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Procrastination Definition and Causes

Updated on June 3, 2014

The Definition

Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.
Don Marquis

Isn’t that a perfect description of procrastination?

I can tell you that, as a parent, nothing drove me crazy like the procrastination of my son when he was supposed to do something, and I feel safe in stating that I’m sure my parents felt the same way about me when I was a child.

To a certain extent we expect a certain amount of feet-dragging from our kids. A proper work ethic and responsibility do not come naturally to children; those are things that hopefully come with time and some gentle training by parents and teachers. I confess that there are still times when I still put off till tomorrow what should be done today, and that is after decades of conditioning by parents, teachers, and employers.

But what of those people who seem to raise procrastination to the level of an art form? What shall we do with them? Off with their heads? Shun them? Try to adjust their psyches so they can actually get something done?

I know adults who are in a perpetual state of neutral. Their torque converter ain’t converting if you get my drift. They have big plans; man alive, are their plans huge! However, when it comes to implementing those plans, or even organizing a plan of attack, they settle back, have a cold one, and take another look at those plans to see if maybe they should tweak them a bit.

Before they know it half their lifetime has been spent tweaking and the other half mending their britches because they have been sitting on their ass for so long.

Causes of Procrastination

I have no psychology degree, so the causes of procrastination, as I see them, may or may not be exact or complete. However, the causes I am aware of, and that I have observed, are as follows:

· Anxiety of complicated tasks

· Fear of imperfection

· Indecision

· Lack of focus

· Poor organization skills

· Lack of energy

· Laziness

Let’s us take a look at each of these and hopefully gain a better understanding of them.

Anxiety of Complicated Tasks

This has been, in the past, my number one cause of procrastination. When faced with a list of things to do, I will inevitably leave the most difficult task for last. It makes no difference if the most difficult also is the one that should be the priority; I will leave it for last simply because it is difficult and I have anxiety over it.

I am better at this than I once was, but it still exists. Show me a list of ten things to do, and the most difficult will be the tenth item that I complete. I have friends who are the exact opposite, and they like to get the most difficult item out of the way so it is all downhill from there. Not me! I like to struggle uphill as often as possible.

Fear of Imperfection

I have had students who suffered from this when doing their assignments. If they couldn’t be perfect they literally did not even do the assignment. Their success in my class depended largely on the number of difficult assignments I gave them.

It is a miserable way to go through life, seeking perfection and being incapacitated when perfection is not attained.

INDECISION

A blizzard of ideas, a plethora of options, and this person ends up doing nothing because they can’t decide on the path to take. One wonders what this person would do if confronted with Dupont Circle in Washington, D.C.

Paralysis-by-indecision is of course fueled, in part, by fear of making the wrong decision, and this writer has certainly known people who fit into this category. Driven by low self-esteem and insecurity, this person literally cannot leave the starting gate and choose a direction.

Lack of Focus

I have known people with ADD and ADHD who could not complete a task because their focus was spread so thinly between several competing thoughts. I have had students who fit into this category quite nicely. They would turn in five incomplete assignments during the week. They started each assignment in a timely fashion, but somewhere during the week they got distracted and headed off to do something else, never to return to the incomplete assignment.

Poor Organizational Skills

Try to picture my friend Tim. That is not his name, but just go with it for the purpose of this discussion. If Tim is faced with a task, he begins admirably. Let’s say he needs to change the furnace filter.

Tim will approach the furnace, kneel down, and then realize he doesn’t know what he is doing. Off he goes to the filing cabinet to get instructions. He comes back, kneels down, and then realizes he didn’t grab his tools. Off to the garage, grabs the tools, opens up the instructions, and then realizes that he hasn’t purchased a new filter. Off he goes to the store and….well, you get the picture.

Lack of Energy

Whether it be for a medical reason, or poor nutrition, or whatever, this person simply does not have the energy it takes to complete a task. They may lack the physical energy, the mental energy, or the emotional energy, but whatever it is, they can’t muster up the desire or oomph to get the job done.

LAZINESS

Yes, there are lazy people in this world. Sadly, they keep putting off chores of any kind because they are just too darn lazy to do them. I might point out that this just was not allowed in the household I grew up in. Laziness was not in my father’s vocabulary, so consequently it is not in mine.

