sure, everyone is aware you should eat healthy today to avoid being obese in the next 10-15 years. But consequences like obesity with the increased risk of diabetes or heart problems are years away. Your Present YOU dominate and your brain values the immediate pleasure in eating that cheesy pizza, candy, or donuts.
This is one reason why you might go to bed feeling motivated to make a change in your life, but when you wake up you find yourself falling back into old patterns. Your brain values long-term benefits when they are in the future (tomorrow), but it values immediate gratification when it comes to the present moment (today).
Do you set very high standards?
Do you expect a lot from yourself, day-out and day-in?
You may feel proud on being a perfectionist but some behavioral scientist believes one of the reasons of procrastination is excessive perfectionism.
If you are a self-confessed perfectionist, then you might find it difficult to take action until and unless you know that you can do a job perfectly, with which you will get totally satisfied. Believing that the only good task is a perfectly done task will make it hard to start and finish anything.
Perfectionism often triggers evaluation anxiety and fear of failure. Family expectations and standards set by parents, boss or society may be so high that you could not actually live up to them with perfection. Thus, procrastination steps in to derail expectations and standards set by others and prevent you from “really” failing.
4. Fixed mind-set
Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University and author of the book Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, explains that people either have a fixed mind-set or a growth mind-set.
Those with a fixed mindset believe that their abilities are set in stone, so they only focus on their current intelligence or talents, believing they cannot be developed. Whenever any new task or challenge comes across in front of them that demands enhancement of skills, knowledge, talent, and stretching their abilities, their fixed mindset triggers procrastination. They believe that they were born with what they have, and they can’t improve upon their abilities. They think – I can’t do this, so I won’t try.
Fixed mind-set also has connection with perfectionism which we have already discussed as one the cause of procrastination.
According to Hillary Rettig, the author of The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer’s Block, people who procrastinate due to perfectionism tend to have a fixed mind-set.
Well, few people consider that procrastination is just a bad habit. You many have grown up in an environment where you have seen people procrastination every now and then.
May be, your father, mother, siblings, or some of relatives have kept procrastinating in their life. It has come in your life as legacy and got converted in one of your bad habit .
6. Mental Health
As we discuss above that procrastination is just a bad habit, but for many people, procrastination is more than a bad habit; it’s a sign of a serious underlying mental health issue. For example, OCD, ADHD, anxiety, and depression are associated with procrastination.
Mental health issues such as Depression/ anxiety/ fear of unknown (or any other mental illness conditions) cause you to delay in taking initial action.
Most of the mental health issues badly affect and diminish your self-confidence motivation, concentration, and perseverance. All these result in procrastination.
7. Lack of Interest
Lack of interest seems to play an important role in procrastination. It has been observed that few people procrastinate on the work or task in which they don’t have any interest. Particularly students in schools and professionals at the workplace procrastinate due to a lack of interest. They feel that stuff is just too boring.