Procrastination: What Is It and Why Do We Do It?

Nearly everyone has things they put off until the last minute from time to time. When deadlines are looming stress can be the ultimate motivator to get things completed and shipped off on time. Psychologically, you may have convinced yourself that you perform better under pressure but research has shown that is not the case (Psychology Today) If you find yourself frequently putting things off - you may be a chronic procrastinator.

What is a chronic procrastinator?  Someone who consistently finds distractions that deter them from their task/project/meeting/conversation/fill in the blank at hand. This then creates a cyclical nature of a downward spiral where the more they put off their task, the more looming it feels the less inclined they are to ever actually begin.

Complete this survey to see if you identify as a chronic procrastinator:

On a scale of 1-5…
When you have an upcoming big project with a deadline, you put it in the back of your mind until the last minute and then get to work in overtime mode
1 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4 -- 5

Frequently have your "don't feel like it" mood take precedence over commitment
1 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4 -- 5

Scroll social media when trying to detach mentally from your responsibilities
1 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4 -- 5

Do you struggle with perfectionism? Psychologically for perfectionists, it is easier to not being a task versus start it and fail short of expectation
1 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4 -- 5

Have those relationships in your life that serve as enablers, encouraging you to "treat yourself" instead of be disciplined
1 -- 2 -- 3 -- 4 -- 5

If you're total is..

(Less than 8)
You may have some things you put off until later, but overall you aren't a chronic procrastinator

You are right on the line of typical procrastination and a chronic issue with it. Try to be mindful this week of what triggers your delaying responsibilities and in what areas of your life you tend to procrastinate. 

(18 or more)
You may be a chronic procrastinator. It could help to speak with someone about the room causes of your chronic procrastination. The procrastination could be a symptom of a deeper issue you may need to address. Feel free to reach out to me for an appointment. You can either email me at or call my office at (310) 614-0323.

Stay tuned, because next week we will break down how to stop the pattern of procrastination.