Most people procrastinate. To find out if you do, take this test.

If you ask people why they procrastinate, you possibly may hear the real reasons. More than likely, though, you will hear their excuses. When an excuse sounds believable, it has a name - rationalization. It is its believability that makes rationalizing the original mind game. It's what you do in your thinking and feeling to explain away why your actions don't match up to your values and plans. It is the excuse you give yourself for your actions. It may seem reasonable but it does not reflect the real reason.

Often what makes a rationalization so effective is that it can sound so reasonable, at least to the speaker. It is a reasonable excuse. It is the kind of thing you frequently hear from the defendant on one of the currently popular TV "judge shows." Take a look at the reasonable excuses in the following example. Below are some more examples of students who use reasonable excuses to procrastinate.

I. Reasons Why We Procrastinate (Emotional difficulties that lead to or stem from procrastination)

Your lack of self-confidence - If you do not feel you can successfully perform a task, you are likely to delay or avoid beginning the task.

Low Frustration Tolerance - If you have to wait for a reward, or someone else to motivate or inspire you, procrastination becomes the means of avoiding the hassle.

Hostility - If you are disappointed because life doesn't give you what you want or think you deserve procrastination becomes the means of rebellion.

II. Common Procrastination Tactics - Procrastinating with the best of 'em!

III. Common Rationalizations for Procrastinating

  1. Ignorance: "I didn't know I was supposed to do that."

  2. Skill Deficiency: "I don't know how to do it."

  3. Apathy 1: "I really don't want to do this"

  4. Apathy 2: "I really doesn't make any difference if I put this off."

  5. Apathy 3: "No one really cares whether I do this or not."

  6. Apathy 4: "I need to be in the mood. I'm not."

  7. Fixed Habits 1: "But I've always done it this way and it's hard to change."

  8. Fixed Habits 2: "I know I can pull this out at the last minute."

  9. Fixed Habits 3: "I work better under pressure."

  10. Inertia: "I just can't seem to get started."

  11. Frail Memory: "I just forgot."

  12. Physical Problems: "I couldn't do it; I was sick."

  13. "Appropriate" Delays 1: I'm just waiting for the best time to do it."

  14. "Appropriate" Delays 2: "I need time to think this through."

  15. "Appropriate" Delays 3: "This other opportunity will never come again, so I can't pass it up."

Continue with Procrastination Busting

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