In Others’ Words: Procrastination

“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.” ~Don Marquis (1878-1937), humorist, journalist & author


We all procrastinate. Some of us are just better than others at putting things off until tomorrow, or the next day … or next month. The result? A pile of stuff waiting to be done — and it’s all got to be done now.

It would help to uncover the root of procrastination … but there is more than one root to this problem. Sometimes I procrastinate because:

  1. I’m lazy. Yep — there are days I ignore the To Do list because I just don’t want to do anything.
  2. I’m overwhelmed. I don’t know where to start on the project because it’s h-u-g-e … and it’s easier to not begin at all.
  3. I’m afraid. Afraid of what, you ask? Failure.
  4. I’m too busy watching what someone else is accomplishing. Wrong, wrong focus.
  5. I’m trying to do the wrong thing. Sometimes I think I’m supposed to do a project — but I’m doing it out of guilt or because I think it will get me something or somewhere (how selfish is that?). Or maybe I said yes when I should have said no.

The next time I’m procrastinating, instead of beating myself up over what I should be doing, maybe I should calm down and ask myself, “What’s stopping you from doing this?”

In Your Words: What are you procrastinating about? Why are you not doing it?


I’m back home after being in Houston and Dallas for a week! No, I’m not unpacked yet — but here’s a glimpse of some of the fun I had at the ACFW conference!

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  1. September 24, 2012, 12:41 am   /  Reply

    Honestly (and embarrassingly), I’m procrastinating on figuring out the best repayment plans for my student loans. The reason? Probably most of the above! I definitely feel overwhelmed by the whole thing – I don’t really know where to start, and I get nervous about making phone calls (ridiculous, I know!). I’m afraid I’ll make the wrong decisions…and I’m definitely being lazy. It’s weighing on me, and yet I try to push it from my mind more often than not. But with my grace period almost over, I know I’ve got to deal with it all soon!

    So, there’s my confession! I’m sure I’ve got to be one of the world’s best procrastinators, as I perfected the art when I was in college. (Yes, I’m the person who would stay up super late the night before a paper was due…)

    Hope you don’t mind me sharing! And I hope this is one of those things where recognizing the problem is the first step to recovery…


    • Beth Vogt
      September 24, 2012, 5:38 am   /  Reply

      You can do this, Amber! Cheering you on today as you tackle that phone call!

  2. September 24, 2012, 6:39 am   /  Reply

    Fear tries really hard, but thankfully God tried/tries harder.
    ~ Wendy

    • Beth Vogt
      September 24, 2012, 6:46 am   /  Reply

      May I quote you?
      So true.
      And I am so thankful!

  3. September 24, 2012, 7:05 am   /  Reply

    Procrastination is NOT a word I associate with you–you are amazingly faithful to detail and consistently have amazing high-quality output. I can procrastinate but don’t really enjoy the stolen time, so usually end up doing whatever the item is–just so I can enjoy remaining time.

    • Beth Vogt
      September 24, 2012, 8:31 am   /  Reply

      Thank you for the compliment, Dee — but I think everyone gets tripped up by procrastination at one time or another.

  4. Jeanne
    September 24, 2012, 7:24 am   /  Reply

    Great post, and great pics, Beth. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sometimes I procrastinate because I am tired. I’ve let myself become run down. I find during those times that I tend to move into laziness. Finding the balance between rest and productivity is tricky, and also what can lead me to procrastinate (when I’m out of balance).

    • Beth Vogt
      September 24, 2012, 8:31 am   /  Reply

      Agreed, Jeanne — exhaustion = procrastination for me. And after a week away, this is gonna be a tough week!

  5. September 24, 2012, 8:06 am   /  Reply

    LOL, that’s a bad question to ask, Beth. I’m procrastinating writing my blog tour posts–one of which is due today. What am I doing? Reading blogs! Guess I better stop reading and start writing. ๐Ÿ™‚ Great to see you again at ACFW.

