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shockvalue's avatar

Why do we procrastinate?

Asked by shockvalue (5797points) March 2nd, 2009

I’ve been up for 36 hours doing homework. I’ve had two or more weeks to get it all done, but I decided to wait until the last minute to do all of it. Now I feel like I’m on crack (okay okay, fluther IS crack) And I have class in an hour.

Why do we do this to ourselves?

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24 Answers

elenamillaa's avatar

i think there are multiple reasons, one of them being that we underestimate. i doubt you really thought this homework would take you 36 whole hours, and i’m guessing you estimated 12 at the very most.

also, as a society, we run on little sleep and a lot of coffee and overtime. we’ve been trained and told that it’s allright to work ourselves half to death and do things like this. this way, we can have fun and not worry about work until the very last minute and just enjoy ourselves. instead of taking one hour a night, we watch tv or have a round of drinks that hour and put that hour off until the very end. we trick ourselves by saying “well, it’s only one hour, i wouldn’t have gotten much done anyway. as people, we give into temptation too easily and do what we want a lot, instead of fulfilling our obligations.

and the answer, in reader’s digest version, is this: would you rather hang out with your friends, or do homework?

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

It’s only natural to avoid things you don’t like. Even if we get something good out of it in the end.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I think we take time for granted, we get caught up in various things we’re doing in our lives and don’t take time to prioritize the more important tasks, and many of us are just punctually challenged from the start.

Here are the top 10 reasons I procrastinate:


NaturalMineralWater's avatar

My other answer was “I’ll tell you later”

Blondesjon's avatar

It is much easier for us to find reasons to do the things we want to do than the the things we don’t.

nebule's avatar

maybe; we need always to have something yet to do and procrastination enables this.
maybe; the thought that we might get things done takes us a step closer to that final moment of life?

blondie411's avatar

Maybe we need to pressure having to get it done, I know I work better under the pressure.

Triiiple's avatar

Because some of us are stoners.

mangeons's avatar

Because we are LAZY.

EmpressPixie's avatar

So that when I get something done and it isn’t PERFECT, I can blame it completely on being under a time crunch. If I worked on it all along, I would still be nitpicking the night it was due, I’d just be less happy with my less-than-perfect outcome. Procrastinating gives the excuse.

shockvalue's avatar

so you you know that all-nighter I pulled because I was procrastinating? Well I just checked my email and It turns out classes are canceled today because of the snow.

Just my luck!

eponymoushipster's avatar

it’s not procrastination – it’s taking time to weigh the options. ;)

aprilsimnel's avatar

The main reason why I procrastinate is fear. Of failure, of success, of changing from the comfortable, if stagnant, status quo.

May2689's avatar

Its like avoiding a problem. We can put it off for as long as we can, but eventually its going to get us and eat us alive! But its just so.. boring.

LouisianaGirl's avatar

i do that too but its because I forget about it or I dont feel like doing it until I think holy crap this is due tomorrow and I have to wake up at like midnight just to get it finished then I am soooo tired the next day. We avoid what needs to get done.

hearkat's avatar

I bought this T-shirt 15 years ago.

hearkat's avatar

Yeah… I beleive it’s from It answers the question perfectly.

wundayatta's avatar

Because other stuff is more fun. Most people have a hard time delaying gratification, or don’t even want to. Fun first, work later.

LouisianaGirl's avatar

Yes there are things that are waaaaayyyy more fun than working on a report.

onesecondregrets's avatar

I’m just lazy as shit.

LouisianaGirl's avatar

hahaha some people would say its our economy

tiffyandthewall's avatar

hey, story of my life.
i think i’m a walking, breathing example of the fact that most people tend to do things that result in instant satisfaction even if they’re going to regret it. like, right now, i should be doing (tons of) homework, but answering this question just seems a whole lot more important at this second. and in a few minutes, refreshing the fluther homepage a few times for more questions will seem to make up for the fact that i’ll be up until the AM doing homework again.

Turtle's avatar

I know that even though people say they don’t like rushing at the last minute, if you do it alot then you are getting something out of it…otherwise you wouldn’t do it. It can be an addiction to the excitement and the adrenaline produced when you put yourself in the pressurized situations.

Q) Why do we do this to ourselves?
A) We are Adrenaline Junkies

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