When we have eliminated all of the above reasons, and none of them apply, we are left with the ugliness of laziness.

Are You A Procrastinator?

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And That Leaves Us Where?

Well, as you might expect, I have several things to say. Let’s start with the fact that the average lifespan of a male in the United States is 75.6 years; for a female, 80.8 years. This writer has lived 64 years, one month, and fourteen days to date. I have a little less than twelve years remaining if I am average.

I do not have time to procrastinate.

My father died of a heart attack when he was forty-nine years old.

He did not have time to procrastinate.

Let us set aside those who have a medical condition that could lead to procrastination. Those of you with ADD, ADHD, or paralyzing fear are excused from the following discussion. You are not, however, excused from doing something about procrastination. Seek medical advice and learn to deal with whatever it is that is hindering you.

Now, for the rest of you out there, you procrastinators who back off at the first sign of anxiety or difficulty; those of you who cower when your imperfection rears its ugly head; and those of you who are just too darn lazy to get anything done.

You are running out of time!

What is it that you procrastinate on? Finding a better job? Writing that novel you have been putting off? Going on a cruise that you have dreamed of for years? Starting a new career? Standing up for yourself and your rights? Breaking off a damaging relationship? Making your mark on life?

Or is it something more mundane? Maybe you always procrastinate on chores? Maybe you drag your feet when it comes time to pay bills?

Whatever it is, it is time to move forward. Whatever it is, it is time to toss aside the excuses and the anxiety and the laziness, and move forward.

I love the dreamers of the world. I love their soaring goals and their ethereal purpose. However, dreaming to me seems like a meaningless activity if there is no action. I have a friend (we will call her Brie) who dreamed of starting over in life as a writer. She tossed it around for quite some time, and finally decided to just do it. She is now exceedingly happy, a happiness she would have never known if she had not ended her procrastination. I also have another friend who has talked of being a teacher for twenty years. She is still not a teacher! There is always some reason why she isn’t able to take that next step.

I find that sad!

Something to think about

One Last Thought

My goal in writing this article is not to preach. My goal is not to make you feel bad about your procrastination. My goal is to simply point out what should be obvious: time is running out!

If you think you are guaranteed tomorrow, then let me smoke whatever it is you are smoking. There are no guarantees, and there are no curtain calls in life. This is it! If you are wasting time you are wasting the most valuable resource that you have. It is certainly the most precious because it keeps diminishing but keeps growing in importance.

Waste time no more! Procrastinate no more! Hop on board life and ride that sucker until your riding days are over. When that last day comes, you will have an eternity to procrastinate.

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Hi Bill,

      I have to agree with this Bill, i have seen many of my students procrastinate on the their duties and most of this is due to poor organization skills or just laziness as you have stated. We have procrastinated at least once in our lifetime, the lesson, we should learn the effect of procrastination, avoid it and move on. Voted up, useful and more.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      Lots of good reasons for procrastination...Fortunately both my husband and I rarely indulge in this pastime. I do remember the kids putting things off..And it was annoying. To many of is it just seems easier to get the job done and crossed off the list. I think we all have certain areas in our life where we may procrastinate..and especially unpleasant tasks. Great hug and you hit the high points.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Carol.....this happens to be one of my pet peeves.....and I have very little patience with it. I may know the causes but that does not mean I approve of it. :)

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I am trying to put your advice on procrastination to use - finally setting up my own business after.... how many years?

      Another thing I have seen in myself with respect to procrastination (besides the perfection hurdle) is this desire to wait for someone else to join me. If I had another lawyer friend who wanted to open a practice with me, I might have done it years ago. However, that person never showed up. ;-)

      As always, a great hub with very useful observations and advice.

      p.s. Have you seen that motivational poster? It is a blank white square with the word "Procrastination" underneath. Below that word it says "I'll find a picture for it later" LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dwachira, thank you for the visit. Procrastination actually annoys me greatly. I may understand the causes, but like you said, it should be avoided and we should move on. When I was teaching this drove me crazy. :)

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

      I truly don't know how to procrastinate anymore, because I just don't have time, but as a teacher I did run into kids just like you who had lack of concentration and/or ADHD, so for them as you said it was something that was completely out of their control, yet I also had a few who were just plain lazy and just had no excuses, whatsoever. Great article as always and have of course voted up and shared!!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Steph.....LOL....great poster! For some reason, I did not know you were setting up your own practice. Well congratulations, Steph! That is a huge move....exciting and a bit scary??? I wish you the best of luck.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, I admit, laziness drives me crazy....I have no patience for it at all. I was not the most understanding of teachers when it came to laziness and procrastination. :)

      Thank you Janine!

