Procrastination is a common issue. A myth about procrastination is that the procrastinator is just being lazy. Procrastination typically results from avoiding discomfort in our lives or avoiding difficult emotions or stress. One important step towards addressing procrastination is asking yourself what you think and feel about a task or chore you are avoiding. Here are some strategies to help you put an end to procrastination behaviors.
Rewards and Consequences
Set up some rewards for yourself if you complete tasks or chores you have been avoiding. For example, if you complete that project in school, treat yourself by watching your favorite TV show or go out with your friends. When you finish the chores around the house, treat yourself to a unique dinner or snack. Rewards need to be realistic and achievable to be most effective.
Although it sounds difficult to set up consequences for yourself, it is doable. Try limiting yourself to a fun task if you don’t complete an important job. If you have difficulty keeping yourself accountable, you can ask a friend, parent, spouse, or your therapist to help you.
Ending Procrastination Now
First, identify the best times for yourself to complete a task or chore you’ve been avoiding. If you know your optimal time for working is at night, set up a time in the evening to complete your assignments. If you find yourself getting stuck in patterns of procrastinating after work, set up an activity as soon as you get home to break this cycle such as going for a walk.
Secondly, break down large tasks into smaller steps. Identify the very first, smallest step towards your goal. When we have a large task in front of us, it can be overwhelming. This can make us avoid it altogether. Yet, if you can take one small step at a time, you will find yourself moving forward with your tasks more easily. Goals should be specific rather than general, which will help you focus more on one task at a time. For example, if your goal is to ‘finish my research paper,’ start with a more specific goal for the first step, such as ‘write an introduction paragraph’ or ‘gather my resources.’
Counseling and therapy can assist you in the process of addressing reasons for procrastination and can help you best utilize these strategies.
If you would like more information about making a change to feel healthier, contact Specialized Therapy Associates at (201)-488-6678 or visit us online at specializedtherapy. We look forward to hearing from you!