174 -Addressing Procrastination
Counselor Toolbox

 
 
00:00 / 52:56
 
1X

Addressing Procrastination
Instructor: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC
Executive Director: AllCEUs Counseling CEUs and Specialty Certificates
Podcast Host: Counselor Toolbox, Happiness Isn’t Brain Surgery

Objectives
~ Identify and learn how to address some of the most common causes including:
~ Fear of failure (and success)
~ Perfectionism
~ Being overwhelmed
~ Laziness/Lack of motivation
~ Boredom/aversion
~ Uncertainty about how or where to start
Objectives
~ Identify techniques to overcome procrastination
~ Eliminate other more rewarding options
~ Do 15 and Apply Parkinson’s Law
~ Small Steps
~ Provide rewards
~ Shorten the daily to do list
~ Leverage peak energy times
~ Be accountable to someone
~ Premack the boring
~ Pay attention to temperament
~ Increase adversity tolerance/gratitude
~ Find (and eliminate) procrastination rewards

Cause: Fear of Failure (and Success)
~ Examples: Applying to college or for a job; going to counseling
~ Failure can be threatening
~ Society often frames failure in a negative light
~ Many young people have been so shielded from failure that they don’t have the skills to tolerate it. One and done.
~ Success can also be threatening because it “raises the bar”

Cause: Fear of Failure (and Success)
~ Interventions
~ Explore what failure means. Find quotes from successful people about failure.
~ Avoid overgeneralization and personalization about failure.
~ Maintain a cheering squad
~ Remember past successes
~ Use the challenging questions to explore your fears in each situation
~ Identify all of the other things in your life that make it worth living

 

Cause: Perfectionism
~ Examples: homework/ work projects, appearance
~ Perfectionism often accompanies fear of failure
~ Perfectionists often either never get started or never finish a task… so it can never be evaluated
~ Perfectionism takes an inordinate amount of time  overwhemed
~ Perfectionists are never satisfied and maintain self anger for any imperfections
~ Perfectionists may also have low self esteem and base their worth on what they do instead of who they are
Cause: Perfectionism
~ Interventions
~ Learn about the principles of diminishing returns
~ Practice purposeful action to improve life balance
~ Explore where the need to be perfect comes from
~ What does it mean if you are not perfect?
~ Where did you learn that you are only lovable if you are perfect? Do you believe this and hold your friends to this?
~ Enhance your self-esteem so you are not looking for external validation. Who are you vs. What you do

Cause: Being Overwhelmed
~ Examples: A huge project, Too much else going on
~ Large projects can be daunting
~ Poor time management may also contribute to people feeling overwhelmed.
~ Interventions
~ For large projects, break it into manageable sub-projects (Dissertation, Spring cleaning, Recovery)
~ If there is too much else going on and you can’t find the time to get started, evaluate your time management.
~ Eliminate, Prioritize, Delegate & Combine, Plan
~ Clear clutter in that area (Doesn’t = organization binge)
~ Be mindful and have a laser focus
Cause: Laziness/Low Motivation
~ Examples: Homework, house cleaning/bills, gym
~ Motivation is your get up and go
~ Low motivation (procrastination) is impacted by
~ Rewards for procrastinating
~ Competing activities
~ No consequences/accountability
~ Punishments for starting:
~ Activity isn’t rewarding
~ Distress (overwhelmed, fear of failure…)
Cause: Laziness/Low Motivation
~ Motivation can be increased by
~ Eliminating more rewarding options
~ Breaking projects into smaller tasks with rewards
~ Premack—Combining the unpleasant activity with something pleasant
~ Making it fun (social, gamify)
~ Creating consequences for lack of task completion

Cause: Uncertainty About How to Start
~ Examples: Recovery, Treatment Planning/Goal Setting, Applying for college
~ Sometimes the goal is:
~ Too big
~ Poorly defined
~ Other times you may not have or be able to generalize the skills.
~ Interventions:
~ Break goals down into Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Limited chunks
~ Seek guidance on how to begin from people who have done it.
~ Think of similar situations you have encountered
Additional Techniques
~ Do 15 and Apply Parkinson’s Law
~ Parkinson's law is the adage that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion“
~ Create time limits for task completion (deadlines)
~ Then “do 15” to help you get started.
Additional Techniques
~ Shorten the daily to-do list
~ Sometimes you procrastinate because you have too many competing priorities
~ Good time management skills will help free up some energy. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull (unmotivated) boy.”
~ List
~ Eliminate things that don’t have to be done
~ Delegate
~ Prioritize
~ Combine and simplify
~ Plan

 

Additional Techniques
~ Leverage peak energy times
~ Are you a morning person?
~ When is your thinking clearest?
~ When is your energy highest?
~ How can you arrange your day to sync with your rhythms?
~ Know if you are better with short bursts or effort or sustained effort.
Additional Techniques
~ Be accountable to someone
~ Have a battle buddy—Misery loves company and is inspired by competition
~ Group therapy
~ Online support groups
~ Friends
~ Make plans with someone else that are conditional on you meeting your goals
~ Can only go out tonight if you finish…
Additional Techniques
~ Be accountable to someone
~ Have someone regularly check your progress
~ Homework that is reviewed vs. not reviewed
~ Weight Watchers vs. at home dieting
~ Blood pressure/cholesterol
Additional Techniques
~ Attend to temperament
~ Extroverts may procrastinate things which are solitary and/or don’t have an accountability/discussion element (autobiography, homework, housework)
~ Study at the library or coffee shop, do housework for a visitor, have homework reviewed
~ Introverts may procrastinate things which are social (mixers, holiday shopping)
~ Add rewards, get social support
~ iNtuitors may procrastinate things which are too detail oriented
~ Add rewards, Premack, chunk it
Additional Techniques
~ Attend to temperament
~ Sensors may procrastinate doing “meta-concepts” (collage of what happy means, finding a house)
~ Pursue it through specific questions
~ Perceivers always think there is plenty of time and tend to get things done at the last minute
~ Set deadlines
Additional Techniques
~ Increase adversity tolerance & gratitude
~ When you have to do something unpleasant, it helps to have distress tolerance skills to
~ Tolerate the unpleasantness
~ Quiet the negative internal critic and thoughts
~ Focus on
~ Commitment to the things that are going well in your life and make it rich and meaningful
~ Controlling the things you can and not wasting energy on struggling with things out of your control
~ Viewing this adversity as a challenge or character builder
Additional Techniques
~ Find and eliminate procrastination rewards including other, more rewarding options.
~ Face it there are always things we would rather be doing.
~ Intervention:
~ Make a list of your most common time drains / procrastination outlets (eating, television, organizing, napping, social media…)
~ Use those as rewards for task completion
Additional Techniques
~ Find and eliminate procrastination rewards including other, more rewarding options.
~ Face it there are always things we would rather be doing.
~ Intervention
~ Identify 3 things you usually procrastinate on
~ For each identify:
~ The reasons you procrastinate
~ The other things you end up doing instead (more rewarding)
Summary
~ Procrastination often indicates:
~ The effort seems to exceed the reward
~ The risk is not worth the reward
~ A sense of disempowerment
~ Lack of clarity and direction
~ Interventions revolve around
~ Increasing motivation (adding consequences for not doing it and rewards for doing it)
~ Improving self-efficacy (confidence)
~ Developing distress tolerance skills
~ Breaking the task down into manageable small steps

 

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close