Procrastination

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I. Identify your particular Signs of Procrastination

  • How do you know you are procrastinating? 
  • What do you do to procrastinate? 
  • Identify situations or areas in which you procrastinate, (e.g., social relationships, school, finance, household, etc.) 
  • When do you procrastinate? 


II. Identify Underlying Issues or Causes of Procrastination

  • Lack of relevance 
  • Lack of interest 
  • Perfectionism: having extremely high standards which are almost unreachable 
  • Evaluation anxiety: concern over other's responses to your work 
  • Ambiguity: uncertainty of what is expected to complete task 
  • Fear of failure and self-doubt 
  • Fear of success: (e.g., if succeed, concern over having to maintain same level of performance; concern over jealousy from others.) 
  • Inability to handle the task: lack of training or skill necessary to complete task 
  • Lack of information needed to complete task 
  • Environmental conditions: 
  • Orderliness of work area 
  • Availability of needed materials 
  • Adequate lighting 
  • Distractions 
  • Temperature 
  • Physical conditions (e.g., fatigue) 
  • Anxiety over expectations that others have of you (e.g., high pressure to succeed; expectations that you will fail) 
  • All-or-nothing thinking (e.g., seeing one setback as total failure) 
  • Task seems overwhelming or unmanageable 
  • You are actually overextended, trying to manage too much

III. Management Strategies (learn more at Behavioral and Cognitive Strategies to Stop Procrastinating)

  • Identify what is necessary to accomplish task in a given amount of time; Get a sense of the entire project and what is required to complete it. 
  • Set goals for what is to be accomplished 
  • Break goals into smaller sub-goals (e.g., concentrate on one section of a paper at a time) 
  • Accept that there are no magical cures. 
  • Fear of Failure: 
  • Acknowledge strengths skills 
  • Recall previous successes 
  • Work on weaknesses 
  • Take risks 
  • Fear of Success: 
  • Get accurate perspective of what your success will mean 
  • Focus on your own needs and expectations rather than those of others. 
  • Perfectionism
  • Examine your standards. Are they realistic? Are they set so high that they are causing you distress? 
  • Adjust your expectations and set realistic goals.