Procrastination Statistics

Procrastination statistics show that procrastination affects over 20% of the population and that it is on the rise.

A definition of procrastination is "putting off activities that were planned or scheduled, for activities that are of a lesser importance."

Many of us have procrastinated to some degree or another but, according to statistics, procrastination is on the rise.

According to some researchers, procrastination has more than quadrupled in the last 30 years.

In 1978, 5% of the population admitted to being chronic procrastinators compared to roughly 26% of the population today (Steele, 2007).

Surveys of student populations suggest that procrastination is pervasive.

Some surveys suggest that 85-95% of students have problems associated with procrastination - and I regularly see procrastination of students at university and employees at work.

These procrastination statistics suggest that it is a common phenomenon  that is on the increase.

Why are procrastination statistics are so high?

Kids opt to watch TV instead of study.

procrastination statistics

Internet, Facebook, the latest Blackberry, rather than harnessing effectiveness, technology is providing people with constant distractions and excuses to put things off.

But avoiding procrastination is not just about removing distractions through the management of your environment! It is also about instilling habits of getting things done.

There are a number of external causes of procrastination.

They may be shifting priorities of your managers who ask you to drop everything, yet you know they will return asking for what you have dropped.

It may be having unclear goals or being over-committed you don't know where to start the mountain of work that you are facing.

There are also a number of internal, unwritten, and sometimes unhelpful assumptions. These may include a fear of failure (or even success!), the idea that I must get it right and cannot fail, lack of self-confidence, or stress and fatigue.

I talk about some of the common internal reasons for procrastination at Why do people procrastinate?

Consequences of procrastination

Most people procrastinate, and procrastination statistics suggest that procrastination only becomes a problem when it increases stress or robs you of your potential.

Are you addicted to the last minute?
Do you need the adrenaline rush of a looming deadline to get started? If so, then you may be addicted to the adrenaline of the procrastination habit. Research shows that procrastination is not a good long-term strategy. Procrastination results in more mistakes and less time to review work. Not only poorer quality work, but more stress as well!

Indeed, procrastination statistics suggest that 40% of people have experienced financial loss due to procrastination (Gura, 2008)

Others report that procrastination has resulted in putting off getting doctor check-ups or looking after their health.

While there are a number of negative consequences of procrastination, there are some cited benefits.

Some procrastinators report that they put things off because they work better under pressure. They "need the adrenaline rush" to get things done.

How to overcome procrastination

If procrastination causing you stress and robbing you of your potential then there are four things you can do:

1. Try to beat procrastination by yourself. 

This option is chosen by most people and is a hard route to follow with much trial and error.

2. Attend seminars

This option makes you feel good but sooner or later you will fall into old habits as procrastination is like a comfortable bed "easy to get into, but hard to get out of".

3. Do nothing

If you do nothing then it is likely that nothing will change.

4. Do a procrastination course online

I know there are plenty and I have tried a few of them. However, what I really like about this 21 day procrastination course is that it gets to the heart of why you procrastinate and then gives you step-by-step strategies to beat procrastination.

When I did the Procrastination Course I learnt that procrastination is not about a lack of willpower...

I have plenty of willpower.

What I learnt were the causes of my procrastination and how to stop procrastination completely.

After the course I now procrastinate less and get more things done.

If you liked procrastination statistics you will also like this article on procrastination.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.
› Procrastination Statistics