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  • Writer's pictureMental Gear Closet

Procrastination? Say it out loud (and why this helps)

Updated: Jan 22

Even as a therapist, I am no stranger to anxiety-based procrastination.  There are just certain tasks that, while easy or benign, trigger that “Eeeeeeeh, I’ll just do that later” response.  As I’m always on the hunt for practical strategies to work through the common human challenges we all face, here is one that I experienced this morning.

There is a particular to-do list item that I’ve been putting off for two months even though it would take me 30-45 minutes and be easy to do.  Sound familiar?  This morning I noted the familiar “I have the time and bandwidth to do that right now!  But instead maybe I’ll just …” thought pattern.  But then I did something different.  I said out loud “Nope!  Right now I’m going to …”  And it worked.

When I spoke my action out loud, I felt an actual shift or sensation.  It was as if my body said, “Ok gals, she gave the order for real this time so let’s go!”  We’ve often heard advice such as: 

  • You have to speak it into existence.

  • Manifest your dreams.

  • Thoughts are only wishes until spoken out loud with a plan.

But maybe there really is some tangible truth to these.  How?

  1. Psychoneuromuscular Theory:  Aka, the brain doesn’t really know the difference between a thought and reality, and so thoughts can trigger tangible preparation for action (muscle activation).

  2. If you’ve chosen to speak your intention for action out loud, there’s a greater chance you’ve done these other helpful steps too: Noticed your avoidance, Paused, Talked back to it and changed course.

If you need help implementing this or other tools to work through anxiety, procrastination or change, reach out here or to a local therapist in your state.


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