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Monthly Archives: May 2009

“Why do something today when you can put it off until tomorrow?”  Sound familiar?  Are you a procrastinator?  Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished.  Procrastination can lead to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, depression, and self-doubt.  It carries a high potential for painful consequences.

 Why do you procrastinate?  What causes any of us to put off things that need to be done?  First, thinking that you absolutely have to do something is a major reason for procrastination.  Feeling like you have to do something can automatically make you defensive and resentful.  You need to realize that you never have to do something.  Of course, the consequences might be pretty severe, but the decision to do something is ultimately yours.

Second, thinking of a task as something huge that you have to get completed can ensure that you put it off.  Rather than focusing on finishing a task, change your focus to doing it, step by step, until it is completed.  If you say to yourself, “I’ve got to do my taxes today,” or “I must complete this report,” you are very likely to feel overwhelmed and end up putting off the task.  Start one small piece of the task instead of thinking that you must finish the whole thing.  Focus on what you know you can get done right now.  If you do this enough, you will eventually complete the whole task!

Other ways to battle the challenge of procrastination include:

  • Recognize personal issues such as fear, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, poor time management, indecisiveness, and perfectionism
  • Identify your goals, strengths and weaknesses, values and priorities
  • Determine if your values are consistent with your actions
  • Discipline your use of time.  Find ways to organize
  • If you can, work in small blocks of time, gradually increasing the length of each time block
  • Motivate yourself to work.  Dwell on success, not failure.
  • Work with others.  Be accountable for each task
  • Set realistic goals


Finally, do not take pride in your procrastination by joking about it all the time.  It is a significant problem that needs to be dealt with in a positive way.  Ask for help if you need it!