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 4 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Scary, scary, scary. But I still have freelance legal work that I do for another attorney to help me bridge the gap. I hope to be up and running in a few months. Its gonna take time.

      Now that I got off the procrastination bus, I hopped on the "get-er-done" train, and its full steam ahead ;-)

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 4 years ago

      Great article Bill. I think technology is not helping any better regarding laziness and lack of initiative. I know IT has bettered our lives, but some kids are already genetically predestined to become procatrinators. Just add that stupid fast food and those reality shows. What a difference from what a kid from 1959 used to do.

    • CloudExplorer profile image

      Mike Pugh 4 years ago from New York City

      Cool hub Bill many folks are programmed to perform such things mentally for the most part in terms of procrastinations, and creating self defeating thoughts that tend to lead them into failures or as you stated anxiety.

      It must be an error of the ails in society, and also the fact that many folks have been conditioned by poor nutrition for years on end, and our bodies and minds for the most part are not in the peak shape and as you said energy level.

      You definitely pointed out much of the issues at hand and there's so many potential causes of folks becoming this way for sure. Mentally speaking those who tend to act as if they're going to succeed in life, but merely speak of it alone, and never act out upon such a words, are truly fooling themselves and I definitely agree 100% with you on that.

      Once again cool hub bro, its always good to read one by you that is designed to help people think more about correcting something about themselves that they potentially haven't looked at for quite some time and all, and aims to help folks in some way, shape or form. Good on you Bill.

      Oh and organizational skills is something I learned is paramount as well, and I'm glad you pointed that one out as well. Enjoy you HP day, thumbs up and out.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 4 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Oh, Bill, I think you wrote this for me (or about me!) Either way, I have become the master procrastinator! Even knowing why doesn't always help. Thank you for this great hub. It breaks it all down for those that are and for those that aren't. Up+++

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      Definitely can relate to procrastination because of lack of focus and tackling competing thoughts, having ADHD myself. But, ADHD or no, there are ways to deal with any laziness or lack of focus! This was a great, insightful article!

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 4 years ago from United States

      Yep , Bill, I suppose we are all guilty of procrastination at times. We have to be more focused and keep on looking for new and exciting ways for self motivation. Thanks for the nice hub and a subject that we all need to be refreshed in.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Steph, it is scary for sure, but oh, so rewarding. I have no doubt you will do fine; you are a winner in my book.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joseph, I tend to agree with you, but there is no surprise there. Technology, although paying huge dividends for civilization, has also made a new generation of procrastinators and dreamers minus the action needed. Sad as far as I'm concerned.

      Thank you buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, you make a good point. Knowing why does not change a thing. Awareness is wonderful, but it needs action too. Best of luck to you, and thank you so much for the visit.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michelle, I agree, there are ways to deal with it. Only the terminal lazy have no solution. :) You are far from lazy my friend; I know you will work it out. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Whonu, there are times when I write a hub with myself in mind. I tend to get overwhelmed with all I want to do, and as a result my own personal braking system kicks in and I do nothing. Not healthy at all, but I am aware of it and working on it.

      Thank you my friend, and have a great day.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mike, you make excellent points. I do believe we are seeing more of this with this generation. You make a great point about self-defeating thoughts; people are destined to failure before they ever begin, because at the first sign of hardship they back off and give up.

      You and I....raised differently....show me an obstacle and my mind instantly begins figuring out how to defeat that obstacle, and I will not rest until I do. :) I know you are the same way.

      Thanks for taking time in your busy day to add a great perspective to this conversation. Have a great day my friend.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      Outstanding Hub Bill! I was going to read it sooner, but got distracted...

