NYC Therapist Talks – Procrastination Through an REBT Lens
It seems like procrastination affects everyone at one point or another. In thinking about tasks that need to be done putting off activities for another time is something that affects us all at one point or another. It is useful to think about procrastination and how REBT (rational emotive behavior therapy) can be used to manage and control it. Procrastination rears its ugly head in more than one way. It is helpful to categorize differentiate the kinds of procrastination that exists so that you can begin to consider ways to mange and conquer! Here are just some of the various types of procrastination that Dr. Knaus outlined (2002): 1. Discomfort dodging procrastination: avoiding tasks that are unpleasant 2. In Health Procrastination: delaying check ups 3. Change Procrastination: being uncomfortable with change. 4. Lateness Procrastination: show up late for meetings and events 5. Learning Procrastination: avoiding studying So what exactly happens when you procrastinate? Have you ever put something that is high priority off and in turn do something less important (for example avoiding a work related assignment and instead making miscellaneous phone calls.) This is called Action Diversion. Diverting tasks usually makes us feel better by allowing us to feel temporarily rewarded (don’t you kind of feel relieved that you made those phone calls in place of the assignment?). Mental diversion is also a part of procrastination. We have all been there. “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I work better under pressure anyway”.
So what’s the problem? The concern is that procrastination presents itself a number of underlying concerns that may be related to underlying issues such as anxiety, depression, and feeling helpless. Procrastination may allude to overall mental well being. Luckily procrastination is something you can overcome! How can REBT help with procrastination? REBT is a really great approach towards managing and mastering procrastination. REBT involves analyzing irrational thoughts and beliefs so that we can change our emotional and behavioral responses towards events. You can use the ABC model because it “puts procrastination into perspective, and refocuses your efforts to gain a greater sense of command over what you do.”
Overall, procrastination is something that affects just about anyone. Some activities or tasks may seem unfavorable and we go through hoops to avoid them until the last minute. Rational emotive behavior therapy, or REBT is a useful approach because we can re-work our irrational beliefs that we attach to the tasks that we need to complete. If you would like to learn more about how to use REBT in regards to procrastination, schedule a session! This NYC Therapist will have you motivated in no time!
Referenced: Dr. Bill Knaus, The Procrastination Workbook. New Harbinger. 2002.