1 Mar 2019

A couple of weeks ago, games as a form of procrastination were mentioned in blog comments.

This coincided with me attending a talk by Barbara Oakley, who talks about the causes of procrastination and methods of dealing with it. I wonder whether those of us suffering with mental health conditions are more prone to procrastinate, letting negative emotions get in the way of achieving our goals.

Why do we procrastinate? When we have a difficult task to do, even one for our own benefit, such as reading a thought-provoking book or practising a musical instrument, our brain hurts! It sends messages saying "This will be tough" and we literally experience brain pain. Not that you'd notice it, but internally those chemical reactions are happening.

That devil perches on our shoulder saying "Do something easy instead", such as eat cake, or watch telly. We succumb and get an immediate hit of happiness. But it is only temporary happiness, till we realise the task has not been done, so we also get a hit of guilt.

So the biggie is "How To Deal With Procrastination"?

Have you tried the Pomodoro technique? Do you remember those tomato-shaped kitchen timers from the 1970's? Pomodoro is Italian for tomato.

1 Turn off all distractions: your phone, email, apps that send notifications.

2 Set your timer, be it tomato-shaped, or on your phone (in airplane mode)

for 25 minutes.

3 Focus on your task for 25 minutes.

4. When the timer beeps, give yourself a treat – a cup of tea, listen to a favourite song, five minutes enjoying sunshine. This treat is a critical part of the process.

Then set the timer going again, and repeat the process, if you can.

At the very least, you will have made a start on your task, and had a treat. This makes your brain happy which starts the process of forming a good habit.

Here is a youtube link of Barbara Oakley at Google:

To cut to the chase on procrastination, go to 17:30 – 22:30

Do you have any tricks for beating the procrastination devil?


A Moodscope member

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Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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