Dr. Tamar Chansky - What are the best ways to manage procrastination?

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If you procrastinate, know that you are not alone. It's a national epidemic, but there are many things that we can do to avoid or manage our tendencies to procrastinate. Think about what is procrastination about. We're putting off something that no surprise, we know we have to take care of, and no surprise again, we probably do know how to take care of, but what we do is avoid it altogether and then we create this 11th hour pressures where we are going to feel anxious because we have kind of backed ourselves into a corner.

What's the alternative? Many different things that you can do. One is to give yourself a chance to just look at what you have to do. Let's say you have a bunch of emails you have to return but you just don't feel like you can deal with it or you have letters you need to open but you just can't do it, or you have a report to start, you feel like I can't, it's the the I can't syndrome.

Give yourself five minutes to look at that project and size it up. When you actually look at what you need to do, what you may find is, it's going to take an hour or you start to get ideas about how you are going to tackle that problem, then you don't want to avoid it anymore, then you're on the track on your way to completion, then you're actually motivated to get in there.

So that's really important is that just do not hide, don't play hide and seek with your work, take a look, time limited and see that it's something that you can do. Another really helpful strategy along the same lines is to set up your launching pad for the work you have to do, let's say you do have and this report that you need to write that you really just want to do it, get all the pieces together that you need to write it and set up the papers and the pens, your laptop whatever it is the files you need set it all up and then walk away.

Walk away for 15 minutes or whatever when you come back everything's set up for you and then you're able to start what procrastination is about is not being able to handle a transition, well when you set up your desk and walk away when you come back you already kind of that transition and it really helps the workflow.