      No, really, I felt a little like there was a camera that had been watching me, then you wrote about me. I suspect from the vote that many of us felt that way. I have procarastinated abiut that next hub for days now, about that next poem too. Then there is that kitchen floor that needs mopping... no end of things to think about doing.

      This hub should help me get some done!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      Oh Bill, this is the most inspiring article! I'm hopping on the "no more excuses" train. Writing a list of those things I need to do, in the order of importance, and completing each one. No more getting side-tracked on my train. I will keep chugging along until I have reached my destination.

      I can't thank you enough for your thoughts on this topic. I don't know anyone who doesn't need to read this so will share it all over the place. This hub is also being printed out and put in the stack of "procrastinations" sitting on top of my desk -on TOP of the stack, that is :)

      With every new hub you write, I tell myself that it's so good he can't possibly top this one - and then you do!

      I'm a better person, a more determined woman for having read your hubs. Each one seems to bring me a message I very much need. Sometimes I wonder if you are my "Guardian Angel." I know for sure you are my teacher and my very dear friend.

      Up, completely across and like I said sharing everywhere. Peace and love to you and Bev.

    • christin53 profile image

      Ann-Christin 4 years ago from UK

      Great hub and very interesting and thought provoking. I'm usually quite focused and like to get things done and out of the way. Although I do find in winter I lack the energy sometimes and it takes a bigger effort to get myself up and moving. You're right about time running out too but I don't think we realise that until we reach middle age.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Christin, I most definitely think winter and the constant gray makes us lose a bit of our willpower and drive....the UK and the state I live in are quite similar regarding weather, and I have seen reports about it in this state. I think we both need a vacation to somewhere sunny. :)

      Thank you Christin!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Xstatic, settle down...we don't want to overdo it and get all tired or anything. LOL Too funny; hopefully I'll learn from this hub and then we will both get something done. :) Thank you my friend!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Audrey, my goodness, how you do speak! I am embarrassed right now....my problem, not your words. Taking that kind of praise is hard for me to accept. I write so that my words will do exactly what you just described, but then when I hear I succeeded, I get embarrassed. Sigh! It's not easy being human, is it?

      Your humbling praise is music to my ears, Audrey, and I thank you for it all. Peace and love to you, always.

      bill

    • Denmarkguy profile image

      Peter Messerschmidt 4 years ago from Port Townsend

      Excellent article, as usual!

      Most of my old procrastination habits were traceable back to childhood lessons... and the fear of imperfection. I could complexify even the simplest of tasks to the point where they became an overwhelming nightmare-- a product of parents (and an extended family) whose lesson was "Don't even bother to START something unless you're going to build/write/do/participate in the best example ever seen by humankind. Imperfection is failure, and failing makes you a loser, and we don't tolerate losers in our family."

      Unlike your friend "Tim," I couldn't even CONSIDER changing an air filter till I'd accumulated a set of preparatory and contingent materials sufficient to mount an expedition for 200 to the South Pole, with a back-up plan for the worst blizzard in 5000 years forcing us to spend six winters there... I'm only kidding (a little!), of course. But the extended problem was the overwhelm. A simple task that would take a sane human being 15 minutes to do would have to be put on my schedule for "next time I have 12 contiguous hours available." Which, in turn, was "almost never."

      These days I preach simplicity. Of course... I'm EXTREMELY thorough about it... ;-)

      Cheers,

      Peter

    • mpropp profile image

      Melissa Propp 4 years ago from Minnesota

      My procrastination cocktail: Fear of Imperfection+Laziness

      Sometimes procrastination works for your benefit (we like to say "I work best under pressure"), but most of the time it just limits us....

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Melissa, a great cocktail indeed. :) Just don't take too many of them and then drive. :) Thank you young lady!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Peter, that is the best laugh I have had in days. I remember those days well. My dad would say 'don't do a job if you can't do it perfectly." Well hell, then, there was no reason for me to even start the damn job! LOL I have geared down a bit since those days, and embraced imperfection....kind of. :)

      Thank you Sir! I thoroughly enjoyed this visit.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great advice Bill. I have never really been a procrastinator but I can see how it can happen and paralyze people into doing nothing. I am usually of the "we only have some many years here on earth so let's do as much as possible as quickly as possible" thinking. What this means is that I sometimes rush through things and you know where that leads? As usual you are full of great tips and advice.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Sometimes I suffer from lack of focus. What I mean is... uh oh I forgot my train of thought :) Vote up and sharing!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I am one who will tackle the most difficult or brain intensive project first in order to get it out of the way. Then my brain can relax for what comes next.

