How to Stop Procrastinating by Changing your Thinking

How to Stop Procrastinating #procrastination #productivity #negativethoughts #timemanagement

There are lots of great tips out there on how to stop procrastinating:

  • Start with the hardest task first
  • Set a timer and do it for 5 minutes
  • Eliminate distractions
  • Enlist help
  • Break the task down into small pieces
  • Use an accountability partner

These are all helpful approaches. In this article, I want to focus on how our negative thinking contributes to procrastination and how ultimately we need to change our thoughts in order to stop procrastinating.

In this short video I explain how negative thinking creates procrastination for me.

Think about the things you are procrastinating.  What are you telling yourself about these tasks? Chances are they are negative messages such as:

  • It’s hard
  • I don’t like it
  • I’m tired
  • I’m not good at it
  • It’s boring
  • I don’t have time

All these negative messages are constructions of our mind that create procrastination. The good news is you can change them.

You can reframe all this negativity and focus on the positive aspects of doing/accomplishing these things:

  • I’ll be pleased with the results
  • I’ll be proud of myself when I accomplish this
  • I like a challenge
  • I like to learn new things

Or you may realize, as I do in this video, that it is OK to not do some things. Let me say that again: It’s OK to decide not to do some things! If something is truly not important to you or it doesn’t fit your values, let it go and stop feeling guilty about not doing it.


And, you’ll be happy to know I accomplished the painting (with the help of my son).

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Sharon Martin, a licensed counselor and psychotherapist in Northern California, specializes in helping adult children of alcoholics and others who struggle with anxiety, perfectionism, and self-criticism. She has a private psychotherapy practice in CA where she is available for online counseling. Sharon is also the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism and write the blog Conquering Codependency for Psychology Today.

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