What is Procrastination? Why Do It?

Procrastination is really just a form of fear. What? Did I say if I don’t do something I know I should do then I am in fear?



Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. You are afraid of success. You are afraid of not doing the job well enough. You are afraid of not having enough time. You are afraid of a number of things but the bottom line is your not lazy just afraid.

I would not call a procrastinator lazy because usually they busy themselves with any other thing except the task they most need to accomplish.

I am speaking from my past experience, people would always see me busy answering a phone call, answering a question, calling a client, everything except writing my lesson or article.

So what is the solution to procrastination?

Dr. Burns, in his classic book, “The Feeling Good Handbook” describes a 5 step method to help overcome the procrastination syndrome.

By the time you finish this article, you will know the Burns method to end procrastination.

Step 1 – Identify the Task you are Procrastinating On

When you know what task you have to do it is time to create a Cost/Benefit Analysis


Start by writing down all the reasons why it would be to your advantage to put off doing this task and then write down all the disadvantages to putting off the task. Next place your results in a table like the one in the link below:


Cost/Benefit Procrastination Analysis – Weigh each side by its importance by assigning a number, tally the numbers on each side and determine the winner

Next write down all the reasons why it would be to your advantage to start today and then write down all the disadvantages of starting today. Next place your results in a table like the one on the same page as the link above.


Cost/Benefit To Start Task Today – Weigh each side by its importance by assigning a number, tally the numbers on each side and determine the winner


Now look at the 2 tables and decide if it is better to procrastinate on the task or to do the task today.

Step 2-Make a plan to start


If you decide that you want to do the task then start by writing the time down that you decided to start the task today.Really write the time you will start down now!


Next identify any problems that would prevent you from starting at that time and things that could come up during that time and then write down the solutions to those problems.

Place them in a table like this link to Problem/Solution.

Step 3- Make the Job Easy


When you start the task do not think of getting everything done all at once in perfectionist order. Start by taking a small step and then another small step until you get the task done. One way to do this is break all the steps in the tasks up into smaller steps and work one at a time.

Another way is to work in small 15-30 minutes spurts on the steps of the task. This way you could break down your steps into shorter spurts that could get done in the 15-30 minute time allotment.


Step 4-Think Positively


When you think about that pesky task don’t think of it as pesky but learn to think positively on that important task. Try writing down any negative thoughts you have on the task and turn them into positive statements.


For example, I have so many articles to write that I might as well do them when I am in the mood.
Try saying, I know when I start writing an article I will have begun to complete the task and I do like writing so I will begin now and my mood will change.


Step 5- Give Yourself Credit

When you complete a step give yourself credit. Make it feel good. Give yourself a check in the box of your step list. When you complete the whole task reward yourself with something nice whatever that something might be make it worth your effort.

In summary, the 5 step process begins with identification of the specific task you have been putting off, then doing a cost/benefit analysis of your procrastination to decide if you really want to do it or not. Then write down the specific time you will do the task, break it down to small steps , think positively and reward yourself for a job well done.

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