WELLNESS
11/20/2014 02:29 pm ET Updated Nov 20, 2014

Can't Stop Procrastinating? This Might Be Why

If you're a procrastinator, you know the feeling of being sidetracked by a bunch of kitten videos when there's a huge project you should really be working on. It doesn't feel great, not getting anything done. So why do we let ourselves procrastinate in the first place?

A recent video from School Of Life -- a London-based organization dedicated to developing emotional intelligence through classes, therapy and more -- suggests that overwhelming pressure to succeed could be part of the reason a procrastinator puts things off.

“I do nothing not because I'm lazy, but because I’m scared," the timid character in the video says. "I’m scared that if I start, what I do will be horrible. I want things to be so amazing."

"What helps the most is when ... it feels I could mess up, and that would be okay," the voice goes on to say. "It's best not to scare me with perfection."

According to Princeton University's McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning, one of the first steps to overcoming procrastination is understanding what it's rooted in:

As with most problems, awareness and self-knowledge are the keys to figuring out how to stop procrastinating. For a lot of people acquiring this insight about how procrastination protects them from feeling like they are not able enough, and keeping it in mind when they are tempted to fall into familiar, unproductive, procrastinating habits goes a long way to solving the problem.

Once you've identified the problem, you can start taking action. Lifehack suggests a number of tips for freeing yourself from the cycle of procrastination, such as breaking your work into little steps, changing up your surroundings, setting deadlines and telling others about your goals.

So stop reading this article and get cracking on that to-do list!

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