September 5


Procrastination as a Decision-Making Strategy: Why We Do It and How to Overcome It

By Joshua Turner

September 5, 2023

Procrastination is a common issue that affects people from all walks of life. It is a decision-making strategy in which a person chooses to delay or postpone a task until the last minute. Procrastination is often seen as a negative behavior, but it can be helpful for some people.

Understanding procrastination is key to overcoming it. Procrastination is not laziness or lack of motivation. It involves the decision-making process. When faced with a task, a person must decide whether to complete it immediately or delay it. It occurs when a person chooses to postpone a task.

Key Takeaways

  • Procrastination is a decision-making strategy that involves delaying or postponing a task.
  • Understanding the decision-making process is key to overcoming procrastination.
  • Procrastination can harm productivity and mental health.

Understanding Procrastination

Delaying or postponing the completion of necessary tasks is a decision-making tactic known as procrastination. It is a common behavior that affects many people, and it can be caused by various factors such as fear of failure, lack of motivation, or poor time management skills.

Symptoms of procrastination include feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed about a task, avoiding work, and making excuses to delay starting or completing it. This behavior can also lead to emotional blocks, such as feeling guilty, frustrated, or disappointed in oneself for not being able to get things done.

Procrastination is not always bad, as it can sometimes be a way for people to cope with stress or prioritize their tasks. However, when it becomes a habit and interferes with daily life, it can harm one’s productivity and well-being.

To overcome it, identify the root cause and develop strategies to address it. It can include breaking down tasks into smaller, more manageable steps, setting realistic goals and deadlines, and seeking support from others. It is also helpful to practice self-compassion and acknowledge that everyone sometimes struggles with procrastination.

The Decision Making Process

Identifying the Decision

Before making any decision, it is vital to identify the specific problem or situation that requires it. This involves understanding each decision’s objective, desired outcome, and potential consequences.

Alternative Decisions

Once the problem has been identified, consider all possible alternative decisions through critical thinking and evaluate each alternative’s pros and cons. Consider the values and perspectives of all parties involved.

Responsible Decision Making

Responsible decision-making involves making ethical choices that align with one’s values. It is important to consider compliance with laws and regulations and the impact of the decision on others and the environment.

Decision-Making Strategy

Procrastination is a decision-making strategy in which a person delays deciding until the last moment. While this may sometimes be effective, it can also lead to missed opportunities and increased stress. Consider one’s experience and perspective when deciding on a strategy.

The decision-making process involves identifying the problem, considering alternative decisions, making responsible choices, and deciding on the best strategy. These steps can allow individuals to make decisions that align with their values and lead to positive outcomes.

Impact of Procrastination

In the Workplace

Procrastination can have a significant impact on productivity in the workplace. Employees who delay tasks until the last minute may feel overwhelmed and stressed, leading to decreased motivation and job satisfaction. Missed deadlines can result in negative consequences, such as lost revenue or damaged client relationships.

To combat negative behavior in the workplace, employers can encourage their employees to prioritize tasks, set realistic deadlines, and break down complex projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. Employers can help their teams by providing clear expectations and support, employers that can help them feel more confident and motivated to complete their work on time.

Fear of Failure

One common reason people procrastinate is due to a fear of failure. When individuals feel uncertain about their ability to complete a task successfully, they may delay starting it. However, procrastination can increase anxiety and stress, making it even harder to complete the task.

To overcome a fear of failure, individuals can break the task down into smaller steps and focus on one step at a time. This results in achievable goals that help eliminate the behavior. Individuals can also build their confidence and motivation to continue working towards bigger goals.

While procrastination may temporarily relieve stress or anxiety, it can ultimately lead to negative consequences in both the workplace and personal life. Taking action to overcome procrastination and prioritize tasks can improve their productivity, reduce stress, and achieve their goals.

Overcoming Procrastination

Activation Techniques

One of the most effective ways to overcome procrastination is to use activation techniques. These techniques help you get started on the task, which is often the hardest part. Here are some activation techniques that you can try:

  • Break the task into smaller, more manageable parts
  • Set a timer for a short period and work on the task until the timer goes off
  • Start with the easiest part of the task and work your way up
  • Use positive self-talk to motivate yourself

Seeking Help

Sometimes, procrastination can signal that you need help with the task. Seeking help can give you the support and guidance you need to get started and stay motivated. Here are some ways to seek help:

  • Ask a friend or family member to help you with the task
  • Hire a professional to help you with the task
  • Join a support group or online community for people who struggle with procrastination
  • Talk to a therapist or counselor about your procrastination habits

Overcoming procrastination is a process. Changing your habits takes time and effort, but with the right techniques and support, you can overcome procrastination and achieve your goals.


Procrastination is a decision-making strategy that involves delaying action or making alternative decisions. It is often caused by fear of failure, lack of perspective, or emotional blocks. The behavior can lead to stress and activation, affecting responsible decision-making.

To overcome it, identify the decision that needs to be made and seek help if necessary. Critical thinking and compliance with deadlines can also help in avoiding procrastination.

In the workplace, procrastination can lead to missed deadlines and decreased productivity. Therefore, it is important to recognize the symptoms of procrastination and take action to overcome it.

Procrastination is a decision-making strategy that can be overcome by valuing time and experience and making responsible decisions.

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors should a person consider when making a decision?

When making a decision, it’s important to consider the potential outcomes, the consequences of each option, and the impact it may have on yourself and others. You should also consider your values, beliefs, and priorities and how they align with each option.

What are some strategies for responsible decision-making?

Some strategies for responsible decision-making include gathering information, weighing the pros and cons of each option, seeking advice from trusted sources, and considering the long-term effects of each choice. It’s also important to take responsibility for your decisions and be willing to learn from any mistakes.

How can procrastination affect decision-making?

Procrastination can lead to rushed and impulsive decision-making, missed opportunities, and increased stress. It can also lead to a lack of confidence in your decision-making abilities and a tendency to avoid making decisions altogether.

What are the steps in the decision-making process?

The decision-making process involves identifying the problem, gathering information, identifying options, weighing the pros and cons, deciding, and evaluating the outcome. Taking your time, being thorough, and considering all relevant factors are important.

Why is goal-setting important in decision-making?

Goal-setting can help you clarify your priorities and values and provide a framework for decision-making. It can also help you stay focused and motivated and provide a sense of direction and purpose.

What are some common mistakes to avoid in decision-making?

Common decision-making mistakes include making decisions based on emotions rather than facts, failing to consider all relevant factors, making decisions too quickly or too slowly, and failing to take responsibility for your decisions. It’s essential to be aware of these mistakes and take steps to avoid them.

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