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Counsellor's Corner

Published On: 26 June 2019Categories: Regional
Do you procrastinate?

Do you put off important jobs because you are too busy?

Procrastination is not laziness; it is an avoidance behaviour.

We are putting off a task because there is something unpleasant about it.

However, it is often not related to the task but to the thoughts and feelings associated with that task.

Carers are more prone to elevated anxiety, lower moods, worry and rumination.

Tasks that stimulate us to examine these concepts are usually avoided by doing other less important jobs that give us a sense of achievement and make us feel better.

This is a short term mood repair. But the important job still isn’t done!

I remember when I was a university student, I had the cleanest house in the street, but my assignments were usually finished in the small hours of the morning before the due date.

How do we deal with this?

Often the things we avoid are health related and this catches up with us. There is ample evidence showing that carers have poorer health than the general population, so this is an important topic.

Develop a curiosity about these thoughts and feelings associated with the tasks that we are avoiding.This is the first step. You will find that a failure to accept something about yourself is often the reason behind  procrastination.

In the case of my university assignments, I discovered that I did not like to be judged, by submitting my assignments; I was inviting myself to be judged, thus the conflict.

Avoiding a visit to the doctor may be because the doctor might suggest something that you know that you do not have the time for. It may be a reminder that your life is very different to what you had planned for yourself.

There are many other reasons for procrastinating, but they all lead to a negative outcome.

Increasing your awareness of the problem is a big step towards its resolution.

Focus on the benefits of completing the task that you are avoiding and you should be on your way to minimising your procrastination.