Working Through Procrastination
Procrastination is a common behavior that can occur when a person delays a task or goal without a valid reason, while usually doing something of lesser importance. The Psychologists at Richmond Psychology have drawn upon experience to note some information on the topic.
The most common procrastination activities are those that offer relief from discomfort or pressure of the said task, including watching movies, playing on the phone, socializing, oversleeping, eating, etc. Any goal or task can potentially turn into procrastination, whether it’s house chores, work-related or financial tasks- anything that includes decision making. Some of the most common reasons why procrastination occurs are that the task causes negative feelings such as frustration, anxiety, embarrassment, fear, or discomfort. A psychologist in Melbourne will be able to offer more information on the topic.
There are usually certain assumptions and/or negative thoughts linked to procrastination, including fear of failure or disapproval (“If I don’t do this perfectly, I will fail and others will think badly of me.”), or low self-confidence (“I can’t do it.”).
An individual that procrastinates often feels guilty for not finishing the task and can generate excuses that help justify further procrastination. Some of the most common excuses might sound like: “I’m too tired, I’ll do it tomorrow.”, “I’ll do better when I’m in the mood.”, “It’s too nice a day to spend it on this.”, “I have plenty of time, I’ll do it later.”.
The cycle of procrastination can be very difficult to break but with some work and incremental goals, people can start to make a difference. When approaching a goal/task it is sometimes necessary to adjust the rules and assumptions we have about ourselves and other people. It’s also very important that we manage to tolerate the discomfort of a task, no matter how hard our minds might tell us the task is, and to dismiss excuses that get in the way. The application of these practical strategies can cause positive outcomes such as a sense of achievement, satisfaction, lower amount of stress, and discomfort. Such positive emotions can build up and motivate us to finish tasks and not procrastinate in the future.
Negative rules and assumptions that are usually connected to procrastination include fear of failure, low self-confidence, depleted energy, pleasure-seeking, and fear of uncertainty. In order to overcome the procrastination cycle, we can work to adjust these assumptions through cognitive therapy. This process might involve asking questions like; What is the unhelpful rules/assumption I want to adjust? Where did this rule come from? How is it unreasonable/unrealistic/unhelpful? What are the negative consequences? What is a more helpful alternative though/belief and how can I use it on a daily basis?
The assumptions we want to change usually come from comments other people have given us throughout life and can often originate from childhood but can also come from more recent experiences. When creating a more helpful rule we usually need to find a way to see ourselves in a different, more balanced, flexible, and realistic way. It’s important to believe that the new rule is helpful in order to be able to use it on a daily basis. A psychologist in Melbourne will be able to assess an individual’s unique experience of procrastination and form treatment suggestions.