Almost everyone procrastinates from time to time, for a variety of reasons ranging from not wanting to do a task to wanting to do it so perfectly that we don’t know where to start!

Procrastination is problematic when it is chronic or significantly impairs performance or reduces quality of life.


Changing thoughts:

Many procrastinators hold erroneous beliefs about how productive people work, and may not make use the strategies that are effective when performing tasks. They then blame themselves, which negatively impact their sense of self-efficacy and competency to the further detriment of their effective functioning.

Changing behaviors:

Learning to use simple strategies like removing temptation and setting up reward contingencies can be helpful.

There are also tricks like the “5-10 minute rule”: Tell yourself you will do a task right now, for 5 to 10 minutes, after which you will stop if you really do not want to do it. The trick is that it gets you started and most of the time you will then continue.

Selected Book References

Procrastination: Why you do it, what to do about it.
Jane B. Burka, Ph.D. & Lenora M. Yuen, Ph.D. (1983).
Da Capo Press. ISBN-13 978-0-7382-0956-2.

The procrastination workbook: Your personalized program for breaking free from the patterns that hold you back.
Wiliam Knaus (2002).
New Harbinger Publications. ISBN-1-57224-295-7

The habit change workbook: How to break bad habits and form good ones.
James Claiborn, Ph.D.ABPP & Cherry Pedrick, R.N. (2001).
New Harbinger Publications. ISBN-1-57224-263-9