What is Procrastination?

Procrastination is delaying or putting off a task until a later time, and is a common behaviour that results from perfectionism. Procrastination and perfectionism feed into each other: the more you procrastinate, the more your perfectionism increases, and the more likely you are to procrastinate again. This is because procrastination often happens as a result of perfectionistic predictions (e.g. I cannot do this task well) which are in turn strengthened or reinforced by procrastinating (e.g. completes a task poorly because it was rushed). This way of thinking and behaving becomes a cycle whereby the tendency to avoid or procrastinate increases your belief in your perfectionistic predictions, which in turn makes you more likely to keep procrastinating.

Why do we procrastinate?

In order to understand the relationship between procrastination and perfectionism, it is useful to consider how procrastination maintains self-evaluation which is heavily based on achievement. The fear of not doing a task well is a powerful motivator for not getting started. Procrastination, in turn, leads to the feeling you have failed at a task and therefore are a failure as a person before you've even started.

Watch this 'School of Life' video to learn more.