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Procrastination when facing tasks

Procrastination is a challenging habit for both the person doing it and also those waiting for the tasks to be completed. Procrastination is an automatic behavioral pattern that leads to the postponement of tasks that are in the person’s best interest to complete. This attracts negative attention (e.g. from bosses when work is not submitted) that in turn leads to an increase, rather than decrease in procrastination.
 
Symptoms of Procrastination may include some of the following:

  • Substituting important tasks for those that carry much less priority as an avoidance strategy, e.g. cleaning the house instead of studying for an important exam
  • Being consistently late for important meetings and events
  • Anxious thinking – includes having a busy or foggy mind and difficulty concentrating on the task at hand
  • Low frustration tolerance e.g. “I shouldn’t have to do this boring task.” Although it leads to short-term relief, it usually leads to long-term low confidence
  • Difficulty making decisions – underlying fear that one could get it wrong so why start
  • Not finishing task may lead to low mood or depression as long term goals are not realized and internally one feels unfulfilled
  • Performance anxiety – Difficulty delivering presentations due to internal critic
  • Feeling overwhelmed and clarity is lost
  • Over thinking the task and deciding it needs to be researched more (and more) rather than beginning the task
  • Active internal critic – why start something that you think you won’t do well or will be criticized for? This may lead to starting a lot of projects but finishing none
  • Over seeking reassurance from others in regards to the task at hand
  • A feeling that there should be no discomfort involved in the task and if it has any ordinariness, then it is a waste of valuable time doing it
  • Perfectionist – many people who procrastinate do so as they feel that the task must be achieved to 100% perfection or it means 100% failure
  • A need to feel under pressure before starting a project. This can happen when the individual has grown up in environments where conflict commonly led to an internal feeling of ‘fight or flight’. This release of adrenaline is familiar and the individual only feels energized by an unhealthy addiction to stress. Will only start the project at the last possible moment to complete it under pressure

Online CBT & Mindfulness Counselling aims to support you with:

  • Reducing all or nothing thinking in relation to tasks. Finding more self-supportive internal encouragement to complete tasks
  • Replacing low frustration tolerance with high frustration tolerance (worth it to complete)
  • Reducing anxious thinking with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which has become the most evidence based and verified treatment for reducing anxiety
  • Exploring unhelpful underlying beliefs relating to ability, control, aspirations and goals
  • Breaking tasks down into manageable categories and exploring any resistance to each section
  • Learning Mindfulness based stress reduction techniques for the workplace & personal life
  • Integrate Mindfulness approach to observing unhelpful thinking scripts and continue to do the task
  • Increasing healthier thinking styles to support you in other areas of your life (e.g. task relevant thinking in work etc)
  • Increasing work/life balance for overall health and wellbeing (work, nutrition, restorative exercise, social support)
  • Establish thinking that supports longer-term gratification needs rather than seeking short-term gratification
  • Work with personal rewards
  • Create a more balanced approach to the task at hand

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Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a type of psychotherapy that looks at:

  • The way you think about yourself/others
  • What you think about the situation or problem you are experiencing and
  • How what you do and feel is influenced by what you think and believe. It includes a solution-focused approach to problems and supports positive change with CBT worksheets

Mindfulness Therapy is beneficial because Mindfulness supports the body and the mind.

  • Integrating Mindfulness improves mental and physical health
  • It helps to relieve stress and improves clarity of mind
  • Mindfulness is supportive in the treatment of depression, low mood, anxiety and stress reduction
  • Mindfulness also helps people to manage painful emotions
(Harvard Medical School)