From: Study Hacks (edited)
Judging plans is an automatic, unconscious function of the brain. If your brain evaluates a plan and decides it's not sound, you're not going to want to do it.
What does that feel like? Complex planning is a pre-verbal evolutionary adaptation, so you're not going to hear a voice saying “plan rejected!” Instead, chemicals are going to be released that make you feel unmotivated in order to steer you away from a bad decision.
If this idea is true, then you would expect people with good plans to struggle less with procrastination and, that's what Cal Newman found when he studied elite undergrads: they were hyper-organized and only a few reported procrastination as a serious problem.
So, he believes that procrastination is not a character flaw but the manifestation of an evolutionary adaptation. It's simply a sign that your plan needs more work.
Procrastination and Fear
Cal insists that fear is not the cause of procrastination but I believe that he's wrong. A bad plan can lead to disaster so his idea about a natural aversion to bad planning fits neatly with the idea that the procrastinator backs away from action out of fear. He, himself, gives a good example to prove it.
Let's say an early man comes up with two plans to attack a mammoth. First, he sharpens a spear and plans to charge the elephant. Then, he realizes that he can sharpen a spear and throw it from a distance. The first plan would be rejected because it is dangerous and dangerous plans generate fear.
Here's another point about fear: it's often irrational. So, you might have an exaggerated fear of a perfectly rational plan. For instance, it might be wise to cold call people for business but you might feel that if they don't like you, you are going to die. The thing you need to work on there is your irrational vision of danger not your plan because that's the source of your procrastination.