There comes a time when we feel like not doing anything. We just sit back, relax, and think of nothing but pure peace and void. It sounds nice.
But what if we need to do something, whether it be for work, school, or personal matters? That’s where the problem with procrastination arises. But is procrastination just laziness?
Or is there a deeper reason for this? That’s what we’ll talk about in this article. Here, we’ll determine the differences between procrastination and laziness. We will also share some tips on how to avoid this bad habit, so you can become more productive.
So, is procrastination just laziness?
Differences between procrastination and laziness
Procrastinating is the intentional delay of completing a task even if it is urgent or very important. It is derived from the Latin word, “cras,” which means “tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, laziness is the attitude of not doing any work or exerting effort at anything. This is also called indolence, which comes from the Latin word, “indolentia.” This is the absence of pain or trouble.
What makes procrastination different from laziness?
Procrastination and laziness are very similar to each other because they are both habits common to unproductive people. But procrastination is better than laziness because it merely postpones a task.
Compare that to laziness which fully avoids doing any kind of work. Procrastination is delaying certain tasks until there’s not anymore enough time to complete them.
There might be times when the task is still completed. But the level of quality has become so low that it’s not anymore usable.
People who usually procrastinate think that there’s still lots of time left, so they just do their task at a later date. Little do they know that completing the task needs more time and effort. Nonetheless, they still work on their task regardless if it’s done right or not.
Then there’s laziness which is worse than procrastination. Lazy people just don’t care about doing anything even if they do it at a later date. They don’t want to exert effort and spend time to finish a certain task because they don’t feel like doing it.
There might be some reasons for this just like lack of skill, interest, or personal issues. But laziness still isn’t just because it doesn’t do you any good.
It just sucks the life out of you and stops you from accomplishing anything in your life. You might feel laid back and happy. But your inner peace is meaningless because you haven’t accomplished anything.
Why do we procrastinate?
Take the easy way
One of the biggest reasons why people procrastinate is because they want to go the easy way. We can all relate to this because none of us wants to go through hard times. But life isn’t a bed of roses.
There are times when we need to go through challenges for us to learn life’s lessons. People who procrastinate don’t want to take that risk because they prefer relaxation over productivity.
They think it’ll be easier if they do the task tomorrow instead of today. It might make some sense because they can get some rest or do more enjoyable things now. But they’ll find it more stressful a day after because they don’t anymore have time left to do the task properly.
People who procrastinate are also usually stressed. This stress clouds their decision-making skills and lets them postpone certain tasks. They do this so that they can relax and avoid the pressure life throws on them.
They then postpone tasks until they pile up and they don’t anymore know how they can finish it. This then creates more stress and makes you more problematic. There’s just no way out of your stress. You need to face it and find solutions to fix and overcome any challenge.
Procrastinators are usually busy people who don’t have enough time to finish their tasks. This is why many college students procrastinate. They have lots of things to do just like their homework, exams, student organizations, and coping with peer pressure.
This results in a loss of focus on their schedule, which eventually leads to missed deadlines because of procrastination.
This is normal, though, but you can do something to avoid this. Simply set up your schedule and be organized. Stick to your deadlines and be disciplined enough to ditch unnecessary tasks.
Another reason why people procrastinate is the loss of interest. Some people aren’t just interested in doing something just like answering their math or science homework.
They might not like the subject or just aren’t good at it. They then just postpone doing their tasks and delay it until tomorrow or the next day. This is the reason why you must stick to areas you are interested in.
Don’t force yourself on a certain job or business if you’re not passionate about it. It might seem like a small thing. But interest is very important if you want to succeed at something.
And the last but certainly not the least is just they’re plain lazy. They might be born that way and they just don’t feel like doing anything that takes much of their energy and time. Many lazy people in the world just depend on the people around them.
This is very common with people who are born to rich families and spoiled by their rich parents. They don’t have any reason why they need to do it the hard way because they have servants or workers who can do it for them.
How to avoid procrastination?
The first thing to do to avoid procrastination is to become an organized person. Prioritize your tasks and set a specific schedule on when you’ll work on them.
Also, set strict deadlines and timeframes you need to follow so you can finish things on time. You can download a calendar app on your phone which notifies you if you need to do something. This makes it easy to keep track of your assignments and due dates.
Set achievable goals
Setting high goals is nice because you can achieve more. This also means that you won’t fall too bad if you can’t achieve your goal because it’s already very high. This works sometimes. But it’s not recommended to make this a habit because this can discourage you.
Failing to achieve goals gives you the impression that you can’t complete anything. You can avoid this by setting achievable goals. Don’t set very high standards. Take things slowly instead because you can get better through time.
You can finish studying one or two chapters today and then continue with the next tomorrow. Don’t take them all in one reading so you can improve your comprehension and knowledge retention. This also motivates you to finish a single task because you know you can do it.
Create deadlines for your tasks. And make sure to stick to them! You might think that you can just go beyond deadlines because you’re just the one who made it. But that just defeats the purpose of creating one.
Deadlines are meant to fix your schedule so that you can complete each task on specific dates. Not having any deadline gives you enough reason to postpone it to a later date. And most of the time, that later date never comes.
Get rid of distractions because they can stop you from working on a certain task. Turn off your phone, close your social media tabs, or lock your door when you’re working at something. There are already lots of distractions around, especially that we’re in the digital age.
You can also listen to relaxing classical music to keep up with your pace. This also drowns out any constant chatter that can distract you. We recommend you go to a quiet place just like the library or on a mountain to ensure utmost silence and peace.
Get a break
There are times when we’ve just had too much and we feel we’re out of energy. We get burned out from our piled-up work. This then leads you to just stop doing anything and save it for tomorrow.
Don’t let this bother you because you always have a choice to stop. But don’t stop fully. Just take a short break instead.
Get out of your room or office and inhale fresh air outside. Look at the blue sky to relieve your eyesight. You can also stare at green plants because this relaxes your eyes from the constant radiation you get from your computer screen.
Give yourself incentives when you finish a task. This motivates you to finish a task on time. You will be inspired to bring out your best in your task because you know you’ll get something in return.
Reward yourself for your hard work. This can be:
- Favorite food
- Hanging out with some friends
- Or going shopping
It’s easier to focus on your goals if there is something at stake.
Surround yourself with productive people
Be with productive and successful people. Remember the saying that birds with the same feather flock together? That is very true because you become like the people who you spend the most time with.
You will be smarter and more goal-oriented if you are with people who have goals and ambitions in life. You’ll also be inspired to be just like them. You stick to schedules, finish tasks on time, and bring out your best in whatever you do.
Is procrastination just laziness? Not really.
Instead, procrastination is just the result of many personal and social factors that affect your self.
Set goals, be with productive people, stick to deadlines, and know that your life will be much easier if you just do things now. It might seem nice to work on assignments some other day. But remember that you’ll just cram and be stressed if you delay your tasks.
Answering the age-old question of “is procrastination just laziness” is important if you want to be successful in life. It might seem simple, but it sure has a powerful effect on your mindset.