The Anxious Procrastinator

When performing an academic task, you seem to suffer most from procrastination caused by anxiety. This doesn’t mean that anxiety is the only reason you procrastinate; however, anxiety seems to be the foremost reason you block yourself from getting your task done.

Anxiety is highly connected to performance perfectionism. This is an attitude resulting from unrealistic ideas and expectations about the way in which a task should be performed. You have actively tried to acquire knowledge, but you lack academic self-esteem.

You are likely a student who…

  • is always present and is always on time;
  • never asks anything in class;
  • never volunteers answering questions;
  • responds evasively when asked questions.

Others like you have said

  • “There is only one way to perform this task well, and all alternative approaches are flawed.”
  • “If this task is not performed perfectly, it will be an enormous disaster.”
  • “I will never be good enough for this specific task.”
  • “I have diagnosed myself with dyslexia / dyscalculia / I’m just not made for this specific task.”
  • “The lecturer will laugh if he sees my work.”
  • “I would rather fail than undergo the lecturer’s scrutiny.”
  • “I want to work hard, but I would rather do nothing than fail when putting effort into it.”

How to fix it


  • keep a positive attitude towards yourself;
  • seek support and trust others who praise you;
  • accept praise for what it is. Write praise down so you can check every once in a while, when you feel down;
  • compare your own task/assignment with those of your peers – putting things in perspective will help you.


  • be strict with yourself – this will only be abrasive to your already fragile self-confidence;
  • shrug off praise – Learn to accept a compliment;
  • look for help from strict people who act like drill sergeants. Anyone who tends to bully you into working is extremely bad for your progress – no matter how well-intentioned they are;
  • hesitate to get help.