by Kathie England

Overcoming Procrastination

Did you know that one of the most effective ways to overcome procrastination is to create a “behavioral script” according to J. Russell Ramsay, PhD?

Dr. Ramsay is the author of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adult ADHD and I recently heard him present a teleclass titled the “Adult ADHD Toolkit.” Although Ramsay is an expert in the field of adult ADHD, his strategies apply to anyone who gets stuck.

Ramsay describes the behavioral script as a “coping script” that helps whenever you find yourself stuck. He recommends writing down the steps you need to take when you become aware that you are procrastinating.

The steps need to be small and specific so you know exactly what to do. The steps need to be realistic so you can gradually ease into whatever is causing you to be stuck. Keep this script where you can easily view it. It is your emergency kit!

Overcoming procrastination requires constant effort! It’s not about “being in the mood.” If you wait until you are in the mood, you’re likely to stay stuck!

Learn to tolerate discomfort! Reframe your discomfort by challenging your assumptions about what you can’t do. Reframe your expectations. The steps in your behavioral script make it easier for you to engage. They help you ease back into the task you’ve been avoiding.

Engage in doing rather than thinking. Thinking when you’re stuck will tend to magnify your negative perspective about getting started. And that will make it even harder to get engaged. You may let the ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) described by Daniel Amen, MD, take over your thinking.

Are you ready to create your own behavioral script?

What’s holding you back?