Why Procrastination doesn't mean you're Lazy but could mean you're Crazy

The Shaker
Wed 10 Jul

What project are you putting off right now?

Voluntarily delaying a task may lead you to think that you're being lazy. But are you truly lazy if the project requires you to be detail-oriented or focused?

Procrastination isn't about laziness. but your emotions.

According to psychology Professor Fuschia Sirois from the University of Sheffield, England, it logically doesn't make sense to partake in something (like procrastination) when he or she knows it is going to have negative consequences.


"This is why we say that procrastination is essentially irrational," Sirois comments. And, she reveals, "people engage in this irrational cycle of chronic procrastination because of an inability to manage negative moods around a task."


Ok, so not crazy crazy, but irrational.  

In one 2013 study, Sirois, along with Tim Pychyl of Ottawa's Carleton University, found that procrastination is "the primacy of short-term mood repair ... over the longer-term pursuit of intended actions."

Although you might understandably think overcoming procrastination is first concerned with task completion, in reality it's primarily concerned with "the immediate urgency of managing negative moods." - crazy.

Our aversion to steady and efficient task completion can be associated with either a dislike for the task itself or the feelings we have related to the task. You may, for instance, approach making a presentation with self-doubt, failing to see how you could possibly be qualified enough to create something valuable.

Overcoming procrastination will require more than downloading a scheduling app or calendar. Self-awareness and identify the moods you experience is key to overcoming procrastination. So is practicing self-compassion or self-forgiveness.

And, remember: Don't be too quick to label yourself as lazy. If you were truly lazy, you shouldn't aspire to complete your tasks, much less read about the root of your procrastination itself.