Outside Help with Procrastination

My previous, and all be it effective solution to procrastination, was my involvement with school sports. I have been rowing for the past 8 years. This lifestyle left me with no time to procrastinate whatsoever. Whenever I could be doing homework, I was. Now that I’m no longer involved with sports, It seems only necessary that I look to outside sources for proactive inspiration.

One example of an outside source related to proactive behavior can be found within my classmate Marissa’s Blog on self Motivation. Like me, Marissa believes that, “If you put your all into what you do, you will get more out of it”, and states so in her blog (Introduction: Self Motivation, 2017). It seems however that Marissa too is having difficulty in beginning her tasks, as she is seeking to better her self motivation soft skill. This introduction post of her blog generally states her opinion of self motivation, being that it is a positive and desirable soft skill to have. Marissa then informs the reader that she is not only seeking to better her self motivation skills, but will be recording it within her blog.

Seeing as my peers also have difficulty in procrastinating I looked toward more scholarly resources. Within Jane B. Burka, and Lenora Yuen’s book, Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do About It Now. Within this text, the authors stated a number of causes for procrastination, but one which interested me the most was the emotional aspect. Burka and Lenora suggested that procrastination can stem from a deeper avoidance of emotional conflict, saying self criticism for procrastination may be much easier to tolerate than feelings of vulnerability and exposure that may accompany trying your best and then landing in the territory of your fears (Burka, 2007). This emotional avoidance of exposure or vulnerability isn't one which I identify with, however as a new transfer student, I may very well be feeling these things subconsciously. Being in a new environment maybe more difficult for me than I realize, and as a result I may find myself procrastinating.

Though this emotional causality of my procrastination very well may be possible, I desired something a little more concrete on which to focus my efforts. Turning to the website, Psychology today, I found an article by therapist Robert Taibbi focused on sources and solutions to procrastination. Taibbi gave three scenarios in which procrastination existed, citing the different reasons for each. One Scenario which Drew my attention was about a girl named Anne. Anne’s desk is pilled up with work that needs to be done yesterday, had family coming into town, and on top of that needs to buy new car insurance. With this mountain of tasks, Anne feels overwhelmed, and unable to concentrate. Anne’s tendency is to push it all away and deal with it on a fresh start on monday (2017, Taibbi). This is a feeling which I can identify with. When I was rowing I only had time to work in between many other activities and classes throughout the day. I never got the chance to feel overwhelmed because I was so busy moving from point a to point b. Now without that constant structure, even a much smaller amount of work than I’ve previously had can feel like a mountain. With all of my free time, I feel as if i’m obligated to do all the work at once, and would rather push it off.

With this in mind, one concrete action I can take in fighting off my procrastination, is trying to schedule out my time for a week. This way I have enough structure throughout the day to eliminate the stress I associate with my work load.

Burka, Jane. B. (2007) Procrastination: Why You Do It, What to Do about It Now. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press.

Self Motivation. (2017, September 27). Introduction: Self Motivation [Blog Post]. Retrieved from https://medium.com/soft-skills-specifically-self-motivation/introduction-self-motivation-398b027d950e

Taibbi, Robert. (2017, April 02). Procrastination: 3 sources, 3 solutions. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fixing-families/201704/procrastination-3-sources-3-solutions