27 Feb PROCRASTINATION AND ITS PARTS
PROCRASTINATION INTERVIEW WITH GEORGE PEGIOS AND AMANDA DOUNIS
Disclaimer: this transcript was mechanically transcribed and the author has done her best to make certain grammatical corrections and ensure that it makes sense. The true version is in the video. What follows below is slightly modified to help the reader make sense of the content. Please respect that spoken language often transcribes with confusion and some doubling up. Regardless, enjoy.
A = Amanda Dounis
G = George Pegios
Well hello and a warm welcome to today’s listeners. Allow me to introduce myself as the host of Today’s episode. My name is Amanda Dounis. I am the founder of the positive thinking clinic located in Wolli Creek Sydney.
Here are the positive thinking clinic, I see clients of all ages. I see individuals couples families and small groups. I conduct psychotherapy and I use a variety of modalities delivered through counselling techniques and hypnotherapy.
I’m a professional counsellor, clinical hypnotherapist, strategic psychotherapist, early childhood teacher, and MLP master practitioner.
To learn more about what I do and what I offer, visit my website on www.positivethinkingclinic.com.au. The easiest way to connect with me on social media is to search my name Amanda Dounis or my clinic name Positive thinking clinic.
You may also access my social media at the bottom of my website. I’m the author of my coping skills handbook aimed at kids aged 8 through to 14 years of age and I’ve also turned this into an online course.
I have a range of podcasts that can be found on Amandadounis.podbean.com
In addition to the Positive Thinking Clinic, I am the owner of four early learning centers. I’m passionate about quality care and emotional wellness of all ages. I believe we set the foundation for emotional wellness from a very young age. My early learning centers are licensed as Positive Living Skills services.
I also have an emotional wellness & kids group on Facebook. One of my greatest hobbies is that I think I’m always involved in a variety of courses no matter how small. I enjoy adding to my skill set as an integrated therapist.
I learn diverse skills and I select the best fit for any situation. If you wonder if I have any other hobbies I’m also into fitness. I’ve run a number of marathons including two ultra marathons. So that’s me in a nutshell.
If you wanted to get in touch you can use the contact form on my website.
I would love to hear from you signing out and moving forward.
You’re listening to Amanda Dounis.
Today we have George Pearce joining us. George Pegios is the founder of help my pain in Double Bay.
His main interest is hypnosis for medical pain. He’s done a diploma in hypnotherapy. He’s a strategic psychotherapist and a Master NLP Practitioner.
If you want to find out more about George Pegios visit www.helpmypain.com.au.
He’s very interested in pain management, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia. He’s also interested in writing and publishing. You can contact George through the website.
You can also be part of his social media finding him through help my pain on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.
George also studied at Sydney University during his dental degree. He has since then done some consultant work, has developed consumer products, and has a variety of other interests.
He loves the outdoors. He loves golf, scuba diving, and has also lived in Bali for two years. He was always interested in hypnosis. First he started with the NLP course and then realized that his lecturer Gordon Young also offered Hypnotherapy and Strategic Psychotherapy.
He found this extremely interesting especially the way that it impacts all aspects of human beings. Since then George has furthered his knowledge doing a variety of other courses.
So let’s see today what expertise George can share with us today.
Okay so we’ve got George Pegios. George: welcome to today’s program.
Thank you very much. The Amazing Amanda for having me back. Thank you.
It’s nice knowing that I’m extremely amazing. So today we’re going to talk about procrastination and I think that’s a really good decision. I think we’ll start with a definition of procrastination just for our listeners.
We can’t always assume that everybody knows what procrastination is and it’s a stage where you are persuading yourself to get something done or there’s something that you would like to do but you’re avoiding it. So instead of doing what’s important all of your meaningful tasks you find that you’re all doing trivial activities or just avoiding the task at hand altogether. And this happens for all ages.
I see it in school kids, the younger children, I see in adults… with work and deadlines. I see it just at home when people want to get things done and they’re just not doing, and then they come into the clinic and they say, or they tick the box and say again I procrastinate. And it does become a problem in one’s world because it stops them from feeling and being efficient.
And it’s really stopping them from exploring themselves to their full potential. When they’re procrastinating about something that means they’re not getting it done and then they’re just not feeling good about themselves. What’s your view on procrastination George?
Well I think that’s very well said. I think it’s very true that we all do it from time to time but I think it’s a very natural thing. A process where we, when approaching a task we think to ourselves we’ve always got some kind of an internal conversation going on all the time anyway. And sometimes well before we leave that and do something, we might stop and check ourselves.
And I think that’s depending on the circumstances, I think that’s a very valid thing to do, that there are a lot of people and obviously we’ve got many clients that we’ve already spoken about that it becomes so debilitating that it’s affecting their lives.
And I agree to those that I think it depends obviously where they’re asking how it is affecting them. But I find that people that come in it concerned about their issues with procrastination usually have some other issue as well. It might be anxiety it may be depression or some other aspect of that as well. So what we call …. I think that’s a very important thing that we say.
Would you agree?
Absolutely. I. Anxiety depression insomnia there’s a whole list of things that can live with procrastination. So whether one causes the other or vice versa. I’m not sure but just the fact that procrastination is there and is a problem and people coming with, I think well I tackle procrastination like separately because they are separate even though they are comorbid and I like to work on a plan.
If someone is procrastinating about something it’s quite clear that that tells me that they don’t have a plan for the task that needs to get done. So when there’s a plan or the overall task is like a generalization it’s an … result. So you’ll find most often that those who procrastinate haven’t broken it down into specific tasks.
