Break the task into manageable steps and estimate the time needed to complete each step. Schedule the time and date for completion of each task. You could use a scheduling app or map this out on paper.
Procrastination is defined as delaying a task, choosing instead to do a less important activity despite the negative consequences. As with most things, this becomes problematic if it impacts your work, home or social life. Significantly, putting tasks off can increase stress and affect mood, increasing the likelihood that depression and anxiety could also develop.
Why Do We Procrastinate?
We can procrastinate for a whole host of reasons. Sometimes, people put things off because they are overly concerned by the views of others (e.g. not starting an assignment because of not wanting themselves or their work to be negatively evaluated). Others might have a fear of failing, experience discomfort and make excuses in their own minds that it is ‘okay’ to waste time doing an unrelated task (e.g. telling themselves “the deadline isn’t for another two weeks”).
For all people who have found themselves in the procrastination habit, the realisation can finally hit that the task is incomplete and the deadline is looming. This realisation can lead to a huge increase in anxiety and a drop in mood and may impact negatively on the quality of the work produced.
How Can You Stop Procrastination?
Psychologists can provide assistance, helping you to explore your own pattern of procrastination and getting you started on breaking this cycle. However, there are also some things you can start to put into practice at home. Some tips are outlined below:
How a Psychologist Can Help you Overcome Procrastination
If you have identified this as an issue in one or more areas of your life, then a Psychologist could provide some guidance based on the latest research. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, or CBT Therapy, is a collaborative approach where you work alongside a therapist to identify your pattern of putting tasks off.
CBT therapy sessions focus on behaviour change to break tasks down, schedule manageable goals and reverse patterns of avoidance. In addition, cognitive techniques identify and challenge unhelpful assumptions that could be maintaining procrastination. Psychologists can also work with you to better tolerate negative emotions, such as anxiety, without acting on urges to avoid tasks.