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Let’s Talk: Procrastivity (Avoiding Tasks by Doing Other Tasks)

Do you avoid tasks by doing other tasks? When you have a project to create or a document to type up for work, do you find yourself tidying up you desk or organizing the junk drawer?

Mental Health Blog Procrastination

Procrastivity - The act of being productive in something you don't actually need to be doing in order to put off the work that you should be doing. -urban dictionary

So, yes procrastivity is a made up silly word, but procrastinating by doing other tasks is a real thing that you might be struggling with that adds stress to your life.

Procrastivity tasks tend to look like:

  • There is clear progress during the task (doing the dishes)

  • Physical or hands- on tasks (sweeping the floor)

  • Repetitive tasks (hanging up clothes)

Everyone is prone to Procrastivity; however, a few things can increase your likelihood to partake in this behavior:

  • Those with ADHD: physical activity can be preferred to complete more than mental tasks

  • Working from home: more physical chores available to do

  • Burnout from your job

Pay attention to your habits of procrastivity. Is there a certain task, time of day (such as after lunch), or specific day you use procrastivity the most?

5 Tips to Reduce Procrastivity

Set a realistic time frame for each activity

If you find yourself getting up every hour, try to plan your tasks in hour chunks. Aim to find a balance of what your expected workload is and what is going to help you stay on task.

Break tasks into smaller tasks

If you have a project to create, think about how you can break it into not just daily chucks, but hourly chunks if possible. You won’t feel as overwhelmed by the project and you are able to give yourself a positive boost when checking things off your to-do list.

Write tasks down

It is helpful to write tasks down, so you are able to prioritize, organize and check tasks off your list. If you type your list, print it out, so you have a physical list. Try making a weekly list, break it down for daily tasks. Leave room to add on to your list so that you are not sidetracked with random things that come up that are not a priority and distract you. At the end of each day review your list and prioritize for the next day or at the beginning of each day.

Schedule physical tasks in between mental tasks when possible

If you tend to tidy up your desk to avoid tasks, try scheduling a time for tidying up your desk. If you need to walk to the copier throughout the day, try to schedule that after more mental tasks.

Schedule breaks

You need breaks! Schedule time to get up and move your body. If you need a 5-minute break every half hour or 15-minute break every 2 hours, find what works best for you.

It is important to understand your procrastination habits and make adjustments that help you be more productive and reduce stress. Hopefully you are able to make a few tweaks and are able to focus more on priority tasks. However, if these behaviors of procrastivity or procrastination are causing major stress or issues in your life, it might be time to seek a little more help. You could read a book, listen to podcasts or talk to a therapist for more strategies to reduce procrastination, feel more productive and less stressed in your life, just make sure not to do these things to avoid your work and schedule them in after important tasks.

What are a few ways you can be more productive?

Monica McNeeley is a licensed therapist, LCSW, provides online therapy in the state of California. She has been providing therapy services since 2011.

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