Nia Fia
Version 2.014

"The function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one's potential."
~ Bruce Lee

procrastination

I tried to simplify this article on:

"Tackling Procrastination

1) Awareness - becoming aware of one's procrastination,

2) Goals - developing goal-directed behavior to carry out the tasks on which one is currently procrastinating,

3) Commitment - making a commitment to tolerate the anticipated short-term discomfort to achieve the longer-term goal

4) Persistence - persisting in this anti-procrastinating outlook or approach


Awareness
While we may not be consciously aware of how procrastination is troubling us, our emotions might provide a clue that something is wrong, particularly agitation (recall that agitation is an emotion associated with the gap between the actual and ought self). In any case, awareness is the first step. We have to acknowledge that we're procrastinating and that there may be irrational beliefs at the root of our delay.

Goals
Once we have developed the awareness for the need for change, we have to set a goal that is reasonable, concrete and manageable. Too often, our goals are expressed as distant, abstract constructs such as "I want to succeed at this task." Instead, we need to construct a concrete, specific statement of what we can do in the present to achieve our long-term goals.

Commitment
A goal statement in itself doesn't mean that you're committed to carrying out the hard work necessary to achieve your goal. "If clients want to make gains, they need to embrace the discomfort of working on their problem now in order to feel relatively comfortable later about continuing the work of change"

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THIS IS WHERE STRATEGIES FOR GETTING THRU ARE NEEDED
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The ABC's of REBT (Rational-Emotive Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy)

Procrastinators suffer one similarity - a clear-cut emotional problem. In order to release this emotion, clients need to identify the irrational beliefs that sustain it, through the ABCs of REBT.
 
A = activating event - imagining giving a presentation to a group of colleagues

  • Critical A = what the client is most troubled/disturbed about e.g., ‘Not being able to answer all of the questions at a presentation.'


B = irrational beliefs: e.g., ‘I must be perfect.'

C = consequences

  • emotional: rising anxiety
  • behavioural: highly agitated
  • cognitive: dwells on irrational beliefs about a perfect performance


"By exposing herself in imagination to giving the presentation (A), the client's critical A is located which triggers her irrational beliefs (B) which then largely determines her reactions at C. By delaying the presentation, the client remains ‘safe' from her feelings triggered by her imagination/thoughts/beliefs.
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GETTING THRU INVOLVES WORK
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This work includes disputing irrational beliefs and developing a rational alternative statement in its place. This rational statement should become the individual's mantra to keep the focus on change. What's particularly important here is that your statement is not a "I'll try to " type of statement, but instead a "you'll actually do."  (Like the 3 Minute Exercise!)

Persistence
Self change requires strong determination as well as persistent work and practice to carry out this determination. Such persistence is enabled with the development of a "maintenance message" about your responsibility to protect your progress from unconscious habits.

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SOME MAINTENANCE MESSAGES
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- My time is precious. Don't waste it!
- Am I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing?
- Just get started!
- The trouble is that you think you have time.