Why People Procrastinate
Everyone procrastinates sometimes and for different reasons. Here are some of the common ones with suggestions as to how to get those tasks done that have been haunting you!
1 – Overwhelming –
The task is so overwhelming that you don’t know how to start. It will help you to break down the big task into smaller tasks on paper. Than only focus on task at a time.
2 – Unenjoyable –
You avoid something that was previously unenjoyable. Your thoughts made you unhappy while doing the task. Identify what thoughts are making you suffer, the thoughts that are not true. It will be bad if ______________. It is not the activity that’s bad, it’s the story you tell yourself about the activity or that you are not good or smart enough to complete the activity. Let yourself know it is possible and that you are capable to complete the activity to the best of your ability.
3 – Comparison –
You compare the job at hand to a fantasy world. You have a task to accomplish but your mind visualizes doing something fun. Your mind starts complaining that this job has no purpose or meaning, it’s boring and unsatisfying. Ask yourself what you want most in life. Purpose and meaning attainable only having fun or are you really looking for peace in your life. Thoughts that compare you to others do not give you peace. Don’t give attention to these thoughts, they are a waste of your time. Look at how you feel in the moment. What is the story you are telling yourself. Focus on now. Get rid of the fantasy thoughts and get to the business at hand so you can finish the task and attain peace.
4 – Distractions –
You distract yourself to avoid thoughts and suffering. Your mind naturally goes to what makes you happy (shopping, eating, internet). These things are stored in your memory and have offered you a temporary high in the past so you run to them to take away the suffering you are experiencing in the moment. Don’t try to force these thoughts to stop with distraction. Instead, look at how you are feeling in the moment. Ask yourself what you are trying to escape from (not good enough, won’t do it perfect, boredom, too stressful). What is the story you are telling yourself?
5 – Not the Right Fit –
You feel the task is not the right fit for you. You may love interacting with people but you have an accounting job which may not be a good fit for you. You may have to pursue a different job but don’t avoid your current job. Focus on your current job while seeking a better fit for you but don’t let your thoughts make you procrastinate the tasks at your current job.
The cure for procrastination is ACTION. Examine your thoughts and correct your story.
Stop procrastinating, focus on the task at hand, and attain peace.
Dawn Schroeder is a professional counselor who enjoys helping people of all ages overcome life’s struggles. She also has a special place in her heart for working with children and teenagers. To learn more about Dawn, or to set up an appointment click here.