Ep 17 – When Procrastination Is Really Anxiety

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Ep 17 – When Procrastination Is Really Anxiety

I’ve been pretty open I think about my personal focus on self-development and growth this year. I’m trying to grow my business while working to some personal struggles that just seem to keep creeping up, and that includes procrastination, getting myself more organized and optimized, and dealing with a lot of negative self-talk. I recently published an article about how personal affirmations have helped me work on the negative self-talk that I have been experiencing. My little voice likes to tell me that I’m a horrible person and I am a failure. What I didn’t really think about is how this negative self-talk and procrastination I have experienced is really something more.

That something more according to Robin Yeganeh, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley and director of the Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Mindfulness Center in San Ramon, CA is that the negative self-talk and procrastination is really anxiety.

He goes on to say,

It’s a vicious cycle, he says. People anxious about a significant goal will often engage in unproductive behaviors (email, social media, trivial errands—anything other than getting down to business) to avoid that discomfort, only to feel more distressed as time passes and no progress on the goal has been made.

The article featured in this Workology Go podcast episode is from QZ and is titled, “How to tell when procrastination is actually anxiety.

This article really opened my eyes and gave me some realizations about myself. I’m a work in progress and these avoidance behaviors that I like to do are anxiety. I also know that people avoid things they also don’t like. For example, I don’t like going to the gym so I try and maybe you do too to make every excuse in the book.

The article says that we are choosing a bad habit of not going over the gym instead of the good habit of going to the gym. I never thought about gym as a habit or not choosing to go to the gym as a habit too, but it is. The article suggests breaking a large goal and habits into smaller more meaningful steps allowing you to scale your expectations back.

Right now I’m also reading Mel Robbins book, “5 Second Rule.” It’s fantastic and I think her 5-second rule is an easy way to get over anxiety as well as those things you don’t like to do and get activated. It’s a great way to scale your expectations back and break things down into small decisions.

When faced with a choice, you simply count down from 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and blast off. You make your choice and do that thing you say you are and were going to do. Like this morning, it’s a weekend, and I knew when I was laying in bed that I was working on this podcast. I didn’t want to get up. Right now, it’s the weekend so I counted down 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, and got up. Here I am working on my podcast and enjoying a morning cup of coffee and this podcast which was on my to-do list but is now complete is done and it feels great.

I say easy because it really is. I am using Mel’s 5 Second Rule to face my to do list head on and cross those things I’ve been avoiding and definitely need to do off my list. I’ll link to Mel’s book, the 5 Second Rule in the transcript of this podcast. I am listening to her audio book while I’m at the gym and in the car. Personally, I love listening to her voice and hearing the passion she has for this subject.

Thanks for getting real with me on this episode of the Workology Go Podcast. This year for me is all about getting real and focuses on me in terms of my own personal development and addressing some quirks and personal challenges like anxiety, procrastination, and negative self-talk. I hope that it inspires you to do the same.

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Featured Story

How to Tell when Procrastinating is Actually Anxiety

More Great Resource

Finding Inspiration: 19 Affirmations for HR and Workplace Leaders

Ep 9 – How Negativity Creates Stress & Impacts the Workplace

6 Tips for Overcoming Anxiety-Related Procrastination

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.


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