It seems pretty clear why overcoming procrastination is beneficial. For one, peace of mind and a feeling of strength and purpose will come from getting things done on time. Being able to tackle projects early will lead to a feeling of being in charge of your life. This will make you feel strong, competent, and capable, also leaving you more personal freedom to do the things you really love and spending more quality time with the people you love.
So how does one begin to deal with their procrastination behaviour?
Changing your negative thought cycle to battle procrastination:
- Realize you are delaying something unnecessarily,
- Discover the real reason for your delay (list them somewhere),
- Dispute those reasons and overcome them. Be vigorous about disputing them.
- Begin the task! Start right now!…..No, really, stop procrastinating and start NOW 😉
Tips for procrastinators:
- Make tasks look small and easy in your mind, do a small part of the task each time you work on it so you don’t feel completely overwhelmed and exhausted when you work.
- Have a 5-minute plan; work on the task for 5 minutes, switch to something else afterwards, then come back to the task.
- Tell someone that you have a task to do; this will put a bit of pressure on you to push forward.
- Use friends as positive role-models by studying in their presence or working alongside them.
- If you can’t study at home because of distractors, find a place where you won’t be tempted to do other things.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. You will have moments when you catch yourself procrastinating again. You are not perfect and shouldn’t expect yourself to be.
- Accept that setbacks occur and start again…now get going!
If you experience low mood often or depression, seek professional help. This can be a significant contributor of your procrastination and getting over it yourself can be very difficult. Talking to a therapist can help you deal with your mood, get at the root of your procrastination and help you start a treatment plan. For the rest of us, overcoming procrastination involves understanding the inner workings of procrastination and learning how to fight it.
Written by: Mayte Parada, PhD
Montreal Therapy Centre