Why We Procrastinate When We’re Overwhelmed with Things to Do

It seems counterproductive, but people are prone to procrastinating especially when they’re facing big deadlines. It’s like waiting it out until you’re down to the last few moments to finish your tasks. You end up getting things done, so this becomes a habit. You call yourself a procrastinator and even feel proud of your achievement. 

But have you thought about why it’s difficult to concentrate on important tasks in the first place? There might be a serious issue hiding underneath. 

The Fear of Failure 

We long for approval no matter how much we deny it. Getting validation from someone else feels good. This is what’s supposed to happen if you do your job well. However, because we are also adults and big things are expected from us, we don’t always get verbal confirmation or acknowledgment of our efforts. Even worse, there’s the fear of failure. Because you fear failure, procrastination becomes a double-edged sword. If you fail, you have the ready justification that you didn’t give it your all; if you succeed, you can bask in the good results despite not using much effort on it. 

Waiting It Out 

Important things don’t go away, but time is ticking. Your response is to wait it out and do everything else in the meantime. You may be doing this because you’re trying to get the edge off the stress and anxiety the task is causing. For instance, if you need to reply to a life-changing offer and you’ve been given a time limit to do it, you may buy clothes or moisturizer online instead of answering it right away. You do this to lessen the chances of regretting your decision and to leave no room for you to overthink. You also do some sort of self-care in the meantime because you want to look and feel good before making a big decision. No one can see you, but the fact that you’ve given your appearance much thought is a sign that you take the decision seriously even if you’re procrastinating. 

Needing Help 

The most overwhelming decisions may feel like you can’t accomplish them alone. This is yet another reason you procrastinate. You’re waiting for others to come in and offer a helping hand. The inner child in you is asking for someone more capable to give you some advice or even to just ask if you need anything. The problem, however, is that you’re not voicing out your feelings. You’re waiting in silence for someone to notice that you’re procrastinating, and you’re also waiting for them to figure out why. It would be better for everyone if you can ask for help outright, but your pride and fears make that hard to do. And so you wait quietly and anxiously until you realize no one’s eager to help and you have to act soon. 

Procrastination can be a sign of deep-seated issues. If you notice that this is your response to important life situations, look into yourself and figure out why that is. 

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