      On the other hand, my son who is/was AHHD and no longer medicated, seems to need my prompting. At least that's what I think as a mother. Two days ago he told me I've taught him right and I need to let him fall if he's going to fall. I know he's right, but I just can't find it in my heart to let him do so. I constantly remind him of when his car payment and car insurance is due. I wake up every morning before I need to in order to make sure he's up and showered in time to go to work. How does a mother let go?

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 4 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      I have gotten pretty good at procrastinating. However since I am trying to go back to work as a nurse, I need to learn how to get rid of it pretty quickly.

      Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Christy, you and Bev would get along just great! Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, for the most part, procrastination is not in my DNA, but I do have moments where I'll drag my heels because it is a job I don't want to do. :) Thank you Sir!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michele, I would definitely say it is time to get rid of it. Best of luck to you in finding a nursing job, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, I don't have an answer for that one. When my son was living with me, into his early twenties, I was doing the exact same thing. Sheez, you would think the parenting thing would die off after awhile, wouldn't you? :) Thank you and sending love your way.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      Darlin', we never stop being parents. Did yours? We can't help it, especially when we allow them to live at home once they become of age. Again, it's the mom thing - just can't let go.....

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I was still my mom's little boy until she died. :)

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      Liz Davis 4 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I can't give you any of what I'm smoking. You're too far away.

      I'm kidding, people! Really, I'm kidding.

      *cough cough*

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      And you always will be. It doesn't stop with age and it doesn't stop with death,

    • lrc7815 profile image

      Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

      Oh, you got me on this one. I procrastinate on things I don't like to do, like houskeeping chores, getting the car inspected, etc. I want to do what I want to do and I think it's really just part of aging. I put my own life on hold for employers most of my life and now that I'm older than dirt, I want to do what makes me feel like I'm making progress on making a difference. Give me a list of chores and I will generally work through the list from top to bottom though. I'll have to think about my logic because I've never questioned why. Good hub for making us all think. :-)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Liz, oh Liz!!! What am I going to do with you? Now I know what you do down there n Dunedin! LOL

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, for sure!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, if nothing else, I'm good for making people think. LOL

      I know what you are talking about; I want to do what I want to do. 45 damn years of working is enough. Now writing I don't consider working, so there you go. :)

    • benisan85745 profile image

      Ka'imi'loa 4 years ago from Tucson, AZ.

      "The worst form of procrastination is reading a procrastination qoute, feeling the guilt and not doing anything about it."

      Man, this Hub hit me good like when the sermon at church seems to be written especially for you. I completely agree with you and laziness does play a huge role in procrastinating. I have been guilty of letting out a soft moan and walking away from a task that would have literally taken me 5 seconds to execute.

      You write about your father not having time to procrastinate...you got to love the "men" of then. My father could have been dead for six weeks and not miss a day of work.

      Excellent Hub my man...

      Ka'imi'loa

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Benisan, that had me laughing...dead and not miss work. No doubt, that was the credo of that age! My dad would be glad to know at least a part of that rubbed off on me, but if I'm not passionate about what I'm doing I'm just not interested in it. :) Thanks my friend!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I think procrastination hits most peoples sometimes, but for me, not often. My problem is being a perfectionist. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. I have tried to let things go, but it makes me so unhappy, i am forever trying to change, but it's not easy. I know it is a phobia and it runs in my family. You should write a piece on it. Thank you for sharing again...

    • Ardie profile image

      Sondra 4 years ago from Neverland

      "I know adults who are in a perpetual state of neutral". I love it and...I hate it. I tend to procrastinate for all the above reasons except laziness. I have lots of energy - I just have a hard time staying focused and then I get all anxious and worry about being perfect. Its something I work on daily. Sadly I passed this on to two of my three daughters. Ugh =)

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Dear Bill,

      Didn't want to put off telling you how much I love this hub...

