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Procrastination may be due to the preference of avoiding the negative emotions associated with dealing with tasks that cause stress. It is based on Freud's pleasure principle, where individuals may choose to delay tasks to avoid negative emotions.

Some believe that they work better under pressure, which serves as an additional motivation to postpone certain tasks. Some perceive procrastination as a coping mechanism, with anxiety related to starting or completing any task or decision. Others argue that anxiety is just as likely to lead to an earlier start on work, so the focus should be on impulsivity. In other words, anxiety will only cause delay if the individual is impulsive.

Criteria for categorizing a behavior as procrastination include being anti-productive, unnecessary, and delaying without reason. Steel (2007) defines procrastination as the "voluntary delay of an intended act or decision despite knowing that the delay may harm us."

Sabini and Silver consider procrastination and indecision as the two key elements of procrastination. They argue that delaying a task is not procrastination if there are rational reasons for it.

Procrastination can lead to anxiety, guilt, and self-criticism, resulting in a significant loss of productivity and social disapproval for not fulfilling responsibilities or commitments.

These emotions can further trigger more procrastination. While some degree of procrastination is considered normal, it becomes a problem when it hinders normal functioning. Chronic procrastination may be a sign of an underlying mental disorder. Individuals struggling with such delays may find it challenging to seek support due to social stigma and the belief that aversion to tasks is caused by laziness, low willpower, or ambition.

On the other hand, many see procrastination as a useful way to identify what is personally important. Rarely does someone postpone a task they truly believe is valuable.

Note: The translation may not capture all nuances, and interpretations of psychological concepts can vary.