While procrastination is a particular problem for people with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), everyone procrastinates from time to time! Here are some common reasons:
- The task is boring. This reason is straightforward – the task is boring and you would rather do something more interesting. You may find yourself doing some fun tasks that are less important.
- The task is long. The longer the task, the more you may avoid it. Some people have a great deal of difficulty with delayed gratification – waiting to get a reward. If you have this type of problem, it is difficult to stick with a long task if you have to wait a long time to get the rewarding feeling of completion.
- The task requires multiple steps. You may feel like it is difficult to get started because the task feels overwhelming. In this situation, you need to break down the task into its component tasks and put them in order. You can use the mantra “if it is difficult to get started, the first step is too large” to help in this situation.
- The task is associated with negative thoughts or feelings. Maybe you are anxious about getting a bad grade on a test so you don’t study for it. Maybe you think you are no good at math so you avoid balancing your checkbook. There are many types of negative feelings and thoughts that can interfere with getting tasks done. Sometimes it takes some closer investigation of your own thoughts and feelings to figure this one out.
- Completion of the task is associated with negative thoughts or feelings. Ironically, sometimes there is trouble finishing the task because you don’t know what to do next! For example, a college student in his final semester may find it difficult to study for finals because s/he is anxious about not having a job lined up after graduation. This one also requires a closer look at your own thoughts and feelings. Sometimes it is surprising!
To learn more, or to schedule an appointment, contact our office today at (919) 636-5240.
Live Mentally Healthy,
Dr. Jennie Byrne