Why do we procrastinate? How to have better time management instead of binge-watching Netflix

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Juliette Ciullo

You know the feeling. It’s a Sunday night, and you have that whole project to start. You could have started it this morning, or yesterday afternoon or ideally that first day it was assigned, but you couldn’t. There was always a Netflix show to binge or a friend to make plans with. Once, you even redesigned the whole layout of your room, because it just had to be fixed before you could begin typing. The room was too messy and you wouldn’t be able to focus. Then, you had to make a smoothie to fuel your brainpower. Suddenly, it’s 8:00 PM, and you’re still staring at the blank page before you. That’s when the panic starts to set in. 
You’ll never get this done. Why didn’t you just start earlier? Now, you’ll have to stay up all night. You’re going to get a horrible grade and fail school. Armed with laser focus and unyielding determination, you plow through the work and manage to get it done just in time. It’s not your best work, not even close, and you feel embarrassed and incompetent that you can’t just be like everyone else who responsibly planned out their time. 
If you’ve been in this situation, especially more than once, chances are you’re a procrastinator. 
And most procrastinators know those terrible feelings of anxiousness, frustration, disappointment and even low self-esteem. Ironically, the more someone procrastinates, the more anxious and guilty one becomes. 
It’s not surprising that procrastination is linked to poorer mental health, lower grades and lower salaries. 
According to PsychologyToday, as many as 70 to 90 percent of undergraduates chronically procrastinate, so though it may not feel like it, procrastination is not uncommon. 
And it’s far too common to ask oneself: How do I stop procrastinating? Why do I do this to myself even though I want to stop?
The good news is that knowing why you’re procrastinating can help you find techniques to combat it.  
All procrastination follows some basic rules. When people need to get something done, they interact with both our internal willpower and the resistance of a certain task. For instance, a task people anticipate to be challenging or boring will have higher resistance, and their self-control and motivation will play into the amount of willpower they have at hand. 
There are hindering factors that influence one’s resistance, and demotivating factors that impact one’s willpower. 
The bad news is there’s a myriad of reasons for procrastination, and they vary deeply among individuals.  
Often, a combination of several factors contributes to self-destructive procrastination. Keep in mind the severity of procrastination varies, as does the frequency. It is equally possible one’s own procrastination is simply a lack of motivation or energy, while another’s is intricately related to many issues. 
So read carefully, and see what makes sense for you:
-Fear of failure
-Perfectionism 
-Low self-esteem
-Disconnection from one’s future self
-ADHD/ADD
-Lack of motivation
– Lack of energy
-Depression
-Anxiety
-Addiction (ex. Alcohol, social media)
– A lack of organization
-Fear of evaluation or negative feedback
-Sensation-seeking
-Mental exhaustion
-Task Aversion
-A perceived lack of control
 
Analyze these reasons in context with one’s life and other behaviors. The first step is recognizing the problem and understanding it. Once one discovers why they procrastinate, one can make a plan to counterattack it. From a fellow procrastinator, good luck!