Procrastination is derived from the Latin verb procrastinare which means to put off until tomorrow.
Procrastination is therefore the act of unnecessarily delaying or postponing tasks. It is common for
everyone to give in to procrastination from time to time. About 20% of the adult population and 50% of
the student population procrastinate in a chronic manner. People procrastinate because factors such as
fear of failure and anxiety outweigh motivation or self-control.
Types of procrastination.
Passive procrastination – This is when we delay the task because we are unable to reach a
decision and act on a said decision.
Active procrastination – when we delay the task on purpose because working under pressure
makes us feel motivated.
Procrastination is typically seen as a negative trait but what are the consequences of this behavior?
Procrastination can have a negative impact on an individual’s health, social and occupational
functioning. Procrastination has been linked to increased levels of stress and illness, interpersonal
difficulties, and issues at work and school. Procrastination has also been linked to depression, low self-esteem,
anxiety, and ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). It can also lead to insomnia. In some cases, chronic procrastination may be a sign of an underlying psychological disorder.
How to deal with procrastination.
There are a number of strategies one can employ to combat procrastination. Understanding why we
procrastinate may help us choose ways to mitigate it. Below are suggestions one may try out when trying
to overcome procrastination.
Identifying why, how, and when we procrastinate.
Establish clear and realistic goals.
Creating a plan of action.
Reward yourself after successfully completing tasks.
Prioritizing tasks based on importance.
Breaking large tasks into smaller more manageable tasks.
Getting rid of distractions.
People who struggle with procrastination are often seen as lazy, lacking willpower and ambition. This
prevents them from seeking help and support. It is therefore important to support individuals with
procrastination problems and empower them to find ways to deal with the issue.
By Monica Musyoka.