    • Beth Vogt
      September 24, 2012, 8:32 am   /  Reply

      Good to see you too, Sandra — especially in that crowd!

  6. September 24, 2012, 8:10 am   /  Reply

    Oh dear, you said that ugly P word.

    Fear motivates my procrastination. Right now…I’m putting off the WIP and it’s so close to the end. Eeek!! I need to Just Do It. lol

    • Beth Vogt
      September 24, 2012, 8:32 am   /  Reply

      Keep me posted on your progress, Jessica. Sometimes accountability is a good antidote to procrastination.

  7. September 24, 2012, 8:21 am   /  Reply

    Haha, yesterday I totally procrastinated on writing a blog post for today and thus, my post is very, ahem, minimalist this morning. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Beth Vogt
      September 24, 2012, 8:33 am   /  Reply

      Still looking forward to reading it, Melissa!

  8. September 24, 2012, 9:31 am   /  Reply


    Great reminder to get my groove on for the week. Rather than sitting in the doldrums, I need to get up and get moving. I have people to see and places to go…even if they are all in my own imagination. My characters await their next moves!

    Blessings – glad you’re home safely. Now rest. Or procrastinate. Whichever works better for you. ๐Ÿ™‚


  9. September 24, 2012, 9:46 am   /  Reply

    Beth, thanks for posting pics of so many of my online peeps & you @ the conf! BTW–love love LOVE your purple dress!

    Procrastination. I think it’s kind of a passive-aggressive way to deal with things. Put them off, then kill yourself trying to get them done RIGHT before deadline. My hubby tends to procrastinate and it always shocks me how many OTHER things he can do instead of what he needs to do.

    I suffer from the opposite–goal-driven-itis. I have to have a goal and be working toward it all the time, THEN I can reward myself with breaks. Unfortunately, if there’s no goal in sight, I GET IRRITABLE! Weird but true.

    Fun post, and so glad you had fun at ACFW!

  10. September 24, 2012, 10:03 am   /  Reply

    Great food for thought, my Friend. I loved Michael Hyatt’s statement at the ACFW conference: “Perfectionism is the mother of procrastination.” Whether it’s writing or doing anything else, if I keep tinkering with it instead of letting it go at some point, procrastination sets in before I recognize it. In my mind’s eye I’m making something better. In productivity land, I’m making no progress. This is a great post to keep me focused for the rest of this week as I play catch up!

  11. September 24, 2012, 10:40 am   /  Reply

    I usually procrastinate because I feel overwhelmed, like you said. I get so busy that I feel out of control, and because of that, I really can’t bring myself to work on any of it. So I watch TV or read instead. Yep.

  12. Patti Mallett
    September 24, 2012, 2:15 pm   /  Reply

    Yes, to that whole perfectionism thing. It’s a very real issue to deal with!

    I struggle with that and all of the above. Yet we feel so elated when we press on. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. September 24, 2012, 4:14 pm   /  Reply

    Usually fear is my reason for procrastination, but right now I’m reading blogs instead of ironing. I really don’t like ironing. Even getting to watch a TV show while I do it doesn’t help. Is there any way to make it exciting? ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. September 25, 2012, 12:06 pm   /  Reply

    Procrastination is a problem for me at times. I’d say the three major reasons it grabs hold of me are perfectionism, fear, and feeling overwhelmed by all that’s on my plate. The best way I’ve found to deal with procrastination is to do something–anything–that will move me forward on the task I’m avoiding. Taking even a teensy step forward can get me moving again.

  15. September 25, 2012, 1:06 pm   /  Reply

    Oh yeah, definitely procrastinating this week. Or more realistically, recovering and recharging to move full-steam ahead. ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. September 26, 2012, 8:36 pm   /  Reply

    I do a lot of procrastinating and, like you, the reason is not always the same. I like your suggestion to figure out why I’m not doing the work. I think that would actually help, except on the lazy one and that’s just gotta be okay sometimes. : ) Thanks, Beth.

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