slogan
Green Hills with Blue Sky

PROCRASTINATION




PROCRASTINATION: WH
Y YOU DO IT; WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT NOW

 
 

 
By Jane Burka, Ph.D. and Lenora Yuen, Ph.D.

HOW DO I KNOW IF PROCRASTINATION IS A PROBLEM FOR ME?
  DOESN'T EVERYONE PROCRASTINATE?

Yes, everyone procrastinates on some things some of the time.
 
Consider the consequences of your procrastination: have you
  • missed important deadlines
  • paid large fines or penalties
  • caused trouble in a relationship
  • felt upset, anxious, and stressed about delaying
  • felt like a fraud
  • lost self-confidence
If so, then procrastination is a problem that is interfering with your success and your state of mind.


MAYBE I'M JUST LAZY

I don't think so. Many people who procrastinate on some things are very disciplined in other ways.
"Laziness" usually represents avoidance, not a moral failure. Or "laziness" can be a symptom of depression.


WHY DO I PROCRASTINATE?

When procrastination is causing problems, it reflects a psychological issue. It usually stems from some kind of anxiety or fear.

FEAR OF FAILURE:
If you don't allow the time to do your best, your best is never tested. You have the excuse of procrastination if something doesn't turn out as well as you want.

FEAR OF SUCCESS: When you delay long enough to interfere with success, you don't have to deal with the worries that come with being at the top or in the spotlight, such as pressure to accomplish even more; increased competition, or guilt about your success.

FEAR OF FEELING CONTROLLED: Procrastination expresses your resistance to feeling controlled. You do something on your timetable, on your own terms, or sometimes, not at all. You can even have a power struggle with the part of yourself that tells you to "just do it."

FEAR OF SEPARATION: You put off doing things that would take you away from people and places that you feel you need for security.

FEAR OF ATTACHMENT: You postpone doing things that would bring you into more intimate relationships with others.


WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT MY PROCRASTINATION?

Consider the areas in which you procrastinate: writing? technical projects? household projects? working out? homework? How would things be different if you actually did these things? This assessment will give you a clue about the underlying issues.

Try these proven techniques:
  • Set a goal that is specific and concrete
  • Break the goal down into its small component parts
  • Start with a first step that takes only 15 minutes
  • Recognize that each step is an accomplishment; you don't have to wait until you reach the goal to feel good about yourself.
"A journed of a thousand miles begins with a single step." 
Laozi, Chinese philosopher, 604 bc - 531 bc.

 
These techniques work, IF YOU USE THEM. If you put off implementing these techniques, then there are probably some underlying psychological issues at work. 
 


For more information about procrastination, please read Procrastination: Why You Do It; What To Do About It NOW by Jane Burka and Lenora Yuen
at  www.Procrastinationwhyyoudoit.com 
Or order the book at www. amazon.com