Procrastination - the art of keeping up with yesterday!
A couple of days ago I finally got round to doing my tax return. Having put off this dreaded task for a matter of months, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was and so hugely relieved it was finally done that I could have danced round the living room in mad abandon.
Having said all this, there are many other less pressing things that I have managed to fit in whilst covertly avoiding any contact with Her Majesty’s Inspectorate. I have twiddled about on my facebook page, spent hours re-arranging my book shelves, tidied my desk and even managed to do a spot of decorating all in the name of procrastination.
Done properly, as any expert will tell you, you can even learn to put procrastination off until the very last minute.
On a more serious note, however, real procrastination, like any self-defeating behavior, can become extremely life-limiting and can lead to people experiencing really negative emotions such as guilt, inadequacy, stress and depression. It’s perfectly normal to have a bit of a ‘blind spot’ to a particular task but it’s not emotionally healthy to procrastinate on a regular basis.
So why do people procrastinate? There are many reasons including:
- Poor time management/organizational skills
- Task overload
- Anxiety about the task.
- Feeling overwhelmed.
- Low self-esteem and concerns about failure
- Avoidance of things which you simply don’t like doing
Emotional issues like low self-esteem are more difficult to overcome than organizational skills and that’s where counsellors and therapists can help. but there are lots of things that you can do yourself too
- Focus on your successes to boost your confidence – you really CAN tackle that task, you really ARE up to the job!
- Spend some time thinking about what approach suits you and your personality when tackling tasks and develop strategies that suit you
- Remind yourself that, for the most part, the task is to your benefit. A university essay, for example, is all part of the degree that you chose and that will ultimately benefit you. You don’t really HAVE to do it, you CHOSE to do it.
- Break down the task into manageable chunks, which don’t seem so scary on their own but build up quickly so the job is done!
- Accept that you have to do it and promise yourself a reward on completion
Perhaps you’re still trying to decide on your New Year Resolutions..? Whatever they may be, good luck and we hope you have a fabulous, fun-filled 2016!
Happy New Year from Bluebell Therapy!