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Procrastination – Practical Tips

notebook with the words helpful tips on it and a pen laying across it

Jaylia Rentfro, LMFT Over the past few weeks we have discussed procrastination and the components that keep it active in our lives. We have identified self-limiting beliefs and learned a few ways to challenge them. This week, we will focus on practical tips to help us stop procrastinating and get back on track.

  • Use a planner. Get in the habit of writing out tasks each day to help identify daily goals and plan for activities that easily get lost in the shuffle of the day.
  • Try the prioritize, chunk and time method. Make a task list according to priority, chunk the task into steps it will take in order to accomplish the task, and then identify how much time you believe (realistically) this task will take to complete.
  • Use the Worst/First method. When preparing your list, knock off the one you dread the most first using that to build momentum for the rest of the list.
  • Continue to tolerate discomfort. Change is difficult, even when it is a change we want very much. Practice mindfulness skills in order to tolerate difficult emotions during this process.
  • Try the “Just 5 Minutes” technique. This can be a great one for the whole family. Commit to spending just 5 minutes working on a task. Once that time has passed, allow yourself to stop and do something else, or continue to complete the task. Often the first 5 minutes is the hardest part.
  • Dismiss the excuses. Continue to challenge your procrastination excuses and self-limiting beliefs. Use positive self-talk to help you get back on track.
  • Practice acceptance. Be kind to yourself as you work through this process. Shaming yourself will not help you become productive long term. Remember that procrastination is a behavior, not who you are. Use the tools to empower yourself to change the behavior.

I hope this series has been helpful to you. If you find yourself stuck in this process, if you struggle with finding the motivation for change or are unsure where to start, give us a call. A few sessions with a trained professional can help you get on the right track. Tune in next week as I introduce our series for February, and in the meantime, be well!