What is the connection between Chronic Procrastination And Depression?

This blog will cover topics like procrastination, depression, the link between chronic procrastination and depression, remedies to deal with it, and frequently asked questions.

What is the connection between Chronic Procrastination And Depression?

Chronic procrastination is the tendency to delay your tasks and focus on lesser important things around you instead of the important work that you are supposed to do. It is often considered to be a failure in one’s self-regulation.

People with depression often suffer from chronic procrastination as they feel lethargic, low on energy, low on motivation, etc. which can make them delay their work, procrastinate, and avoiding to deal with their issues due to their condition.

Let us understand it more in the further sections. 


Depression (major depressive disorder) is a widespread and significant medical ailment that has a negative impact on how you feel, think, and act. It is, thankfully, curable. 

Depression creates feelings of melancholy and/or a loss of interest in previously appreciated activities. It can cause a number of mental and physical difficulties, as well as a reduction in your capacity to operate at home and at work.


Procrastination is the act of postponing or deferring duties until the last minute or after their deadline. Procrastination is defined by some academics as a “type of self-regulation failure marked by illogical postponing of activities despite possible negative consequences.”

Why Are Depression and Procrastination Related?

Depression is characterized by avoidance and rumination. I’ll unravel the relationships between depression and procrastination to assist patients and their loved ones in better grasping this.

  • As people are sad, they frequently lose interest in things that they formerly enjoyed. This might lead to postponing even enjoyable tasks. 
  • Even if the individual feels they might want to attend the event, they may be hesitant to commit because they are afraid they will not be able to do so when the time comes.
  • Individuals who cope with stress by placing things in the “too hard basket” are more likely to become sad. 
  • There is a strong chicken and egg dynamic at work here. Ruminating on problems rather than confronting them might contribute to depression increasing, but despair can also cause people to feel frozen.
  • It might be difficult for persons who are depressed to plan out such a sequence of activities. For example, if you need to do food shopping and meal prep, organize your home, or sort out your bills, you may be unsure where to begin. When your thinking is cloudy from melancholy, planning out multi-step chores might feel onerous. When you’re sad, it’s tough to plan out chores, so your hesitation to start may appear to be obstinance
  • Depression is related to the question “what’s the point?” For example, you want to be a child but question yourself, “Why would anyone introduce a kid into the world while we’re ruining the planet?” 
  • If your expenditure is out of control, you may wonder, “Why should I strive to straighten my money when I have student debts that I’ll never be able to pay off?” This kind of thinking is frequently obstinate and annoying to others (e.g., partners/spouses). 
  • This style of thinking can produce friction and tension in relationships, which can exacerbate the person’s melancholy.

Behavioral activation is a type of psychological therapy for depression. This includes, among other things, arranging fun events and engaging in tasks that offer a sense of authority and achievement. 

This can be an efficient way to recover from depression. Even if you’re not particularly concentrating on improving your thinking, modifying your actions in this way will make your thinking ability less sad. 

Trying behavioral activation may be a good option for people that can afford to see a psychologist. The directions are simpler than self-help choices that focus on thinking, therefore it may be easier to perform with a self-help method.

The social disengagement associated with depression might lead to delay when doing a job that requires activities such as making calls to strangers or meeting somebody new. You can feel entirely overwhelmed by the prospect of calling around to locate a therapist or a tradesperson to repair your roof.

People suffering from depression may lose faith in their ability to follow through over time. Depression may cause people to become erratic and untrustworthy, which might irritate others. 

This causes the depressed individual to feel even more wounded and ashamed, creating a vicious cycle. Individuals suffering from depression may feel ashamed about their inability to complete tasks while depressed and may make lies to cover it up. 

Other people frequently notice that they were not told the whole truth and become enraged, which leads to a negative spiral in which the individual becomes sadder and less accepted in society.

As with anxiety, some argue that part of the thinking we observe in depression is an adaptive process gone awry. Some sorts of thinking increase when individuals are unhappy, and withdrawing when somebody’s confidence is shaken includes some self-protective characteristics.

The cause of procrastination can sometimes be traced back to a problem with emotion regulation.

If you suffer from anxiety, you may spend lots of time wondering about what certain jobs entail or being concerned about what may go wrong. These types of worries might undoubtedly cause a delay.

Procrastination can be influenced by the relationship between worry and perfectionism. When you don’t think you can do anything flawlessly, you may be hesitant to attempt it at all and continue to put it off.

Depression, which frequently saps one’s vitality and self-esteem, may also lead to procrastination. You may disregard some chores because you lack drive to finish them or because you have doubts about yourself and your abilities.

