Life Coaching: A Cognitive-Behavioural Approach

By Michael Neenan; Windy Dryden | Go to book overview

Chapter 3

Overcoming procrastination

INTRODUCTION

A common dictionary definition of procrastination is ‘to defer action’, i.e. to decide deliberately to do something later on (e.g. ‘I have deferred my decision until next Wednesday’). This is an example of planned delay in order to consider all the available evidence before making the decision. However, when individuals have problems with procrastination it usually refers to them acting in a dilatory manner and thus laying something aside until a future unspecified time (e.g. ‘I will do it eventually’); or, if a future time has been specified, no action occurs when the time arrives (e.g. ‘I was going to start the essay today but a friend popped round and one thing led to another’). To put the problem of procrastination simply: you keep putting off doing what your better judgement tells you should be done now (incidentally, procrastinate is often confused with prevaricate which means ‘to act or speak evasively or misleadingly’). Sometimes procrastination is accompanied by self-condemnation (e.g. ‘I want to knuckle down but I’m so bloody useless at doing it’).


WHAT HOLDS YOU BACK?

You know what needs to be done yet you cannot get on with it. What blocks you from engaging in productive action? Hauck suggests that poor self-discipline is an unsurprising human trait as ‘avoiding a difficult situation seems like the most natural course to take because we are so easily seduced by immediate satisfactions’ (1982b:18). Glucksman believes that ‘family styles have a lot to do

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Life Coaching: A Cognitive-Behavioural Approach
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgement vii
  • Preface ix
  • Chapter 1 - Dealing with Troublesome Emotions 1
  • Chapter 2 - Problem-Creating Vs Problem-Solving 26
  • Chapter 3 - Overcoming Procrastination 41
  • Chapter 4 - Time Management 56
  • Chapter 5 - Persistence 71
  • Chapter 6 - Dealing with Criticism 86
  • Chapter 7 - Assertiveness 103
  • Chapter 8 - Taking Risks and Making Decisions 119
  • Chapter 9 - Understanding the Personal Change Process 137
  • Chapter 10 - Putting It All Together 159
  • References 169
  • Index 177
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