Why Do We Procrastinate at Work

Amrit Singh
3 min readAug 12, 2022

How often do you procrastinate at work? If you do so frequently, maybe you should totally change your lifestyle. So, let’s discuss the main reasons we procrastinate.

Unclear Tasks

Sometimes, it’s hard to complete a task due to vague explanations. For example, I face this problem when a client doesn’t know what they want from me as a technical writer. As a result, they don’t give any examples and just write “Create a user manual,” for instance. Without references, you may spend a lot of time understanding a task — this situation can make you procrastinate.

So, if I think that a client doesn’t explain a task enough, I will ask them to describe it better with examples. Such an approach helps me work faster.

Lack of Rest

What do you do after work? I walk with my golden retriever, ride a bike, or watch something, for example. These activities allow me to rest and prepare for the next day. If I work during my free time, the next day will be unproductive — it’s a rule. For instance, I read a lot as a technical writer. If I keep reading after work, I will get tired soon and start procrastinating. So, I prefer doing various activities to be productive.

Maybe it sounds obvious, but work-life balance is essential. Unfortunately, working 24/7 won’t let you forget about procrastination.

Sleep Deprivation

As you probably know, adults need seven to nine hours of sleep. But, to be honest, seven hours aren’t enough for me; I need nine and more. Even when I sleep about eight hours, I feel bad. In that case, I can’t get myself together and want to rest every minute. Sometimes, I can’t concentrate on tasks for a whole day due to a lack of sleep.

So, I always sleep properly, even when I want to watch TV shows till late at night. It’s my informed decision to go to bed at 11 p.m. and wake up at 8 a.m. Otherwise, I read random articles on the internet instead of creating documentation.


I never had this mental illness but my colleague, a technical writer, did. I remember him as a very productive employee till something went wrong. Gradually, he started missing deadlines frequently and making many mistakes in documentation. I decided to ask him about this strange behavior — he told me that he started psychotherapy and began to take antidepressants due to endogenous depression.

It was sad to hear such news. However, I understood that people could procrastinate due to severe disorders. Therefore, laziness is not always an answer. By the way, my colleague’s doing well now.


Procrastination may be a symptom of a mental illness, a consequence of bad explanations from clients, or a lack of rest. Don’t blame yourself if you postpone tasks. Just find a real reason of procrastination and improve your life.

Stay well!


“Follow the river and you will get to the sea.”