Procrastination and Guilt: A Vicious Cycle

Welcome to Day 3 of our Productivity and Happiness Series

Procrastination can be insidious. It can take over your life and keep you from achieving your goals. When you put things off, likely, you’ll soon start to feel guilty for doing so. We’re taught that being productive and accomplishing a lot makes you the right person. It’s this belief that can contribute to making us feel so bad when we fall behind. This vicious cycle can be incredibly challenging to break. It is possible, though. Read the tips below to take charge of your time and to become more productive.

Reason for Procrastination

There are numerous reasons why we procrastinate. We’ve covered some of these already. Fear, insecurity, anxiety, and self-doubt are big ones that can keep you from taking on tasks immediately. Then there’s the concept of perfectionism we’ve mentioned earlier. When you feel everything must be just right, you’re more apt to hesitate to get a job done. When it comes right down to it, though, your mood may be a significant contributor to procrastination. You don’t feel like doing the thing sometimes and wait for a time that feels right. However, that time often comes too late or doesn’t come at all, leaving you feeling stressed and guilty.

The Procrastination and Guilt Cycle

This tendency to procrastinate and then to feel guilty about it often becomes a cycle that’s hard to break. Your guilt can intensify to the point of not being able to complete even simple tasks, leading you to feel overwhelmed and inadequate about yourself. These feelings become a downward spiral of inaction from which you may find escape difficult. Fortunately, there are ways to manage your emotions and your mood to stop the procrastination and guilt cycle for good.

How to Overcome This Trap

First, it’s a good idea to examine why it is you’re procrastinating in the first place. When you’re able to find a reason for the delay, you’re better able to overcome the problem. You can logically work to dispute the issue when you know its roots. Once you know the reason for your procrastination, get started, even if that means taking small steps to your task. Breaking an enormous task down into parts can make it seem less daunting. Once you begin, each small action will build until you start to notice progress, and you’re motivated to keep going. Forgive yourself if you do find you’ve procrastinated a bit longer than you’d hoped. You’re human. If you allow yourself to slide once in a while, you’re less apt to fall into the cycle of guilt.

Keep this information in mind the next time you notice yourself being overwhelmed by a seemingly unending loop of procrastination and guilt. Stopping to assess the situation, recognize your feelings, and take action will set you back on track in no time.


I am a "glass is half full" type of person, so I decided that I would share that with others. After going on 11 years in the blogosphere I decided it was time to make a change and in doing so help uplift others. My husband is my biggest cheerleader and you can visit his site at

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