The Lies We Tell Ourselves About Procrastination

The Lies We Tell Ourselves About Procrastination

So far we’ve covered why you might be a procrastinator (pt. 1 and pt. 2), and why you might procrastinate. This week we’re going to walk through several untruths we tell ourselves about procrastination. give ourselves an excuse for why we procrastinate. These are excuses we tell ourselves because they make us feel better about ourselves.

Procrastination is linked to low self-esteem, lack of self-control, perfectionism, and, worse–deceit. Lying to yourself about why you procrastinate allows you to continue doing it.

Let’s explore a few of those excuses:

I’m LazyLaziness is not the reason you procrastinate. Feeling stressed or depressed might cause you to blame yourself for procrastinating. Take some time to write in your journal your thoughts and feelings about why you procrastinate. Look for clues that might provide the answers you’re seeking. The fact you’re reading this is proof you’re not a lazy person.

I Work Better Under PressureMany people, especially creative types, think that they are better under pressure. I’ve said this to myself a time or two in my life, especially when I was working toward my degree. There were many a Saturday morning where I sat at my mom’s kitchen table at 8a.m. and didn’t leave until close to midnight. (She kicked me out actually–LOL). I’d turn these papers in and almost always receive an A back from my last-minute efforts. Of course, I felt awesome.

How many of you know I didn’t do well because I did it at the last minute (under pressure)? What did I give up to write that paper and get that A when I turned it in at the last moment? Time with my son, who was a toddler. Time with my other family members. Sleep, food, exercise, etc. That A at the last minute was not a cause to celebrate.

Why not establish goals that incorporate deadlines and schedule the tasks that will help you meet those goals? Then you can be a success in every area of your life.

I’m Smart–Being smart isn’t really a reason to procrastinate. If you can do things at the last minute because they turn out okay is smart, imagine how well things will turn out when you take time to develop a plan. Lots of professionals take time to physically and mentally plan things out. They also double-make sure they haven’t missed any steps in the process. When you procrastinate, it makes you vulnerable to missing out on a critical piece or key step that will help you reach your goal. And that’s not smart.

I Lack Self Discipline–Self-discipline has nothing to do with punishing yourself by doing things you hate. It is about understanding why and how the actions you take affect the impact you want to make on the world and your life. When you understand the cause and effect of what you’re doing or not doing, change will come.

I Don’t Have PrioritiesIf you’re like me, sometimes you sit at your desk, and you don’t know what to do. This reeks of a lack of goal setting. Without a set plan of action, it is difficult to know where to start or where to turn to next. It’s not that you don’t have priorities. In fact, you probably have too many competing priorities. You simply haven’t defined them yet. And let’s be real. Sometimes it just seems easier to run by the seat of your pants. At the very least, once you’ve become accustomed to running your life in this manner, it’s a hard habit to break. Society will pressure you to have lots of priorities. It’s up to you to stand up and say what you can and can’t handle.

I Have Poor Time Management – If you often flit around feeling hurried and lost; it isn’t because you’re bad at time management. It’s because you haven’t learned how to manage your time yet. Take some time to study time management and goal setting techniques to ease this problem. Be sure to implement any solutions you discover.


Procrastination signals that something in your life needs to change. Maybe you should explore becoming better at goal setting and realistic planning. Remember, no one succeeds without taking consistent action.


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Patricia “Pat” Bumpass is a ghostwriter, self-care advocate, author, and parent coach. She encourages and empowers women and parents with special needs kids to love themselves. Pat is North Carolina “born and bred” and loves coffee — hot or iced. You will often hear her say, “Twertles make me happy.” 🙂 

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