      I am forever reminded that every day could be your last...not morbidly but most definitely appreciating every moment while we can.

      Voted UP and UABI...Hugs, Maria

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Had to take a break from all my duties here, to stop by and comment on this really great hub......Looks like you've got it nailed, bill. Procrastinators can't fool you!

      Oops...can't stay long, I'm on a roll.....have a great start on Spring Cleaning, 2002.........Thanks bill, I appreciate this article.......can't stand those people who put things off!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, one thing i can say for certain is that I'm not a perfectionist. :) I don't even know where I would start a piece on that. I can imagine it would be a problem. The closest I come is in writing, but I'll never reach perfection according to my standards, so oh well. :)

      Thank you my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ardie, I feel for you. At one time I worried about the same thing, but somehow came to the realization that perfection is highly overrated.....and I can't possibly reach it anyway. :) Thank you Ardie!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Maria, exactly right! You and I both understand just how precious life is; once that realization comes to a person, life seems to much more beautiful.l

      Thank you my dear friend!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, I try to imagine what it would be like to sit down with you and spend a couple hours talking....my ribs would be so painful by the end I would need emergency treatment. LOL You do make me laugh. Good luck with that spring cleaning, and don't forget to get the barbecue ready for summer. :) Thanks buddy!

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      lovedoctor926 4 years ago

      This is such a motivational article. You make very good points. I can relate to leaving difficult tasks for last, but don't do it as often anymore. I rather just get it out of the way rather than wait till the very last minute. Think about it, why procrastinate if you have to do it anyway. You know I've been meaning to call Dell technical support for the longest and the reason that I haven't done so is because every time that I call to speak to any of the technicians, they usually end up transferring me to different people and then having to re-explain myself all over again. You might find this hard to believe but whenever I call Dell with regards to computer issues the calls are usually two hours long.

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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Ha. Love this so much Bill!!! You are just cool as cool can be. Every morning I am reminded of that commercial for the military, "We do more by 9:00 than others do in a whole day." Paraphrasing, as I cannot really remember the exacts words. Anyway, I know I hit the ground running at 5:00, do laundry, unload dishes, whatever has to be done, and then off to work and start all over again. We all know that certain mundane things such as housework has to be done, so why put it off. I usually do my house cleaning on Thursday nights (tonight) Ha., so as to not have to spend my valuable weekend time, and usually what that is for is enjoying my grandchildren as much and as often as possible. We must set priorities in this life, as to what is the most important and what we can let go, as you said, time is short . . . very short indeed!!! Let us remember to tell those who we love, that we do love them, and tell them each an every day-----this is one most important area in which there should be no procrastination ever, as we never know what day will be our last here on this planet, until we go on to eternity. You made me smile when you added that last line!

      Voted up +++ and sharing Plus in 100 years who will really care whether or not your house was spotless?

      In His Love, Faith Reaper

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Doc, I can so relate. My number one item to procrastinate on is calling the bank or a credit car company, because it drives me nuts to be put on hold only to explain everything over again to someone else. LOL I don't feel so bad now knowing someone else has the same reason for procrastinating. Thanks for that, and thank you for being such a loyal follower and friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith my friend, as you said, there are some things that just should not be put off, and loving those close to us is right up there at the top. I'm glad I brought a smile to your face, and thank you for the kind words....and Faith, thank you for being such a warm, compassionate human being. You give me strength whether you know it or not.

      blessings always,

      bill

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      Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

      Thank you Bill for such lovely words back to me. Smiling again.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      well-deserved my dear!

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      Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for this. I couldn't enjoy the luxury of procrastination. Too much counted on me.

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      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      WOW! What a coincidence. Jim tries to imagine what it would be like to sit down for a couple of hours with duct tape across my mouth.

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      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      "A blizzard of ideas, a plethora of options"...brilliant! I'm with Janine, I don't have time to procrastinate...like you, time is running out for me, statistically speaking! So, no procrastination for me, but everything you've written here is true for someone out there.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

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      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Hmmm...wondering if there could be just one more eensy teensy weensy reason for procrastination? Some folks tend to work best - under pressure!

