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The Top 20 Causes for Procrastination and How to Beat Them

I recently asked my entrepreneurial friends about procrastination and what they think is the top cause for procrastination.  I got a lot of great feedback, but surprisingly the answers were all really the same thing just worded differently. 

I’ve narrowed the list down to the top 20 causes for procrastination:

  1. Fear
  2. Avoiding discomfort
  3. Unfamiliarity
  4. Lack of self-esteem
  5. Information overload
  6. Confusion
  7. Lack of passion – it isn’t what you truly want to do
  8. Boredom
  9. Annoyance
  10. When a task is emotionally draining
  11. Regret
  12. Lack of focus
  13. Limiting beliefs
  14. Not having a big enough why
  15. Environmental distractions
  16. No clear direction
  17. Actively seeking pleasure – lack of discipline
  18. Choosing what’s easier
  19. Overthinking things
  20. Netflix’s auto-play

Do you notice a common theme among the majority of these causes for procrastination?  It’s you! 

The Top 20 Causes for Procrastination and How to Beat Them 1

Fear and fear-based causes were named more often than any other cause.  A fear of the unknown, a fear of discomfort, a fear of regret, a fear of not being good enough… Most fears come from limiting beliefs about ourselves.  End result, what we think (believe) is typically the #1 thing that gets in our way. 

So how do we overcome the fear and start moving again?  Acknowledge that it’s you that’s in your own way and think about where your limiting belief(s) come from.  I know mine came from my father who raised my sister and me to be good employees, not an entrepreneur like he was.  Acknowledge your fear, take a step back and look at your why, then make yourself a to-do list that breaks down the big steps into manageable chunks and kiss that procrastination good-bye!

Lorna Whiteaker

Lorna Whiteaker is a San Luis Obispo business consultant and coach dedicated to helping business owners get the results they want. Lorna has over 30 years of experience working with small businesses, working as an administrator in the legal industry and as an independent business consultant helping hundreds of entrepreneurs. With clear and realistic expectations of just what a business owner must deal with in running their business, big or small, she has worked with firms making 7 figures and start-ups with little more than elbow grease and a dream.