Procrastination is a complicated behavior but it can be mastered. If you have a tendency to procrastinate,
avoid don’t delay! Implement these tips from Michele Morgart, Mercy Concern Professional Counseling Services.
The word procrastination comes from a Latin verb meaning “to put off until tomorrow.” It is not a simple problem of time management (which, by the way, is a misnomer — we can’t manage time; we can only manage our activities).
Procrastination is a complicated behavior made up of thoughts, feelings and actions. The renowned psychologist, Albert Ellis, defines procrastination as “delaying task completion to the point of experiencing discomfort.” The discomfort comes from a variety of emotions, such as anxiety, guilt or dread. Procrastination occurs when a goal (thought/behavior) is delayed for no necessary reason and discomfort results.
You are the best judge of your goals, your discomfort at not pursuing them, and what really stands in your way.
Here are ten tips for dealing with procrastination:
#1 — Contract with Yourself
To accomplish a boring or difficult task, work for specific rewards and withhold that reward if you don’t meet your deadline.
#2 — Bite-size the Task
Don’t torture yourself trying to do a complex task all at once. Break it up into manageable pieces.
#3 — Find Something Interesting in the Work
Focus on finding a positive element, even if it’s just the relief of finishing. It will make the job easier.
#4 — Be Clear About the Task’s Worth
If you’re stuck at the beginning of a job that has no meaning or value to you, it’s probably never going to be compelling. Just set and keep clear goals and priorities.
#5 — Coach Yourself Through
Use positive self-talk to increase your interest and motivation until it’s finished.
#6 — Find a Buddy
Don’t get a buddy to do the job for you but to monitor your progress and keep you on target.
#7 — Don’t Demand Perfectionism
Do things as well as you can but give yourself a break and back off that need for perfection. We never get there anyway.
#8 — Be Tough
If an important chore seems daunting, focus your energy and effort on that task alone until it’s done.
#9 — Chart Your Progress
Sometimes the simple act of keeping notes will motivate you to a successful finish.
#10 — Find Perspective
Remember that any unfinished task (or one not yet begun) is only a small part of your life. Try not to see it as a catastrophe.
Do you live in Canton or Akron, Ohio, and need professional counseling services? Mercy Concern can help. Learn more >>