      Masochistic, perhaps, but - i know that for myself - if there is no pressure - there is inferior production..lol..

      i was a top producer (actually THE top producer, but - you know i hate to brag..lol) working on 100% commission for a national insurance company for many years - and never picked up a phone until 6;00 SUNDAY evening..it made me(and them) nuts - but - it certainly worked..

      School? Same thing! Need to read a book and write an essay? I waited until the last possible moment - and usually did very well!

      As a matter of fact - the Perspectives: Gratitude hub i wrote in conjunction with MickeySr's 'perspectives' group - was written and published in 2 hours flat - the LAST 2 hours..(ssshhhhh..don't tell Uncle Mickey..lol)

      This is not to say i don't fit into many of your categories - chances are - i fit into most if not ALL of them, and yet - i have always managed to 'get 'er done'..

      (puff, puff, pass...lol)

      Love your stuff, Bill - Just got back from 10 days vaca, so - need some ketch-up time..

      I promise - i won't be procrastinating on THAT!

      Can't wait..

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, I like that....responsibility towards others. Good job my friend and thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula....oh that Jim....what a kidder! LOL Of course he doesn't mean it. :)

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, I know to some that sounds morbid, but seriously, what are the chances that I will live to be 100? Slim at best, so I'd better make the most of the time I have left.

      Thank you my dear friend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Leslie, my procrastination really manifested itself in college. I, like you, would wait until the last possible minute. Why do now what you can kick out in two hours? Somewhere, over the years, that ended. Of course, now I'm writing ten hours a day, so I'm not sure how I would squeeze in procrastination. LOL

      I hope you had a great vacation my friend; thanks for stopping by.

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      Lisa Palmer 4 years ago from Attapulgus GA

      You have made some great points here. I am guilty of procrastination, usually I avoid the emotionally difficult tasks by tackling more physically difficult ones first. Not sure if that's good or bad but it's still procrastinating. I must say I am getting better and hopefully I can get myself motivated to deal with things as they come.

      Life is indeed too short to procrastinate on the important things and I am going to get to work on those important things..First thing tomorrow... I will write it on my calendar..Wait, where did I put that damn calendar....

      .Anyway Bless you and have a great and productive day.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Slacker....LOL....love your Hub name! I understand putting off the emotional stuff....I think most of us do that to one degree or another. who wants to hurt inside? I get that for sure.

      Thank you and good luck finding that calendar! LOL

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      Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

      My PORCH is what's smoking! PMP

      This is a wonderful hub for making procrastinators move but I have a question?

      What is the "J" at the end of some of your sentences? Just curious.

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      Mark G Weller 4 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Good points Bill. My problem isn't procrastination so much as not having any resources to get anything done:)

      I am one of those that is painfully organized, compulsive at having a clean home/room and believes that I must finish anything I start.

      Mark

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      Lorne Hemmerling 4 years ago from Oshawa

      Excellent, I am sometimes guilty of this. Right now, I have to get into my shop and pack everything up, I am supposed to be moving tomorrow! I think indecision is my biggest problem. I tend to over think everything. This is an eye-opener. You are right…..time is running out!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beckie, I don't know why that happens, but it has happened in the past. It's not there when I proofread it, but it shows up on the Hub. Thank you for pointing it out; it's taken care of now.

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      Russ Moran 4 years ago from Long Island, New York

      I'm glad i didn't put off reading this hub Bill. Given our limited time on earth it is amazing that we procrastinate at all. It robs of of the joys of accomplishment and puts a wall between us and satisfaction. Great hub.

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      Nancy Yager 4 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      I think that we procrastinate the tasks that we do not like. Instead of feeling badly about it, I have learned to concentrate more one the tasks that I do enjoy.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, that does not surprise me at all about you. As for the money, I hope you get up here soon, buddy; at least there would be people around who know you and can help in some small way. Thank you buddy!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lorne, if you are out tomorrow then yes, I think it's about time to pack up everything. LOL I love it! Good luck my friend and thank you!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rfmoran, I admit, I do occasionally procrastinate, but more often than not it has to do with an emotional decision that I just don't want to face yet.

      Thank you my friend and have a great weekend.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nancy, I like that attitude....I really do. No sense beating oneself up over it; just change the attitude. Thank you!

