Challenging Procrastination Excuses
In previous posts, we talked about how excuses for procrastinating often revolve around some truth of the situation; but that they tend to lead to unhelpful conclusions such as…
- The truth is “I am really tired” leads to “I am better off doing it after I’ve rested.”
- The truth is “I will miss out on the fun happening now” leads to “I can always wait till nothing much is happening.”
- The truth is “I have other things to do” leads to “I will do it once those other things are finished.”
Why are these conclusions unhelpful? Because they ignore the that just going with the situation or how we feel at the time may not actually be the best course of action in the long run. They also often imply that tomorrow will somehow, miraculously be a better time to get productive and follow through. If we always wait for the perfect moment to get something done, we could be waiting a long time. The real truth is that no one specific time is probably ideal for doing something we don’t feel like doing, hence now is just as good as any other time to get cracking. Luckily, one thing we can do to overcome this is to challenge the unhelpful conclusion and come up with a new, more helpful one.
Challenging Your Conclusions
When you’re challenging your unhelpful conclusions, try asking yourself the following questions…
- What is the factual evidence or reasons that it is better for me to put off this task or goal?
- What is the factual evidence or reasons that it is better for me to start this task or goal now?
- Is it really true that I will be better off in the long run delaying this task or goal?
- Is it really true that I can’t make even a small start on the task or goal right now? Can I still get some parts of the task/goal done now even though conditions aren’t ideal?
- Is it really true that later on is a better time to do it?
- If I do make some start on the task or goal right now, what might happen? How might I feel?
- If I don’t make a start on the task or goal right now, what might happen? How might I feel?
So at the end of the day we are aiming to find new helpful conclusions that spur us into action, and make us realise that our procrastination isn’t justified, that there aren’t reasonable excuses for it, and it is better for us to take action now. Below are examples of new helpful conclusions.
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Want to learn more? Stay tuned next week, we’ll talk about how to continue challenging your conclusions by testing them.
This blog post was adapted from Module 4: Dismissing Procrastination Excuses.