Recently, the subject has attracted considerable attention in the domain of psychology, and research has been conducted into the whys and wherefores of individuals' predilection for procrastination.
Procrastination can be a persistent trait in some people, known as chronic procrastinators, where it is usually associated with perfectionism, a tendency to negatively evaluate outcomes and one's own performance, intense fear and avoidance of evaluation of one's abilities by others, heightened social self-consciousness and anxiety, recurrent low mood, and workaholism. It may be causative of significant psychological disability and dysfunction in many dimensions of life over time. Chronic procrastinators have the plight of often being stuck in a vicious circle, fuelled by their own perfectionism, that "good enough" outcomes are often negatively evaluated by themselves, eventually leading to an inability to carry out even simple activities; this is worsened by the fact that often their efforts to escape chronic procrastination dig them even deeper into it. There is, unfortunately, widespread ignorance about this problem, even amongst mental health professionals, where procrastination is often trivially thought of in its simplest and most benign forms of seeking pleasurable sensations irresponsibly at the expense of being reliable. A milder form of procrastination is also common in students, in which it is known as academic procrastination.
Many societies and cultures have become associated (rightly or wrongly) by stereotype with procrastination; a notable example being the Spanish for whom the word maņana or "tomorrow" has become reinforcingly synonymous with their legendary stereotypical predilection for siestas. In modern society, however, it should be noted that the siesta is rapidly disappearing from Spanish society.
The term is referenced as a proverb: "Procrastination is the thief of time". This conveys the meaning that deferment is both negative and wasteful of the time on which the action could properly could be completed. Don Marquis neatly parodied this adage with the following: "Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday".