How to Stop Procrastinating:
CBT for Procrastination
Most people procrastinate from time to time. However, some people procrastinate excessively, causing undue anxiety, reduced motivation and even depression. Procrastination can be especially problematic when putting off important tasks, such as paying the bills, or applying for jobs. There are a number of causes of excessive procrastination. For example, some people have skills deficits in planning. They have never learned to plan and complete complex tasks, resulting in feeling overwhelmed by large projects. When we are overwhelmed by something, we usually do everything we can do avoid it. The more we avoid a task, the more anxiety we feel about it, causing even more feelings of being overwhelmed, and thus more procrastination. There are often other factors causing us to procrastinate, such as anxiety, self-esteem, attention problems, as well as other skills deficits.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) for Procrastination is a brief and highly effective treatment for eliminating procrastination and getting on track to achieve one's goals. CBT is a new form of therapy that is clinically-proven, and backed by hundreds of scientific studies. Unlike traditional talk therapy, Cognitive behavioral therapy is present-focused, and involves teaching clients new skills they can use to solve their problems. CBT treatment for procrastination is always tailored to the individual's needs, but typically includes some combination of the following interventions:
- Functional analysis
- Mindfulness Training to target ineffective urges
- Activity scheduling
- Self-reinforcement strategies
- Behavioral shaping strategies
- Cognitive restructuring
Click for more information about What CBT is and How it Works
Learn about how CBT can help eliminate procrastination in this edition of the Harvard Mental Health Letter.