How to Fight Your Procrastination Anxiety (and Win!)

hello brains remember that bonus interactive video on procrastination I promise you yeah sorry about that I look quite a few of you have playfully poked at me asking me when I'll finish it no one seems very surprised that I have it which isn't surprising those of us with ADHD tend to be chronic procrastinators why is that for one thing we have a hard time getting stuff done wait that's not quite true we have a harder time getting stuff we mean to get done done when we need to do it part of that is due to trouble with our brains executive function system our executive function system is what helps us set goals and then actually accomplish them and our executive function system is impacted by our 8-hd which is a lot of why it can be a challenge for us to know how or when to start on something stay focused while we're doing it and then actually finish it this can lead to us being overwhelmed by a task and anxious about the outcome before we even get started that anxiety makes us more likely to procrastinate because we want to avoid that discomfort we look at the task nope don't want to deal with that and do our best to pretend it doesn't exist the problem with that is procrastination generates anxiety which makes us even more likely to procrastinate which makes us even more anxious which makes us even more likely to procrastinate makes us even more anxious which makes us even more likely to procrastinate until like me you are terrified of listening to your voicemail so how do we break the cycle recognize that it's not the task itself that's causing me anxiety most of the time doing stuff actually feels kind of good what causes the anxiety is having to do it it's not knowing how to get started not knowing how it'll turn out or not having started on it yet having absolutely no idea how it's ever going to get done remember that avoiding the task because we're anxious only increases the Faerie anxiety you're trying to avoid as dr. Halliwell puts it in his book driven to distraction avoiding it doesn't make it go away getting it done does but how do we get it done when we're too anxious to even get started here are the steps to beat procrastination as applied to anxiety 1 decide what you need to do that's a critical step to break it down into steps you know you've broken it down well enough when you look at every step and think yeah I could do that sometimes this is enough to reduce the anxiety about getting started three take the next step this can be easier said than done it helps to get specific and create cues for yourself if I wake up at six I'll take a shower at 7:00 or when gang Thrones is over I will outline my essay for ten minutes or if anxiety is still getting in the way ask yourself am i anxious because I'm bored am i afraid it won't be good enough am i afraid something bad will happen am i stressed about something else I correct the issue are you stressed take a walk take a few breaths meditate future tripping remember you don't have to tackle your whole life all at once and just try focusing on the step you're working on now board try finding something about the task that does interest you or play music while you work and finally challenge your negative thoughts we tend to believe everything we think without seeing if it's actually true instead of thinking I'm never gonna pass this class high thing huh I'm having the thought that I'm never going to pass this class I wonder why see the difference six get to work even if you're still feeling a little anxious remember that just getting started can be an effective way of reducing your anxiety some tips start small work for just five minutes give yourself full permission to stop after that if you don't feel like continuing most of the time you'll probably keep going start badly if you're staring at a blank screen try typing a few random letters or the worst four sentence you can think of when you don't have to be perfect it's a lot easier to get started and once you get started it's a lot easier to keep going find the right time pay attention to when you work best and try to do your most procrastination eat ask then for me it's usually a couple hours after my meds kick in find the right place ADHD years tend to work well in unusual environments so try a few out and see what works best for you Kate silence try cafe love silence try some headphones or a quiet study spot I do most of my writing in a Chinese restaurant or laying on the floor not at the same time and reward yourself for starting if you get anxious every time a task comes up your brain has probably flagged it as stressful by associating something positive with it you can start to change your reaction one last note sometimes rather than paralyzing us the anxiety we get from procrastination motivates us we get used to feeling an incredible amount of anxiety and that being our cue to get started stress take the definite toll on us but we often think that's the price we have to pay to get anything done if you're a last minute adrenaline junkie quitting cold turkey might be a challenge if your brain is used to using anxiety to get stuff done it can be hard to focus without it in which case the best solution might not be to get started now but every time you have a project to do get started just a little bit earlier and a little earlier and a little earlier until you're starting on time and can actually sleep the night before it's due that's it for this week hope some of this helps I've posted links to more info on getting started and dealing with anxiety in the description below I'll be using these techniques to work on the interactive bonus video I owe you so stay tuned and if you haven't already subscribe so you don't miss it I mean


  1. For 5 years i procrastinated with something untill the other day i popped and started thinking self harm but instead of self harming i reached out.

  2. I mostly stress out because I feel I am not good enough to do the task I am supposed to do, and most of the times I screw it up 🙁

  3. Wait does any other ADHD brain focus better on the floor? Is this a thing?? I thought I was weird. I even have a coffee table I study at.

  4. GOD! I’m 43 years old and I swear this channel is my ENTIRE FRIKIN LIFE! It feels good to be VALIDATED!

  5. I procrastinate when i'm drawn into something emotionally… like hyperfocus into it! it can go on for days, weeks.. i'm only forced to do things when i badly needed to do it. the worst part for me really is the emotional dysregulation…i don't know how to handle my emotions well. i am also very forgetful and that is why im here on this videos most of the time for tips

  6. Having adhd I really appreciate all the video cuts and short clips. It keeps me interested lol.

  7. I hate when my husband procrastinate on emptying the dishwasher. But I procrastinated 5 years before opening my mail or cleaning up my house – my kids used to come over and clean up.
    I was not a procrastinator before.
    You were spot on when you said it causes anxiety. I was afraid of starting to do all that, so my kids helped out and cut the tasks in pieces. I have now 2 full rooms I can keep super clean by myself. I'm still decluttering the rest but I'm getting there.
    It's a catch 22. Procrastinate and get anxiety. You get anxiety because you procrastinate. I think I was afraid I wasn't up to the task. But I proved myself wrong. And wow, does it feel good. Nicole

  8. I forgot what you were talking about but your editor deserves an award. I know he's using fairly standard editing techniques and style for youtube, but he's REALLY good at it, and it's highly appropriate style for your subject matter! Give him a big hug for me and congratulations.

  9. I am watching the video while thinking how cool her teeth look, and here I am writing this before finishing the video. In conclusion, I didn't listen or forgot what was the video about. Thus, I suppose I have to watch it again.

  10. The ADHD is so bad I procrastinate because I don’t know how to make deciding or stop going in circles. When I write a paper, outlines don’t help because I get confused even within the confines of the outline and get off task in a single paragraph. When I research I don’t know when enough is enough. So, tips for ADHD rarely if never work because the underlying issues from it are in total disarray. I procrastinate because things don’t work. Getting started early is essentially more time to spin in circles and more time to spend in confusion. I don’t ever hear anyone discuss this.

  11. How do I tell the difference between anxiety and adhd? I can see that adhd can cause anxiety but they seem to be a bit similar.

  12. My number one reason for not wanting to start something is the always lingering question. “Am I just waiting my time?”… since I don’t have a lot of energy in a day (due to health issues), the time I do have is VERY valuable to me. If I start something big, there’s a very good chance it won’t get done, and I either need to become hyper focused shutting everyone else out until it’s done, or else things get worse. I can do smaller projects, but then it feels like if I am only doing this to fill up my time, I’d rather do something I enjoy…ugh😣

  13. I don’t have ADD or ADHD but this is very relevant to me. Videos like this make me wonder if I actually have ADD but really I know it’s just that I get overwhelmed very easily and the stress drives me to avoid it until there’s a breaking point that drives me to do something before the deadline (which is usually very soon).

    …speaking of which, it’s time for me to get off YouTube.

  14. This is honestly so helpful. I immediately grabbed a note pad and copied these steps. It felt like most of the ADHD advice for procrastination was "just start" which was???? super unhelpful. These steps really broke down whats stopping you and targets those problems- so thank you.

  15. Oh my God that voicemail comment. Oh jesus. There is NOTHING worse than that bloody unread messages counter.

  16. Really like the "start badly" tip – so true, but I forget to do it. Huge perfectionist, and currently in a two-week hole of this and assignments are coming due! Thanks for the reminder and tips! This channel is everything!!! Just found it today, thankfully!

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