Procrastination can also be caused by ADHD symptoms of inattention, such as:

  • distractibility
  • trouble concentrating
  • Hyperfocus

How to deal with procrastination and depression

These tactics might assist you in breaking the procrastination loop – even if it has become an entrenched habit.

If you’re facing this, it may be a good idea to seek the help of a therapist or other mental health professional. You can find a therapist at BetterHelp who can help you learn how to cope and address it.

Accept forgiveness and compassion for yourself.

Forgiving oneself for previous procrastination may help lessen the likelihood of future procrastination.

Self-forgiveness, like forgiving someone who has harmed you, helps you to let go of the past and go on.

So, instead of being harsh on yourself, convince yourself that everything will be fine:

  • “Waiting to finish that project didn’t go as planned, but it’s okay to make errors.” “I know what I’m not going to do next time.”

Self-compassion can also help to alleviate the harsh judgment and self-blame that often accompany procrastination.

Instead of dwelling on how you mucked up (which generally worsens the situation), provide yourself some thoughts of reassurance.

Consider what you may say to a buddy if it helps

  • “It sounds like you’re suffering at present, but I know you’re giving it your all.”
  • “That seems like a really demanding project.” I understand you would like to do your best, but this is just a first draft, right? If your group has any recommendations, you can always improve on them afterward.”

Don’t you deserve the same courtesy?

Contrary to popular perception,

Cognitive distortions, or patterns of unreasonable and erroneous cognition, are common contributors to procrastination.

Here are a few examples:


“I performed horribly on the previous paper.” I’m not going to be able to improve on this one.”

Neglecting the positive. Instead of being comforted by your supervisor’s compliments, you believe you simply got lucky with simple tasks. You put off your next assignment because you are afraid of making a mistake.


“Last night’s argument was terrible. They must despise me now. They’ll break up with me if I call to apologize. “I simply know.”

Mental sifting

During a first date, you forgot about the strong chemistry and shared interests and concentrated on the embarrassing situation when you made jokes that they didn’t get. “They must think I’m so stupid,” you reason, and you keep off calling them.

Other possible reasons might help you rethink mistaken thoughts:

  • “I’m sure they’re feeling quite guilty about the argument as well.” Perhaps they are terrified to call me.”

You can also include several facts that contradict their beliefs:

  • “There hasn’t been any bad feedback. In addition, my boss has said that she trusts me with increasingly difficult responsibilities. I believe I understand what I’m doing here and can rely on myself to continue performing a good job.”

Take your time

Taking each work one step by step might also help.

Instead of overburdening yourself by worrying about everything else that has to be done, concentrate on the next step.

While conducting research for a project, you may think to yourself, “Once I have five decent sources, I can write an outline.” Then come to a halt. Don’t be concerned about writing an introduction.

Who can say? You could come up with the right beginning remark without even trying while you work on the plan.

Create challenges and rewards system

If you have a habit of picking up your smartphone when you should be working, switch it off and place it somewhere outside of view before you begin your day.

Remember to reward yourself for your efforts as well. After you’ve completed a significant amount of work, take a rest to watch a hilarious video, meet up with pals, or trade selfies with your spouse.

Thinking of oneself in terms of promotions rather than penalties might also assist you to motivate yourself.

Instead of: “I won’t be able to watch the next episode of ‘Lucifer’ if I don’t work out tonight.”

“I’ll go for a run after work and then watch an episode of ‘Lucifer’ before night,” for example.


If procrastination is a big component of your depression, you are not alone. Hopefully, this post has helped you better understand what is going on and may have helped you communicate it to people close to you so they may have greater insight and empathy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What is the connection between Chronic Procrastination And Depression?

Is procrastination a symptom of depression?

Yes, people with depression can have issues with procrastination but it is not a characteristic symptom.

What is chronic procrastination a symptom of?

It is not a medical diagnosis, but it can be a symptom of other issues like anxiety, stress, depression, and ADHD. 

How does depression affect procrastination?

People with depression often lose interest in things they used to find pleasure and this can lead to procrastination as they don’t really want to do it, and they keep on delaying it.

What are the 4 types of procrastinators?

The 4 types of procrastinators: performer, self-deprecator, overbooker, and novelty seeker.

How do you snap off procrastination?

Reward yourself for small wins

Set small and realistic goals

Try to find the root of your procrastination

Keep an accountability partner

Practice positive self-talk

Cut back your distractions

What is debilitating procrastination?

Chronic procrastination is a long-term tendency to put off making decisions or taking action. It has a variety of reasons, including worry and fear of failure, and can result in a variety of problems, including increased stress and poor financial outcomes.


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