Procrastination is a common symptom of anxiety. People procrastinate because they want to delay their exposure to an undesirable situation. This undesirable situation can either be real or merely perceived. Regardless, the longer you take to complete certain tasks, the further you put off your exposure to the undesired activity.
In this post, we will be exploring three reasons why you are likely to procrastinate.
An effective method to stop procrastinating is also discussed.
The first common reason you are likely to procrastinate is boredom. You are most likely to feel bored if you are transitioning from an exciting activity to a less exciting activity. For example, you just finished playing an exciting video game, which you have been playing for the past three hours. You have become mentally fatigued with the game and have decided to do something else. You put the controller down and decide to clean your home. One problem, your brain finds the act of cleaning your home, less rewarding than the successfully military siege you engaged in on your video game.
It is possible to transition from playing an exciting video game to cleaning your home, however, it is also very difficult. An attempt to make such a transition will result in you feeling irritable, putting the broom down, and looking for something else exciting to do.
The solution is to train yourself to do the hard stuff first. This means you will schedule a plan to clean your home first thing in the morning. After this and all other tedious tasks are done, you can then play your exciting video game.
The second common reason you are likely to procrastinate is anxiety. Anxiety is common and normal. For example, if you began taking flight lessons today you will likely feel anxious once in the cockpit. Another example would be giving a speech before an audience, especially if it is something you have never done before.
Social anxiety can also cause procrastination. You may procrastinate in order to avoid interacting with people. It feels easier to put off that phone call or register for a course. You may put off talking to your supervisor about your desire for a raise. Another example would be stalling in studying for an exam, which you are not confident about passing.
The solution for this is to identify your reasons for procrastinating, Next, address your beliefs regarding these reasons. The goal is to let go of beliefs that lead to procrastinating
Next, work to identify beliefs that inspire you to become more assertive and punctual.
Perfectionism also leads to procrastination.
The reasons for perfectionism are similar to anxiety. You feel anxious because you want the things you do to be perfect. As a result, you are likely to abandon tasks if you determine the outcome will not be perfect. In many cases, if the perfectionist cannot envision a perfect outcome, the task is never initiated.
The solution for this is to identify beliefs that lead to the desire for perfectionism. Often, these beliefs are rooted in a desire for acceptance and recognition. For example, “if I don’t do this well, no one will like me or have anything to do with me”. Compare this to a different example, “If it turns out that this is not well done, I will learn a lesson and improve next time.”
If you struggle with chronic procrastination, the good news is that you can improve. With expert help, you can become more engaged in your daily activities and feel happier more often.
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