Clear And Unbiased Facts About Procrastination (Without All the Hype)

To succeed in overcoming procrastination, it is essential to fully understand what it is.

Facts About Procrastination

Paraphrasing a long-forgotten slogan, procrastinators have nothing to lose but their time.

Among the main causes of procrastination, deadline anxiety tops the list.

how procrastination starts - a figure is hiding underground from the approaching deadline

But its nature implies more than a failure to face time management challenges.  

Since procrastination makes us wait for inspiration and delay doing that laundry anyway, why not sit pretty and dive into a list of clear facts on this formidable phenomenon?

Procrastination Fact #1

Where does 'procrastination' come from?

The word is mentioned in the late 16th century and has roots in Latin 'pro' for ‘forward’ and 'crastinus' for ‘belonging to tomorrow’, thus, literally meaning 'a putting off till future time'.

Procrastination Fact #2

If you want to beat procrastination

On Amazon, there are over 1000 books having 'beat procrastination' in their titles and subtitles📚📖🔖.

a person is sitting and reading a book on how to beat procrastination

Procrastination Fact #3

Procrastination is not laziness  

People procrastinate because of the inability to cope with negative moods🙁☹️😟😒, not laziness.

Procrastination Fact #4

How automation helps to overcome procrastination

Time-management tactics aimed at automation (for example, time tracking) help organize work in a more structured way, maintain a more balanced life, and, thus, do work for avoiding procrastination.  

Procrastination Fact #5

Procrastination under other names

Procrastination can be confused with a strategic delay (when we intentionally postpone doing something to increase pressure believing that the best motivator is the looming deadline).

But in either case, those who favor such an approach should realize that it often comes with the cost of physical and mental exhaustion.

a person is delaying doing things despite the looming deadline

Procrastination Fact #6

Popular since 1870

In 1870, a famous American writer Mark Twain coins an anti-proverb"Do not put off till tomorrow what can be put off till day-after-tomorrow just as well". Its wittiness justifies a habit of procrastination as universal and typically human.

a quote by Mark Twain on procrastination

Procrastination Fact #7

Procrastination championship winners

Experiments showed that an age group of 14 to 29 years old procrastinated most. Besides, males tend to procrastinate more than females.

Procrastination Fact #8

There are tons of tips and hundreds of solutions for procrastination

With lots of guides on how to avoid procrastination, we tried and tested lots of them. Here we share one tip that worked.  If you feel mentally stuck, make a pause and describe the scenario that makes your work impossible. The scenario that is opposite to the one you imagined is your anti-procrastination r0admap.

Procrastination Fact #9

Procrastinator species

Researchers differ 6 types of procrastinators : Perfectionist (fixated on details), Dreamer (totally ignoring details), Worrier (feeling too anxious), a Crisis-maker (seeking an adrenaline rush), Defier (resisting any imposed rules), Ovedoer (having issues with setting priorities).

six types of procrastinators

Procrastination Fact #10

Two procrastinators' collaboration is not what you may think  

Imaging the union of two procrastinators, you are likely to assume that it will be a zero productive collaboration. But studies show that, in actuality, a procrastinator working with a worse procrastinator completes a task faster.

Procrastination Fact #11

Where is procrastination, there is multitasking (most likely)

Multitasking is stated as one of the factors causing procrastination among employees.

Procrastination Fact #12

C̶r̶i̶m̶e̶   Procrastination and Punishment

Researchers discovered that we tend to procrastinate when we regard the penalty for failing a deadline as not very significant.

Procrastination Fact #13

Self-imposed tight deadlines: do they work against procrastination?

Oftentimes, procrastination relates to problems with self-control.

Studies proved that a person may avoid procrastination by self-imposing costly deadlines.

Yet, for improving the results of performance, this approach is not very effective, and externally imposed deadlines work better.

Procrastination Fact #14

Procrastination day and night  

During the pandemic, researchers noted the alarming rise of bedtime procrastination also got known as coronasomnia when people choose to stay up late without a reason, thus, reducing their sleep and negatively impacting their health.

a man on the bed suffering from coronasomnia

Procrastination Fact #15

Give me some silver lining

Current studies show that people practicing self-compassion are less inclined to fall victim to bedtime procrastination.

Procrastination Fact #16

In a world that is constantly firing information at you, we can falsely identify procrastination.

Keeping awareness will help differentiate digital fatigue as a response to prevent data overload from procrastination linked to delaying tasks of importance.

Procrastination Fact #17

Nobody loves limitations but everybody benefits from them

How are limitations connected with procrastination? Simply put, they beat it. If you need proof, you can go to the supermarket and observe the difference in the behavior of people with shopping lists and without. Once you are in the 'to-do-list-mode', you start to follow the 'itemized route' that diminishes distractions and brings you to the destination.    

Procrastination Fact #18

The depth of the problem calls for exotic cures

Being recognized as a hurdle to wellbeing, procrastination becomes the subject of vivid discussions on many platforms where users offer all kinds of advice including wearing a hat to switch your mind to deep work mode. (We'd say if it works, wear it🎩🧢👒🎓!)

Procrastination Fact #19

Might as well

The idea of practicing "If I am doing this (checking email), I might as well do that (reply to the one most urgent message)" is surprisingly effective. When you are adding a small task to the one you are doing, it is unlikely to drain your mental resources. The good news is that approach works beyond work.

Procrastination Fact #20

When procrastination is good

A short delay can make a positive impact on your decision-making. As the adage goes 'Haste makes waste' so a tiny bit of procrastination makes sense.

Procrastination Fact #21

Blame that snooze button

Among factors contributing to procrastination, Professor Joseph Ferrari named overreliance on technology: "The snooze button is one of the first technologies designed to give us more time, yet we have not gained anything. We still delay...Use technology as a tool, not as a means of delay".

Procrastination Fact #22

The main danger of procrastination is its high price

The scientific interest in procrastination dates back to 1997 with the article Longitudinal Study of Procrastination, Performance, Stress, and Health: The Costs and Benefits of Dawdling which made college students the object of study and described procrastination as a phenomenon with short-term benefits and long-term costs.

Procrastination Fact #23

Knowing your triggers is your armor

Among the most common reasons for falling into procrastination, scientists name boredom and a fear of failure, along with perceiving the task as not rewarding, badly structured, and too difficult.

The idea behind avoiding procrastination is recognizing what exactly triggers procrastination and applying reverse trigger tactics for overcoming procrastination.

proscrastinating person


There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to avoiding procrastination, and staying flexible and empathetic is the key.

That is why out of self-compassion, we will keep this list not as planned, and instead of twenty-five super important facts on procrastination we make it 23 clear and nonbiased ones that we hope you find useful.