Difference Between Procrastination and Put Off

Procrastination and putting off are essential words in the English language. These two terms are used simultaneously for various sentences, but they have many differences. Procrastination means when people delay a specific work or act. Put off is used for postponing or adjourning things. Both of these words have grammatical and usage differences.

Procrastination is recommended for the intentionally delayed task, whereas put-off stands for the postponed tasks.

Procrastination vs Put Off                                          

The main difference between procrastination and put-off is that procrastination is a noun used for delaying a specific action or work due to the indecisive nature of the person. On the other hand, put off is a phrasal verb used for rescheduling or postponing the act or work. You can put off work without being indecisive. Procrastination happens with the indecisiveness of the person.

Procrastination and Put Off

Procrastination happens when someone is confused or dubious about the assigned work. Procrastination is to delay things due to several thoughts. People procrastinate work due to a lack of decision-making skills. The assigned task can be procrastinated if people have no idea about how to do it.

Put off happens when you may or may not have an intention for delaying things, but you have to do it for several reasons. Put off is mainly used for rescheduling the work due to some reasons. The state of confusion is absent for using the word put off. People can also put off work or action due to a lack of interest in the task.

Comparison Table Between Procrastination and Put Off  

 Parameters of ComparisonProcrastination
Put Off
Type of word
NounPhrasal verb
To delayTo reschedule
To avoid doing the workTo complete another work before the particular task

People would procrastinate due to a bad mood or more pleasurable tasksPeople would put off tasks due to urgent work or tasks
Extra elements
No extra elements are presentAn extra element with a verb

What is Procrastination?

Procrastination means delaying things due to some confusion or skepticism in a person. Procrastination is a noun used in English literature. In professional life, the use of procrastination is frequent. Procrastination has nothing to do with reasons, as it mainly deals with intentions. In procrastination, no extra adverb is present as it is a noun.

Procrastination doesn’t mean rescheduling but may indicate delaying tactics. In the case of, Procrastination, the time limit is not mandatory to be specified. Procrastination should be used as a reference for the word “put off.” The meaning of the word procrastinate could be used for defining the word put off, but the word procrastination is not used for defining the word put off.

The noun procrastination doesn’t require any supporting adjective to explain its meaning. The word itself stands strong for a specific action of people. People procrastinating tasks could be either perfectionists or delayers. Anybody who can easily get distracted would like to keep on procrastinating things.

Procrastination of tasks is mainly seen when people find more pleasurable tasks. In such a situation, people would procrastinate on less engrossing tasks. Procrastination would lead to incomplete tasks.

People would not be able to complete a task in time if they procrastinate on every single task. Procrastination may also happen due to mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress.

What is Put Off?

Put-off is used in sentences to reschedule a specific task for various reasons. Put-off should not be used in sentences with any intentions, as it requires causes. When you put off any event or task, then it doesn’t mean you do it due to any mental health issues. The word put off is not linked to mental health issues.

The person putting off work would intend to complete more important work before the particular task. For example, if you are about to complete your homework today, suddenly you got urgent work. Then you would not be able to complete the assigned homework on time now. You can use the word put off for rescheduling your homework time.

In the statement, my cousin has put off the coffee meeting until the day after tomorrow. You can see the time is specified for the rescheduling of the meeting. If someone puts off work due to another urgent task, then it is not considered a waste of time. If someone is not doing the work on time due to mood issues, then procrastination is a better word to use.

Main Differences Between Procrastination and Put Off

  1. Procrastination is a noun, whereas put off is a phrasal verb.
  2. Procrastination is used for intentionally delaying any task. On the other hand, put-off is used for both intentional and unintentional delays of tasks.
  3. Procrastination has no extra elements, such as adverbs. Putting off is used with additional elements, such as adverbs.
  4. Procrastination means avoidance by the person to complete the work. Putting off work would occur when the person rescheduled the assigned task.
  5. Procrastination may not assure the completion of work. Put off assures that the work will get completed in the future.


The meaning of procrastination and put off may sound similar, but they are different in various terms. The most significant difference between these two words is that these words should be used in different situations. The person delaying the task intentionally should use procrastination. The person rescheduling the task due to some other assigned work should use put off.

The usage of the words is done differently, which makes them different from each other. Procrastination looks more appropriate for a task getting delayed unnecessarily for a long time. Put off is better to be used for any task, postponed to some other date or time.

Procrastination talks more about the process of the delayed task. Put off specifies the time and date for the completion of the task.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0092656686901273
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00050068808255605
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