Stopping Procrastination

Do you generally put things off when you have the chance? Would you rather “think about it tomorrow”? Does this pattern of procrastination affect your relationships or work performance? If so, the time to stop procrastinating is now.

First, remind yourself of the benefits of getting things done promptly. This can help you remain motivated to overcome it. Next, determine why you procrastinate. Here are some possible reasons (check all that apply):

  • You feel you need the pressure of a last-minute deadline to do your best work.
  • You put things off because you don’t like doing them.
  • You put things off because you fear you can’t do them well.
  • You’re afraid of what will come next if you complete your current goal.
  • You have trouble getting organized in general.

If you can identify the cause of your procrastination, it will be much easier to design an effective solution. Meeting with a counselor could be one way to tackle this problem. Some other techniques you may want to try include:

· Pay attention to how you feel about doing the task. What is holding you back?

· If the task seems overwhelming, break it down into small, more easily manageable steps. Then do a small part of the task now. Any starting activity can serve to overcome that initial block. By doing small pieces of a big job over a series of days or weeks, it may not seem so difficult.

  • If disorganization is part of your problem, make lists and set priorities. Start with the highest priority items (not the easiest or most fun).
  • Do the task (or a part of it) early in the day, and enjoy the fact that you won’t have to deal with it for the rest of the day.
  • If you feel that you work better under pressure, create a deadline for each section of the task. Make a commitment to finish each part by a certain date.

Remember, changing long standing habits and dealing with emotional conflicts is not always easy. Turning this pattern around could take a few tries, but you can do it. The sooner you get started, the sooner you can enjoy getting things done!