Procrastination Mind Map – Why We Do It and How to Overcome It

Procrastination is a fear-based response, deeply rooted in our history. We feel paralyzed by our imagination. It seizes us up, locks us in its grip and leaves us feeling horrible.

Human beings are great at finding reasons as to why they can’t do things: No time. No energy. No way. All the while, as we create these excuses, we feel entrapped by the possibility of failure or worse – that someone else will see we are a failure too. IQMatrix, a web site dedicated to tapping into human potential, produced an interesting procrastination mind map, a part of which I have displayed here.

Courtesy of

As you can see, the origin of procrastination can be found in our habits, actions and fears of lack, inadequacies and false expectations of ourselves and others. It’s no wonder we talk of having no time! With a lack mentality, we firmly believe we don’t have any.

Changing your way of thinking comes after your recognize what that thinking is. Take note of how often you say you are out of time, out of luck, out of friends, money, you-name-it. Now choose one of those things and replace “no” with “more than enough”. Repeat after me: “I have more than enough time. I have more than enough fortune. I have more than enough friends. I have more than enough money…” When we shift our language, we shift our perspective. That minor nudge in the direction of abundant thinking can take on dramatic effects.

One of the root causes of procrastination is, in my mind, our unrealistic expectations. In an attempt to keep pace with the world at large, we push ourselves to the brink, demanding more and more in less and less time. We find it appealing to save time, but what are we really saving it for? To do more work? To accomplish more and more and more? To what end? What on Earth are we rushing toward?

These are tough philosophical questions worth asking ourselves. Because a lot of what drives our behavior is the unflappable belief that if we aren’t marching forward, we will somehow be left behind.

Not so.

In taking pause, we create space for the best things in life to come flooding in. If you don’t make room for them, they will float on by to the next opening instead.

Procrastination is about saying no to our potential. Move it to yes and watch what happens next. When you say yes to yourselves, yes to your abilities, yes to the possibility that you can bring to the table, you make it easier for the world to say yes to you too.

What will you say yes to today?



  1. Donald Pillai (@mightyarchangel)

    February 11, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask. Act! Action will delineate and define you. Either you run the day or the day runs you. Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward. Expect problems and eat them for breakfast. Go big or go home. Because it’s true. What do you have to lose?

    1. powerofslow

      February 15, 2012 at 11:56 am

      I live as though I have nothing to lose and everything to offer. It’s a fun way to live!

  2. Suzanne

    February 13, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    Thank you for posting this. I took a deep look at the map and learned a few things about why — and even where — I procrastinate. It’s mostly around lack of direction, otherwise I am a steam roller. It would be interesting to see the tree continue to antidotes. Maybe they could?

    1. powerofslow

      February 15, 2012 at 11:56 am

      Suzanne ~ thanks for your perspective! Here is the entire mind map. It helps you move from procrastination to motivation. I, like you, have steamroller qualities. Whenever I put something off, it derives from a fear that it won’t be perfect. You taught me “Done, not perfect”! 🙂

  3. l0ve0utl0ud

    February 15, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Great post and an amazing mind map, which is spot on! I think one of the things that lead me to procrastinate is the feeling of being overwhelmed by all of the things I have to do. “There is too much to do, I will never get everything done anyway, why waste my time and energy trying?”. I will repeat “I have enough time” every day this week 🙂

    1. powerofslow

      February 15, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Yes! Repeat after me: “I have more than enough time to do what is required to fulfill my ultimate purpose.” Every time I tell myself this, amazing things happen. Truly! Time is a construct. Procrastination is the result of a mindset – one of lack. If we shift our perspective, everything changes. And change is what we often need to move forward. Best to you!

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