advice only increases the pressure and unpleasant feelings about the
task to be done. This kind of procrastinator has to reduce the
unpleasantness of the task and then he/she will get it done.
Specifically, Fiore recommends that
The procrastinator should reduce his/her fear of failing by (a)
seeing that his/her worth is not totally determined by an
assignment at work or by a term paper grade, (b) having
alternate plans B and C for succeeding, in case plan A doesn't
work, and (c) using self-talk, such as "If I fail, it won't be
awful; I can handle it." See Roberts (1989).
The procrastinator should keep a record of his/her avoidance of
important tasks: What excuses were used? What thoughts and
feelings did he/she have? What was done instead of the work?
What was the outcome (including thoughts and feelings)? See
the five types of anxious procrastinators described above to
The procrastinator can change procrastinating ways of thinking
to productive ways:
I must...(or) have to...(OR
something awful will happen)
I'd like to...(or) choose to...
I've gotta finish...
When can I get started on...
Oh, God, this assignment is
Where is the best place to start?
must do well (fantastic, perfect).
I'll do okay; I'll give it time.
I have no time to play.
It is important to play one hour.
I see life and work as a grind.
Life and work can be fun.
I can't succeed.
I have a better chance of
succeeding if I...
By changing these thoughts and habits, you are reducing
the dread of work and taking responsibility for directing your
life. You are saying "I can enjoy hard, responsible work. It is
part of a good life."
For the over-achiever, the workaholic, the ambitious
perfectionist, avoid the tendency to live entirely in the future --
"it will be wonderful when I am a doctor... a millionaire... on
the honor roll... in the big leagues..." They aren't living in the
now; they are working or feeling guilty because they aren't
working. Such people can learn to love each day if they have a
mission in life (see chapter 3). What a lucky person who can
say "I love my work." Part of this process for most people