Motivating Yourself Through Procrastination


After learning last week how to experiment with excuses to combat procrastination, it’s time to take a look at how to use motivational self-talk to work through it as well. Remember, when you criticise yourself for procrastinating, you just make it harder for yourself to get on top of things.

Encourage Rather Than Criticise

Criticism and procrastination seem to go hand in hand; which is why motivational self talk is so important. Some examples of critical vs motivational self talk are…

Critical Self-TalkMotivational Self-Talk
I have to get this done. Suck it up and get going loser!I choose to work on this task. I know I can get it done if I just focus on one thing at at time.
I should be finished by now! If I can't even do this I must be real idiot!I would prefer to be finished by now. But let's focus on what I can do to get closer to the finish line.
I can't believe I haven't started yet. I must be so lazy!Just focus on getting started. Just because I haven't started, doesn't mean anything bad about me.
Come on! Others can get it doesn faster this!! I must be a complete moron. What others do is of no concern. Focusing on what I am doing and my task is more helpful.

What’s important about motivational self talk is that it separates your behaviours from who you are as a person and/or your personal qualities. IT also focuses on what can be done from this point forward, rather than dwelling on what has not been done. Remember; you can’t change the past but you can change the future.

By identifying your own negative self talk, you can try to see how you can see if there’s a more helpful way of rephrasing it. If you find it difficult to find helpful way of rephrasing it, try thinking about what you’d say to a friend in the same situation. We are often good at being motivational and encouraging towards others, but less good at doing it for ourselves.

Nicole Paulie is an author, Counselling Psychologist and co-founder of MyMoodandMe. She provides therapy in the Dublin city area. Contact us to learn more or to book an appointment.

This blog post was adapted from Module 4: Dismissing Procrastination Excuses.

Motivating Yourself Through Procrastination
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