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      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      That says it all. Upon death, there will be an eternity to procrastinate. So live like it is the last day, because it could be...

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I would be shocked if you had any procrastination in you. :) I'm going to drain every ounce of life out of the time I have left....then I'll kick back and put off everything. LOL

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      novascotiamiss 4 years ago from Nova Scotia, Canada

      Billy: A very interesting article. I guess most procrastinators are either lazy, undecided or overwhelmed. Others are plain stupid, careless or simply leave everything to the last minute because they know that they always get away with it. Other's can't prioritize and start with the biggest and worst task first, get overwhelmed and never finish anything else. I always have to laugh about the people who run out of gas, because they didn't fill up or people who get fined for late payment. That's what I call stupid! Strange enough they always blame others for their predicament. On the brighter side: I once read an interesting article which claimed that procrastinators perform very well under stress situations. As they are always late doing things they don't get stressed whereas a normal person would. So procrastinating also seems to have its advantages...

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nova, I know that I performed much better in college when I had put things off and the pressure was upon me....now I like to do things in a timely fashion and relax during the process. Maybe it has something to do with growing older. :) Thank you for the visit my friend.

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      Lorne Hemmerling 4 years ago from Oshawa

      I commented earlier that I had to get my shop packed up and moved by today. I did. I knew long ago, that although I do procrastinate, it always gets done! I have driven other people crazy, because I wait until the last minute, but IT ALWAYS GETS DONE! Is this procrastination, or is this 'flying by the seat of your pants'. Maybe, I am a thrill seeker in an odd way. This has always been the way I have lived my life, not sure I recommend it to anyone, but it seems to work for me! Just my two cents.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lorne, if it works for you then it works....I think it's flying by the seat of your pants. :) Thanks!

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      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      I really get pissed off by those who procrastinate routinely without a valid reason. I feel many of those who do so do out of the fear of failure, of being unable to complete the job undertaken.

      Very useful pointers, Bill. Voted up and sharing.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rajan, I have to admit, I have a very low tolerance for those who procrastinate on a regular basis...all the time wasted....time they will never get back.

      Thank you my friend!

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      Glimmer Twin Fan 4 years ago

      You always write about topics I would never think to write on and they are always spot on. I have to say that one thing I have never been is a procrastinator. My mom & dad still make fun of me because I am always done with things well before they are needed. Luckily my daughter has taught me to lighten up and realize that a little procrastination is not necessarily a bad thing.

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer....LOL...no, I agree, a little bit is a good thing. I understand about your mom and dad. In today's world, though, it's kind of nice to have people like you around who can be counted on to do what they set out to do.

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      Connie Smith 4 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Do you know my husband, by any chance? He has to do everything perfectly, which takes eons; he was never praised by his parents, but they would nitpick about insignificant nothings; and he is always saying: "someday when I get organized". As a result, we spend 85% of our time looking for things because he doesn't take the time to put them where they should be. So you have hit all the problem areas for sure. I'd give this to my husband to read, but I know he'd just put it off!

      Voted Up and Awesome. Well done, Billy

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl....LOL....most likely he would. That's so sad, though, that his parents left him with that legacy. Words can hurt, sometimes for years after.

      Thank you my loyal friend; you are appreciated greatly.

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      Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

      My habit is to tackle the job right away, get it over with, so that time can be used in other areas. I took hard knocks for me to learn this lesson through the years. Great advice!

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, hard knocks is the only way I learned in the past, but at least I eventually learned. :) Thank you as always.

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      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      There are a lot of people who wish that I did suffer from this. I have the opposite of this. I want to do things before they should be done---I am a bit OCD. I had to calm that desire...and have gotten much better. One example: I used to want to take the dinner dishes away before everyone was finished dining. O , my...did not make me popular.

      When I was teaching I had some of those 'perfectionist' types that you mentioned. They did not want to face the possibility of making mistakes We talked long and hard about it to help them through it. Well said, Bill. Sending Angels your way :) ps

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      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, I love the taking away the dishes before people are through with them. LOL Yes, you must have been quite a hit with them....I can see them clinging to their plates, hovering over it like in prison, keeping it safe from the patrolling PS....:) Thank you my friend, and I so appreciate the angels.

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