What Defines Procrastination?


Why do you procrastinate?

Fear of Failure:

Fear of failure is problematic when our self-worth is connected to our performance causing us to be afraid to engage in that activity for fear of harming our self-worth. 

  • Reframe the way you approach an activity – focus on your values (learning – doing your best – enjoying the activity)
  • Notice your performance and your activity as an interested third party.

Trouble initiating tasks:

  • Break projects down into smaller pieces. 
  • Reward yourself for accomplishing that goal. 
  • If that doesn’t work, break the project down into even smaller parts to things as simple as sitting at the desk or clearing your workspace and then moving on to things like opening the book or writing a paragraph.

Lack of mental energy:

Mental energy is required to be able to accomplish our goals. Russell Barkley, PhD, an expert in the study of ADHD has identified several ways to increase mental energy. 

  • Physical exercise.
  • Relaxation and meditation for a few minutes after executive skill exertion.
  • Visualizing the good outcome/reward as a result of successful practice.
  • Periodic small rewards throughout and executive skill practice task.
  • Self-talk to generate positive emotions.
  • Daily short practice of tasks requiring executive skills during the first 2-4 weeks of the behavior change regimen.

Work on projects at times during the day when your mental energy is typically higher, for some it can be morning, others early afternoon, and others early evening.

For more information on procrastination: 

Self-Worth Theory: The Key to Understanding & Overcoming Procrastination | Nic Voge | TEDxPrincetonU https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52lZmIafep4

Procrastination: A Scientific Guide on How to Stop Procrastinating https://jamesclear.com/procrastination 

Time management tips for busy college students – Purdue University https://www.purdueglobal.e

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