Kim, a Wrexham counsellor, explores her own procrastination with a Doctorate deadline approaching.

Please don’t misunderstand me, I love learning new things, I am curious about why things happen one way and not another.  I also enjoy the creative process of writing assignments, searching for the evidence and meeting the challenge of saying what I need to say within the word count.  And so I am surprised that I have now become “stuck”.  I have noticed I have avoided my studies, found other “more important” things to be doing, and I am now feeling anxious about a fast approaching deadline when I haven’t put much down on paper/on computer.

Sometimes procrastination is a sign that we need to slow down, at other times (and this is where I am) procrastination is a sign to speed up.  Author Tony Crabbe (Busy: How to thrive in a world of too much) looks at these two sides of procrastination: the need to slow down and the need to speed up.  For those of us that are being held back by our “I don’t feel like it” mood, Crabbe suggests stopping work and having some fun by playing upbeat music, eating chocolate, doodling and playing with ideas-swap the serious stress for some frivolous fun.  Doing this allows our creativity to unfold, and as moods are transient and pass, this detour may well lead us back to where we want to be invigorated and bubbling with new ideas.

For those of us who need some momentum to get started, perhaps the project feels too big and overwhelming, create the impression that you have already started.  Look at your project for a few minutes and then break it into small parts.  Starting with the smaller parts tick them off from your list.  This will motivate you to keep going and creates a sense of achievement when you see what you have achieved.  So I am off to draw my mind map and am committed to making a start…no matter how small… remembering that small victories lead to bigger ones!

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