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Waiting Until the Last Minute Again?

By December 4, 2018April 6th, 2021Blog, Tanya Abughazaleh, Psy.D.

Do you delay or stall before completing homework or even the chores around the house? Do you often say, “Not now. Later. Tomorrow?” Don’t be alarmed! Everyone procrastinates, but not everyone is a procrastinator. Procrastinating does not mean you’re lazy or not a hard-worker. Putting tasks off is not uncommon, but can get the best of us. Sometimes tasks are put off because they’re boring, too challenging, or because turning in work that’s anything less than perfect causes distress. Whatever the reason, the culprit may be anxiety. Follow these tips to make the anxiety work for you:

  1. Make anxiety your friend.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to be done, focus on completing the task at hand and away from your worry. In other words, don’t waste energy on worry. Simply use the energy you spend on worrying to cross that task off your list and say, “I’m done!”

  1. Break it up.

When a task feels impossible to complete, break it down to mini parts. Keep in mind that these smaller tasks may not be easy but should feel doable.

  1. Get organized and plan.

Give yourself the time to not feel rushed. Write it in your agenda, organize what should be done each day, what time you’re going to do it, and block off the time you think it’ll take for you to finish. If you believe you may need breaks, schedule those breaks into your agenda so that everything is visually planned out the way you prefer. Hold yourself accountable, and make your own deadlines for yourself.

  1. Positive vibes.

After each mini part is completed, soak up that sense of accomplishment and ultimately be proud of yourself. When you are having difficulty making anxiety your friend, imagine the feeling you experienced once you finished one mini task or if you haven’t yet, imagine the feeling you’ll experience once you finish. You can do it if you put your mind to it, just imagine your success and being done.

  1. Reward time!

Once you create a plan in your agenda and set mini tasks to accomplish in the time frame you’ve given yourself, incorporate mini rewards. Breaks can be seen as rewards, but activities you find fun, like playing a game or drawing for an hour, may be other types of rewards. Feel free to get creative and write it in your agenda.

Most importantly, these strategies can be applied to anything from school work to chores and can help you even when you are an adult. Just remember, the process only gets easier the more you do it.