Introduction

Often seen as a not -so-exciting part in coaching, understanding and dealing with procrastination is an extremely common theme I discuss with my clients and I find it extremely powerful.

For starters, let me state that procrastination is not just about being lazy; it’s a complex behavioural pattern that affects many of us, impacting our productivity, mental health, and overall life satisfaction.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the psychological roots of procrastination as discussed by Michael Neenan in “Cognitive Behavioural Coaching in Practice” and practical solutions from Brooke Castillo’s Life Coach School Podcast on “Time Management – Procrastination.”

Understanding Procrastination: Insights from Cognitive Behavioural Coaching (CBC)

Michael Neenan outlines that procrastination is more than just a bad habit; it’s often a form of chronic avoidance that can lead to significant psychological distress, including depression and anxiety. Procrastinators typically engage in irrational thinking, fear failure, and may suffer from issues related to self-discipline and immediate gratification.

Neenan categorises procrastination into different styles, such as perfectionism and task avoidance, which stem from an underlying fear of inadequate performance or emotional discomfort associated with tasks.

The Pervasive Nature of Procrastination

Why do we procrastinate? It’s not just because we don’t feel like doing something. Fear of failure, a desire for perfection, lack of motivation, and avoidance of discomfort are key drivers. People often procrastinate on tasks that invoke anxiety or seem daunting, opting instead for more pleasurable or less stressful activities.

Pragmatic Solutions from Life Coaching

What if there was another way to go about tackling procrastination effectively? Brooke Castillo offers a refreshing take on tackling procrastination, notably through better time management techniques.

First she challenges the notion that we need to feel motivated to act. Instead, she advocates for “B- work” — focusing on completion rather than perfection.

Also Castillo suggests setting shorter deadlines to enhance productivity and reduce the mental burden of procrastination.

Strategies to Overcome Procrastination

  1. Awareness and Acknowledgment: Recognise and understand your procrastination habits and what drives them. Are you avoiding discomfort, or are you afraid of not meeting your own standards?
  2. Goal Setting and Breaking Down Tasks: Set realistic goals and break them into manageable tasks. Smaller tasks feel less intimidating and are easier to start and complete.
  3. Challenge Irrational Beliefs: There can be a lot of “noise” going on inside our braisn when procrastination arises in our day. It is crucial to learn to identify and dispute irrational thoughts that lead to procrastination. It is possible, in time, to replace them with more rational, supportive thoughts.
  4. Create Accountability: Share your goals with a friend or coach who can help keep you accountable.
  5. Embrace Imperfection: Allow yourself to produce B- work where appropriate. This can help you overcome the paralysis of perfectionism.
  6. Time-Boxing: Assign fixed time periods to work on tasks. This method helps eliminate the option of waiting for the perfect moment.

Your CBC & life coaching combo for a more accomplished life

Procrastination is a common challenge, but it’s not insurmountable. By understanding its roots and applying practical strategies from cognitive behavioural coaching and life coaching insights, you can enhance your productivity and reduce the anxiety associated with procrastination. Really try to embrace the techniques highlighted here to start mastering the art of getting things done today!

Unlock Your Potential with the Time Mastery Toolkit

In tackling procrastination, the first step is often the most crucial: integrating intentional planning and prioritising personal time into your daily schedule. That’s why I’ve created the Time Mastery Toolkit, designed to possibly revolutionise the way you approach your day-to-day tasks and long-term goals.

This toolkit is not just about managing your tasks—it’s about reclaiming your time and ensuring that your personal priorities are never sidelined. Through carefully crafted insights and personal examples, the Time Mastery Toolkit helps you establish a routine where every hour is used effectively, balancing productivity with essential personal time.

Whether you’re a professional struggling with deadlines or a student juggling multiple responsibilities, this toolkit provides the strategies you need to plan intentionally and protect your time from the endless cycle of procrastination. This toolkit is designed not just to organise tasks but to prioritise your personal time, ensuring a balanced approach to productivity.

Explore the Time Mastery Toolkit today and start your journey towards a more organised, fulfilling life. Take control of your time; don’t let procrastination control you!

Are you struggling with procrastination?

Reach out now to learn how coaching can transform your approach to tasks and help you build a more productive, satisfying life.

Sincerely yours,

Dr. Sophie

+++++++++++

Inspired by:

  1. Neenan, M. (2012). Understanding and tackling procrastination. In M. Neenan & S. Palmer (Eds.), Cognitive Behavioural Coaching in Practice: An Evidence-Based Approach (pp. 11-31). Routledge.
  2. Castillo, B. (2017, April 20). Time management – Procrastination. The Life Coach School Podcast (Episode 162). Retrieved from https://thelifecoachschool.com/podcast/162/
Is perfectionism holding your life back?

Is perfectionism holding your life back?

The High Costs of Perfectionism Perfectionism, the relentless pursuit of flawlessness, can often be a double-edged sword. While striving for excellence can drive achievement and success, an unchecked desire for perfection can hold you back in significant and often...