Kathy Cap is a Limited Licensed Professional Counselor (LLPC) in private practice at Trinity Family Counseling Center. She is a graduate of Oakland University with a Masters in Counseling and joins Trinity after a number of years in a solo practice. Kathy enjoys working with couples, and adults of all ages, including those older adults facing an array of life transitions related to health changes, loss, and caregiving.
We all have that little voice in our head telling us what we should or shouldn’t be doing in our lives.
You know you’ve heard it before. “I should work out more,” “I should clean out the fridge,” “I should reach out to an old friend,” or the all-encompassing, “I should be more productive in my life.” This little—or sometimes big—inner voice can wreak havoc with our self-esteem. It not only makes us feel bad about ourselves, but it also makes us so anxious that we get absolutely nothing done. We become overwhelmed with such a long list of shoulds that we freeze up and accomplish nothing.
Instead of crawling under the covers and continuing to procrastinate while also telling yourself that you’re lazy, try looking at the situation from a different point of view. For some, procrastination stems from low self-esteem and lack of confidence which leads to a fear of failure. Procrastinators tend to only look at the big picture which can seem like a tall mountain to climb. Instead, begin with breaking the tasks down into smaller ones and create a list of what you would like to accomplish within the day or week. Begin with the easier tasks and take a break in between so you don’t burn out. To combat that negative voice, recognize what you have done, and give yourself a pat on the back for the tasks that you do accomplish.
Next, put it on the calendar. If you schedule time for the tasks you would like to accomplish, you’re more likely to get them done. You don’t have to finish everything in one day; it’s not a race. It’s also important to remember that some days you’ll do better than others and that’s okay. You’re not perfect, you’re human! When you find yourself beginning to once again procrastinate, don’t engage in negative self-talk; cut yourself some slack. Remember tomorrow is a new day with the opportunity to begin again.