Procrastination technically refers to the avoidance of a specific task or work which need to be accomplished. But this technical explanation doesn't begin to capture the emotions that are involved in the process. For most of us, the work 'procrastination' reminds us of past experiences where we have felt guilty, inadequate, lazy, anxious, or stupid, etc. The word also has the connotation of a person being bad or having a lack of self worth.
To get to the root of the problem, you must carefully analyze those situations where your work is not being completed. If it is simply a matter of poor time management skills, then you simply need to develop those skills. If you know how to manage your time, but find that yourself making excuses, it is probably an emotional response and you may have a more serious problem. Let's examine some of the most often cited reasons.
- Lack of Relevance - It may be difficult to get motivated even to begin a task, if something is neither relevant nor meaningful to you personally.
- Acceptance of Another's Goals - You may be reluctant to spend the necessary time to see a project to completion, if it has been imposed or assigned to you and is not consistent with your own interests.
- Perfectionism - Perfection is unattainable, which only discourage you from pursuing a task.
- Evaluation Anxiety - What other people think of your work is beyond your control, so overvaluing these responses will just interfere with getting your work accomplished.
- Ambiguity - It may be difficult to started, if you are uncertain of what is expected of you.
- Fear of the Unknown - If you are venturing into a new field or employer, this may inhibit your desire to get started, because you don't have any way of knowing how well you'll do.
- Inability to Handle the Task - You may avoid it completely, because you feel that you lack the training, skills, or ability to do the job.