If you’re going to do something, do it 100%. If you are going to procrastinate, do it 100% so it becomes a pure activity.
If you a) avoid an unwanted task by procrastinating and b) do something rather pleasant and mildly fulfilling during that time (tidy up, make labels, make another cup of tea) you are double-dipping into the Rewards Jar with both positive and negative reinforcement at play.
ProcrastinationIf procrastination is causing you problems, it might be because you make it so rewarding. Whatever you find rewarding will be repeated. Here’s an escape route for you.
1. If you do find yourself procrastinating, Procrastinate. Sit there and do nothing, like a time out. Make procrastination a pure experience. Do nothing else. The reward pattern in the procrastination can reinforce procrastination, and thus encourage more procrastination.
2. Once you figure out what you do when you procrastinate, like making labels or tidying up, don’t do it. Instead, write it on a My Rewards for Getting Stuff Done chart. When you’ve completed the thing you don’t want to do, you get to do labels or tidy up. WARNING: This part takes discipline. At least if you get the principle, you have a chance at breaking the pattern. Good luck. Don’t let procrastination steal your life, you’re better than that.
See more on how reinforcement works on pp. 70-73 in the Four Elements of Transformation.