This handout shall help you understand just why you procrastinate and provide strategies also to combat this common writer’s ailment.


Everyone procrastinates. We put things off because we have too many other things on our plates because we don’t want to do them, or. Putting things off—big or small—is part of being human. It is likely that your procrastination is troubling you if you are reading this handout, however. You suspect you could be a far greater writer if only you didn’t put off writing projects until the eleventh hour. You will find that just when you’ve got really gotten going on a paper, it’s time for you to transform it in; so, you never obviously have time to carefully revise or proofread. You love the rush of adrenaline you receive when you finish a paper 10 minutes before it is due, however you (as well as your body) are getting tired of pulling all-nighters. You are feeling okay about procrastinating while in college, you worry that this habit will follow you to your working life.

You can easily tell whether or otherwise not you need to do something regarding the procrastination by examining its consequences. Procrastination can have external consequences (you get a zero on the paper in) or internal consequences (you feel anxious much of the time, even when you are doing something that you enjoy) because you never turned it. If you put off washing the laundry, however the dishes don’t bother you, who cares? Whenever your procrastination leaves you feeling overburdened and discouraged, however, it’s time to take action.

Is there hope?

You are a hopeless procrastinator, take heart if you think! No one is beyond help. The truth that you are inherently lazy or inefficient that you procrastinate does not mean. Your procrastination is certainly not an untamable beast. It really is a practice that has some origin that is specific which is a habit that you can overcome. This handout shall allow you to start to understand just why you procrastinate and give you some approaches for turning things around. For most procrastinators, however, there aren’t any quick fixes. You aren’t going to wake up tomorrow rather than procrastinate again. You might get up tomorrow and do a couple of things that are simple will allow you to finish that draft a little earlier or with less stress.

You may never be surprised to discover that procrastinators tend to be self-critical. So, as you think about your procrastination and struggle to develop work that is different, act as gentle with yourself. Punishing yourself every right time you recognize you have got put something off won’t help you change. Rewarding yourself when you make progress shall.

About it. if you don’t care why you procrastinate—you would like to know very well what to complete about it—then you might as well miss the next part of this handout and go directly to the section labeled “What to do” You may only end up more frustrated if you skip to the strategies, however. Taking the time to learn about why you procrastinate may help you prevent the cycle whereby you swear down and up that you’ll never procrastinate again, and then discover that the next time you have got a paper due, you are up until 3 a.m. wanting to complete the first (and only) draft—without knowing why or the manner in which you got there.

Why we do it

In order to stop putting off your writing assignments, it’s important to understand why you have a tendency to do so into the first place. A number of the good reasons that individuals procrastinate include the following:

Because our company is afraid

  • Anxiety about failure: if you’re scared that a particular piece of writing is not likely to come out well, you might avoid taking care of it to avoid feeling the fear.
  • Concern with success: Some procrastinators (the author of the handout included) fear that they will turn into workaholics if they start working at their full capacity. That we will also write compulsively; we envision ourselves locked in a library carrel, hunched over the computer, barely eating and sleeping and never seeing friends or going out since we procrastinate compulsively, we assume. The procrastinator who fears success could also assume that around them, thus losing their capacity to be friendly and to have fun if they work too hard, they will become mean and cold to the people. Finally, this kind of procrastinator may think that when they stop procrastinating, chances are they will start writing better, that will increase other people’s expectations, thus ultimately increasing the number of pressure they experience.
  • Concern about losing autonomy: Some people delay writing projects as a means of maintaining their independence. They procrastinate as a way of saying, “You can’t make me do this when they receive a writing assignment. I will be my person that is own. Procrastinating helps them feel more in control of situations (such as college) by which they think that other folks have authority.
  • Concern with being alone: Other writers procrastinate since they desire to feel constantly connected to other folks. As an example, you might procrastinate unless you come in such a bind that someone has to come and rescue you. Procrastination therefore helps to ensure that other people will undoubtedly be involved with your lifetime. You may also put off writing because you don’t want to be alone, and writing is oftentimes a solitary activity. In its worst form, procrastination itself could become a companion, constantly reminding you of most that you have to do.
  • Fear of attachment: Rather than fearing separation, some social people procrastinate check it out so that you can create a barrier between themselves among others. They could delay to be able to create chaos in their lives, believing that the chaos will keep other folks away.

Whether these fears come in our conscious or subconscious minds, they paralyze us and keep us from following through, until discomfort and anxiety us to either a) get the piece of writing done or b) give up overwhelms us and forces. (The preceding is a summary of Chapters 2-4 of Jane B. Burka and Lenora M. Yuen’s Procrastination: Why you will do It, how to proceed about this.)

Ourselves to be perfect because we expect

Procrastination and perfectionism often go turn in hand. Perfectionists tend to procrastinate because they expect a great deal of themselves, and they’re scared about whether they can meet those high standards. Perfectionists sometimes genuinely believe that they could have written a great paper, than to give a full effort and risk writing a mediocre paper that it is better to give a half-hearted effort and maintain the belief. Procrastinating guarantees failure, nonetheless it helps perfectionists maintain their belief that they might have excelled should they had tried harder. Another pitfall for perfectionists would be that they have a tendency to ignore progress toward a target. As long as the writing project is incomplete, they feel as though they aren’t getting anywhere, in place of recognizing that all paragraph moves them nearer to a finished product.

Because we don’t like our writing

You may possibly procrastinate on writing in all its imperfection because you don’t like to re-read what you have written; you hate writing a first draft and then being forced to evaluate it. By procrastinating, you ensure that you don’t have time for you to read over your work, thus avoiding that uncomfortable moment.