Top 25 Slang For Procrastination – Meaning & Usage

We all know that feeling of putting off tasks until the last minute, but did you know there’s a whole set of slang terms dedicated to procrastination? Whether you’re a master of procrastination or just looking to up your procrastination game, we’ve got you covered with a list of the top slang for procrastination. So grab a snack, sit back, and get ready to dive into the world of delaying the inevitable.

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1. Piddling around

This phrase refers to engaging in unproductive or trivial activities instead of doing something important or necessary.

  • For example, “I should be studying for my exam, but I’ve been piddling around on my phone all day.”
  • A coworker might say, “Stop piddling around and finish your work.”
  • Someone might complain, “I feel like I’m always piddling around and never getting anything done.”

2. Shilly-shallying

This term describes the act of hesitating or being indecisive, especially when it comes to taking action or making a decision.

  • For instance, “Stop shilly-shallying and just choose a restaurant for dinner.”
  • A friend might say, “You’ve been shilly-shallying about quitting your job for months. Just do it.”
  • Someone might express frustration with their own shilly-shallying, saying, “I need to stop shilly-shallying and start working on this project.”

3. Twiddling your thumbs

This phrase means to pass the time by idly rotating one’s thumbs, indicating boredom or a lack of productivity.

  • For example, “I’ve been twiddling my thumbs waiting for my appointment.”
  • A teacher might scold a student, saying, “Stop twiddling your thumbs and start working on your assignment.”
  • Someone might say, “I feel like I’m always twiddling my thumbs at work, waiting for something to do.”

4. Hemming and hawing

This term describes the act of hesitating, stalling, or being indecisive when making a decision or giving a response.

  • For instance, “Stop hemming and hawing and just tell me if you’re coming or not.”
  • A parent might say to their child, “Quit hemming and hawing and clean your room.”
  • Someone might express frustration with their own hemming and hawing, saying, “I need to stop hemming and hawing and make a decision already.”

5. Loafing around

This phrase refers to spending time in a lazy or unproductive manner, often without a specific purpose or goal.

  • For example, “I spent the whole weekend just loafing around the house.”
  • A boss might reprimand an employee, saying, “Stop loafing around and get back to work.”
  • Someone might complain, “I feel like I’m always loafing around and never accomplishing anything.”

6. Wasting time

This phrase refers to the act of using time in an unproductive or inefficient manner.

  • For example, “Stop wasting time on social media and get your work done.”
  • A frustrated parent might say, “You’re wasting time playing video games when you should be studying.”
  • A coworker might comment, “I feel like I’m wasting time in pointless meetings all day.”

7. Putting things on the back burner

This phrase means to delay or postpone tasks or responsibilities, often in favor of more immediate or pressing matters.

  • For instance, “I’ve been putting my exercise routine on the back burner lately.”
  • A student might say, “I always put my homework on the back burner until the last minute.”
  • A procrastinator might explain, “I tend to put things on the back burner until I feel more motivated to do them.”

8. Tarrying

This term refers to the act of delaying or lingering in taking action or making a decision.

  • For example, “Stop tarrying and make a decision already.”
  • A supervisor might say, “We can’t afford any tarrying on this project; we need to move forward.”
  • A friend might comment, “You’ve been tarrying on asking them out for weeks. Just do it!”

9. Lazing around

This phrase means to spend time in a lazy or unproductive manner, often by doing nothing or engaging in activities with no purpose or value.

  • For instance, “I spent the whole weekend lazing around and watching TV.”
  • A parent might scold their child, “Stop lazing around and go do something productive.”
  • A friend might say, “I need to stop lazing around and start being more proactive with my goals.”

10. Linger over

This phrase means to spend more time than necessary on a task or activity, often due to a lack of focus or motivation.

  • For example, “I tend to linger over my emails instead of just responding quickly.”
  • A coworker might comment, “You’re lingering over that report. It should have been submitted yesterday.”
  • A student might say, “I always linger over my assignments and end up rushing to finish them.”

11. Biding your time

This phrase refers to delaying action or postponing something until the opportune time arises. It suggests patiently waiting for the perfect moment to take action.

  • For example, “I’m just biding my time until I have all the information I need to make a decision.”
  • In a work setting, a colleague might say, “He’s biding his time until he can apply for a promotion.”
  • Someone might describe their approach to a project as, “I’m biding my time and gathering ideas before I start.”

12. Putting off

This term describes the act of intentionally delaying or postponing a task or responsibility. It implies avoiding or procrastinating on something that needs to be done.

  • For instance, “I keep putting off cleaning my room because I don’t feel like it.”
  • A student might say, “I always put off studying until the last minute.”
  • Someone might admit, “I’ve been putting off going to the dentist for months.”

13. Moseying around

This phrase suggests moving or behaving in a leisurely or relaxed manner, without a clear purpose or direction. It implies spending time idly or aimlessly.

  • For example, “I spent the afternoon moseying around the park, enjoying the sunshine.”
  • A friend might say, “Let’s mosey around the mall and see if anything catches our eye.”
  • Someone might describe their weekend plans as, “I’m just going to mosey around the house and take it easy.”

