Procrastination is about managing the quality of your working activities and your time by prioritizing in a smart way.
Careers advice, Office Life

Why do we tend to procrastinate at work?

Lack of motivation may lead to postponing important activities

Procrastination is not just about being lazy at work. According to studies, some of the causes that lead to delaying something that for us might seem unpleasant are: “lack of motivation, distractions, fear of unknown, perfectionism and knowing that the task will require effort and hard work.”

According to the Harvard Business Review, when it comes to extensive deadlines professionals are convinced that the assigned task is a hard and complex one, which leads to a minor commitment. We usually tend to finish-up the activities that require less time and resources and postpone the more complex ones. The state-of-mind and degree of concentration influence the way we choose our priorities.

The most difficult thing is to get started

The fear of tackling a complex task is the first natural instinct that starts the procrastination engine. How about creating an action plan by deconstructing the project in small pieces that will allow you to handle it with a more segmented approach. You will feel truly relieved after starting the project and overcoming the phase “I will do it later”. Try setting up a brainstorming session and tackle with your peers the things that are unclear; this is a great way of getting in touch with reality and understanding that it isn’t really that hard.

Perfectionism is an indicator of a fixed mindset 

Hillary Rettig, the author of The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide to Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism, and Writer’s Block deals with the issues related to procrastination and how to overcome perfectionism by optimizing your time and actions. Keep in mind that your work will be reviewed and maybe even criticized many times before the final draft. You can’t expect to have a perfect version right away. Be patient – and remember that it is a question of work-in-progress.

Distractions such as social media and emails lead to procrastination

If you are allowed to use social media at your workplace, this is a number one post-contemporary distraction that contributes to procrastinating and losing track of priorities. As well constant incoming emails, calls, text messages and other side priorities. If you can isolate yourself from all of that, you will be able to focus better on your pending activities.

When you lack motivation, you lose your interest in the project

Another element that has a negative impact on how you manage your time and tasks is the lack of motivation, because you either do not like the argument or you do not feel comfortable with your team members. But you know you can’t risk postponing, especially if it’s an issue of teamworking. Procrastinating in this specific situation will make you appear unprofessional and irresponsible. Define common goals and try choosing the parts of the project that you think you can handle gracefully and with success.


If you want to learn more about life-saver tips when you’re at your workplace, discover our latest articles!