|Image: Leonid Pasternak (1862-1945)|
Recently on NPR Keisha Dutes and Audrey Nguyen interviewed therapist Anastacia Locklin describes chronic procrastination as “an inability to regulate negative or fearful emotions or feelings. Research shows that your in the now person values immediate gratification over the long-term goals.
Excerpt: To combat procrastination — on the big things and the little things — here's what Locklin recommends:
First, identify small goals. Set a goal to work on something for a short, fixed amount of time — say, 10 minutes.
If you need more structure, Locklin recommends trying the Ivy Lee method. At the end of each workday, make a list of six things to work on the following day. List them out in order of true importance. Tackle those things and only those things the next day.
Next, if you're trying to figure out the best way to prioritize tasks, use natural patterns to your advantage: If you're a morning person, do important tasks in the morning. If you have midday slumps, take that time to organize and create your list for the next day. Don't be too hard on yourself. Research shows self-compassion can help you cope with procrastination-related stress. Remember every success is just that: a success!
If you're procrastinating wellness and rest, plan ahead and delegate! Block out vacations in advance and put systems in place with co-workers so that you can work toward your time away and feel secure that all your goals at work are met.
Finally, if you're having trouble addressing procrastination on your own, meet with a therapist. One treatment approach, called cognitive behavioral therapy, can help improve coping skills by focusing on current barriers and solutions to those problems.
For the complete NPR feature click here.