14. Lazing about

This expression means to spend time doing nothing productive or meaningful. It suggests being in a state of idleness or relaxation, often in a lazy or leisurely manner.

  • For instance, “I spent the whole day lazing about in bed, watching movies.”
  • A person might say, “I love lazing about on lazy Sundays, just enjoying some downtime.”
  • Someone might describe their vacation plans as, “I’m looking forward to lazing about on the beach and soaking up the sun.”

15. Taking your sweet time

This phrase implies moving at a relaxed or unhurried pace, without any sense of urgency. It suggests taking more time than necessary to complete a task or reach a destination.

  • For example, “He’s taking his sweet time getting ready, even though we’re already late.”
  • A friend might say, “You’re taking your sweet time to respond to my text.”
  • Someone might comment, “The bus driver is taking his sweet time to arrive at the bus stop.”

16. Linger and loiter

These terms refer to spending time aimlessly or idly without getting any work done. It implies a lack of urgency or motivation to complete tasks.

  • For example, “I can’t seem to get anything done because I keep lingering and loitering around the house.”
  • A friend might ask, “Are you going to linger and loiter all day or actually do something productive?”
  • In a work setting, a coworker might comment, “He’s always lingering and loitering in the break room instead of finishing his assignments.”

17. Stalling

This term refers to the act of intentionally delaying or prolonging a task or action. It implies a reluctance or hesitation to start or complete something.

  • For instance, “I’m stalling on starting my research paper because I don’t know where to begin.”
  • A student might say, “I always end up stalling when it comes to studying for exams.”
  • In a meeting, someone might mention, “We can’t afford any more stalling on this project. We need to meet our deadlines.”

18. Putting the task on ice

This phrase means to postpone or delay a task or responsibility. It suggests temporarily setting aside the task without actively working on it.

  • For example, “I’m putting the task on ice for now because I have other urgent matters to attend to.”
  • A coworker might ask, “Why are you putting the task on ice? It’s important that we complete it on time.”
  • In a group project, someone might suggest, “Let’s put the task on ice until we gather more information.”

19. Dragging one’s feet

This phrase describes the act of intentionally delaying or avoiding a task or responsibility. It implies a lack of motivation or unwillingness to take action.

  • For instance, “He’s been dragging his feet on submitting the report, even though it’s past the deadline.”
  • A friend might say, “Stop dragging your feet and start working on your assignments.”
  • In a work setting, a manager might comment, “We can’t afford any employees dragging their feet. We need everyone to be proactive and efficient.”

20. Loafing

This term refers to spending time in an unproductive or lazy manner. It implies a lack of motivation or effort to engage in meaningful tasks.

  • For example, “I spent the entire weekend loafing around instead of working on my projects.”
  • A parent might scold their child, “Stop loafing and start doing something productive.”
  • In a workplace, a supervisor might notice, “He’s been loafing at his desk instead of completing his assignments.”

21. Twiddling one’s thumbs

This phrase refers to the act of idly moving one’s thumbs in a circular motion, indicating boredom or a lack of productivity. It is often used to describe someone who is not actively engaged in a task or is avoiding work.

  • For example, “I spent the whole afternoon twiddling my thumbs instead of finishing my report.”
  • A frustrated boss might say, “Stop twiddling your thumbs and get to work!”
  • In a conversation about productivity, someone might comment, “I can’t afford to twiddle my thumbs, I have too much to do.”

22. Taking one’s sweet time

This phrase means to move or proceed at a slow or leisurely pace, often with a lack of urgency. It implies that someone is intentionally prolonging a task or activity, rather than completing it quickly.

  • For instance, “He’s taking his sweet time getting ready for the party.”
  • A friend might say, “We’re going to be late if you keep taking your sweet time!”
  • In a work setting, a coworker might complain, “She always takes her sweet time responding to emails.”

23. Puttering

Puttering refers to the act of occupying oneself with small, inconsequential tasks or activities that do not contribute to the completion of more important or pressing responsibilities. It often involves aimlessly moving from one task to another without making progress.

  • For example, “Instead of studying for the exam, I spent the afternoon puttering around my room.”
  • A parent might say, “Stop puttering and clean your room!”
  • In a discussion about time management, someone might admit, “I tend to waste a lot of time puttering around instead of focusing on important tasks.”

24. Dawdling

Dawdling refers to the act of moving slowly or aimlessly, often resulting in a delay or a lack of progress. It implies a lack of urgency or a tendency to procrastinate on tasks that require immediate attention.

  • For instance, “He’s always dawdling and making us late.”
  • A teacher might scold a student, saying, “Stop dawdling and get to work!”
  • In a conversation about productivity, someone might admit, “I need to stop dawdling and start being more focused.”

25. Procrastinating

Procrastinating refers to the act of intentionally delaying or postponing tasks or responsibilities, often due to a lack of motivation or a fear of failure. It involves putting off important or urgent tasks in favor of less important or more enjoyable activities.

  • For example, “I keep procrastinating on starting my essay.”
  • A friend might say, “You need to stop procrastinating and start studying for the exam.”
  • In a discussion about time management, someone might confess, “I have a tendency to procrastinate, but I’m working on improving my productivity.”
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