Overcoming Procrastination

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Overcoming
Procrastination
Procrastination
• What is it?
• What is bad about it?
• Why do people
procrastinate?
• What techniques are
useful in overcoming
procrastination?
What is
Procrastination?
What is
Procrastination?
• Websters defines
procrastination as "to
put off doing
something until a
future time; postpone
or defere action."
Procrastination
• My definition of
procrastination is
"doing anything other
than your highest
priority task."
What’s So Bad About
Procrastination?
•
•
•
•
You may letter others down
It can be a safety problem
It will eventually cost more
You feel bad about yourself,
which affects your self
esteem, which affects your
productivity, which makes
you feel bad.
2. You make a definite
decision to do it.
1. You wish to do something
because you desire some
favorable result if you do the
task.
11. Not long afterward,
you procrastinate again.
3. You needlessly delay
doing the task.
4. You observe the advantages and
disadvantages of the delay.
10. You assure yourself you
will NOT procrastinate
again.
9. You feel uncomfortable
about your lateness and
berate yourself for the
8. You barely finish the
delay.
project on time – or you
finish it late – or you never
finish it.
5. You still postpone doing
the thing you have decided to
do.
6. You berate yourself for
procrastinating, or you
rationalize the situation, or
you ignore the project.
7. You continue to
procrastinate.
From “Overcoming
Procrastination” by Ellis and
Knaus
Procrastination
Exercise
• Lists three tasks on
which you have been
procrastinating!
• Why have you been
procrastinating on each
task?
Overcoming
Procrastination
• Identify the causes of
your procrastination
• Select a technique for
overcoming
procrastination
Why do people
procrastinate?
Why do people
procrastinate?
• Fear of Failure
Fear of Failure
• Why didn’t I
ask Darlene
Yarborough
to go the Jr.Sr. Prom?
– Fear of
failure
Why do people
procrastinate?
• The task is
unpleasant
or boring
Why do people
procrastinate?
• We are overcommitted
Why do people
procrastinate?
• It is not really a goal,
it could be a job
someone else may
have assigned you
Why do people
procrastinate?
• To get even with others
Why do people
procrastinate?
• Physical Problems
Why do people
procrastinate?
• Confusion
Why do people
procrastinate?
• To get somebody
else to do it
Why do people
procrastinate?
• To gain sympathy
Why do people
procrastinate?
• Ignorance - sometimes
we just forget
Why do people
procrastinate?
• It is wise
Why do people
procrastinate?
• Overwhelmed
Overcoming
Procrastination
Overcoming
Procrastination
• Five Minute Promise
– promise to work on
the task for five minutes
– after that you can
quit, people normally
continue
– Remember Newton’s
Law of Motion
Overcoming
Procrastination
• Salami technique (also
called Swiss Cheese)
–Break a big job down
into small manageable
tasks
Overcoming
Procrastination
• Worst Case Scenario
–Ask the question,
“What is the worst
thing that could
happen to me if
I tried this and
failed?”
Overcoming
Procrastination
• Visualize Positive
Results
–Think of all the benefits
of going ahead and
doing the job
Overcoming
Procrastination
• Balance Sheet
– Divide a paper in half and
list all the reasons why you
should continue to
procrastinate and the
reasons why you
shouldn’t. Seeing
all the reasons in black
and white tend to help.
Overcoming
Procrastination
• Leading Task
–Do a number of small
task that lead up to the
big task
Overcoming
Procrastination
• Reward Yourself
–Treat yourself to
something special only
after you complete the
job on which
you have been
procrastinating
Techniques for
Overcoming
Procrastination
• Self Expose
– Critically challenge
the excuses you have
been giving for
procrastinating
• Do you really have to start
diets on Monday?
• Do your really need a
matching Spandex outfit
before exercising?
Overcoming
Procrastination
• Remember the three
tasks you listed earlier on
which you were
procrastinating? Identify
techniques that could
help you accomplish
these tasks.
The Procrastinator’s
Code
• I must be perfect.
• Everything I do should go
easily and without effort.
• It's safer to do nothing
than to take a risk and
fail.
• I should have no
limitations.
The Procrastinator’s
Code
• If it's not done right, it's
not worth doing at all.
• I must avoid being
challenged.
• If I succeed, some one
will get hurt.
• If I do well this time, I
must always do well.
The Procrastinator’s
Code
• Following someone else's
rules means I'm giving in
and not in control.
• I can't afford to let go of
everything or anyone.
• There is a right answer,
and I'll wait until I find it.
The Procrastinator’s
Code
• If I expose my real self,
people won't like me.
Source: Procrastination: Why you do
it, What to do about it.
Jane Burka and Lenora Yuen
What???
• Guess who
did go to the
Jr.-Sr.
Prom?
– Darlene
scared
away every
boy in
school, so
she asked
me!
Living and Working
with Procrastinators
Others
Procrastination
• List three jobs that
others have
procrastinated on that
affect you!
–1.
–2.
–3.
The Cycle of Mutual
Frustration
• Stage 1:
Encouragement
• Stage 2:
Disappointment
• Stage 3: Irritation
• Stage 4: Stand-off
What doesn’t work!
• Saying "Just Do It"
• Nagging or being a
watchdog
• Using criticism, ridicule,
and threats of extreme or
exaggerated
consequences
• Doing it yourself
• Saying "I told you so"
Attitudes That Can
Help!
• Maintain your
individual perspective
• Be flexible about your
strategy
Specific Techniques
That May Help!
• Establish clear limits,
deadlines and
consequences
• Help the procrastinator
set small, interim goals
• Help the procrastinator be
concrete and realistic
about what he/she needs
to do
Techniques...
• Reward progress
made along the way
• Tell the procrastinator
directly if you do get
angry
Techniques...
• Let procrastinators
know that they are
more to you than just
their performance
• Consider yourself
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