And once we do that then the overwhelm seems to disappear because it’s not in their mind they’ve got 20 steps to do until they get to the final task and that’s that’s what they’re avoiding.
All of that overwhelm. Whereas if you break it down into five 10 or 20 tasks; small steps, and then you know that you only have to do one thing right now and that’s it then it lightens the load and it takes away a lot of the overwhelm.
That’s very true. Look I wasn’t into you remind me something that I saw on a documentary a little while ago and it may be a little bit off topic but I don’t think so. I was watching these. It was kind of special forces and soldiers and I don’t know if they were Navy SEALs or whatever they were. And that guy was interviewing the captain or, whoever was in charge of these people and he said what’s the greatest weapon.
And the report was, expecting something like a bazooka or something like that. And the guy said the biggest weapon is Microsoft Office. And the guy was a little… did what he makes is everything they do they’ve got a plan and you know these guys, their lives on the line and everything’s broken down into 10 or 15 steps and they’ve got to do and they’ve got to do a presentation. Everything they do.
And it’s so detailed and obviously we’re told men at the level now that one guy he had a powerPoint any PowerPoint presentation he had the helicopter facing the wrong way and yet they made him redo it, so everything has to be perfectly presented. And when they can do that then they go and do it. So it’s it’s a matter of breaking things down and you might argue that these guys have got their lives on the line.
But sure we do too to some degree as well when we’re doing things and some things are very significant in our lives and sometimes. And like you said we’ve got to put things in perspective and break them down and create a process for how we approach things. And we again we don’t have to be as dramatic as that but it gives a good example of how it should be that we can reframe things and look at things differently Yeah.
It wasn’t so long ago and I have this quite regularly at this time of year. And for our listeners who are going to watch this or listen to these in the future, we’re recording these episodes early September. And the HSC is fast approaching. It’s around this time and bit earlier that I usually get HSC kids, all senior school students who whilst they’ve been practicing procrastination with their usual tasks at school and the assessments in the earlier years it’s only towards the end.
Now it’s crunch time that they are realizing that it’s going to cost them if they continue procrastinating because they need to buckle down and study or buckle down and learn topics. Get their assessments done in preparation for the final assessments of that formal rate you see.
And they come to me and they tell me that they they procrastinate and they it’s a huge problem it causes great stress.
One of the greatest stresses is procrastination so like I say to you we break it all down and one of the things I get them to do is do the worst thing: that was the thing that you really dislike.
Do that straight away because they don’t want to do something. And so they don’t do it but they spend one or two hours worrying about it, fretting about it. Yeah.
And in the end I said to them what did you end up doing with math. And they How long did it take you … or 15 minutes. So you spent one to two hours worrying about it, when all it was, was a 15 minute exercise to do. So when we break down our tasks I get them to do the worst thing first. So at least then I get it over and done with because the worst thing for everybody but especially our teens gives them the worst attitude as well.
So that’s one really good thing. But you can drag that over to adults as well. People are procrastinating so oh I’ve even got people and I know it’s come over like you said with anxiety depression insomnia low tolerance for discomfort. And the list goes on actually.
But let’s say someone says; ah I want to clean my house and I can’t because I’m procrastinating because I don’t want to do you know.. or my task.. and we break down what the tasks are.
And you realize that it’s one particular thing that I just they just don’t want to do. And so that I start the whole project. So we said Well you hate that task. Get that done first. Get it done. So then the rest seems not as bad so it’s bits and pieces ,bits and pieces approach that they do, break it down into tasks because when I think I’ve got to do it all tonight, this overwhelm, while procrastinating about an assessment that’s to do all right.
A work deadline that’s due next week. Well what if you just do 20 minutes a day. How hard is that. You can spend more time worrying about that. So what I’d like to do also is with kids I get them to ask for help because they can reach out to their teachers to get help with study. This is a critical time for them. Good habits. OK we’re going to stay focused on kids hate you see and procrastination.
We have to look at the absolute entire environment, sleep habits, food habits, drink habits, technology habits, attitude. Self talk … It’s distractions are a big thing. Social media these days and there’s so many tools and apps that they can.
There’s things that they can turn off their distractions or the notifications so that nothing comes through. So that while while they say I’m going to study from 6 to 8 pm nothing’s coming through to distract them because you’ll find they can spend three hours and both you and I come from an academic background. So both you and I know the mistakes as well. We can spend three hours trying to get through one paragraph because we’ve got to go to the kitchen or we’ve got to go make a phone call and it takes in an email.
But really it’s it’s a five or ten minute job.
Right. It’s all about time management time management is a real big thing. And you can’t really multitask these days. Not effectively not. No that’s not how it works. You need to be focused on what we really need to do.
And another thing that’s come up lately with a lot of clients as well is the concept of perfectionism where there are a few different definitions about it all of perfectionism itself but one that I know I don’t know what your specific one is is but mine is is that if clients say that if they really don’t think that they can do it properly then they keep avoiding it because that I don’t think that they can do it that well.
And again it goes back to process and about doing things again in the aim that they’ll just keep getting better at it. You mean you’re not good the first time you ever try anything. But then with time you do do and you’re learning and studying and practicing even doing maths formulas or writing things for English. And again we need to drum in that it is a process that they expected to be perfect.
From what, from the word go, all that perfectionism I think that’s … by itself. I think that’s really detrimental. I’ve noticed the trend from the young to the … just the prep school kids to the high school kids and into adults. Perfectionism is a great cause of depression and anxiety and everything else that surrounds that … and I want to break that down immediately.
A lot of fears come from, and a lot of avoidance behaviors come from this perfectionism fear of not being perfect. I have adults suffering, I have kids suffering, the kids, some of the kids that I see, I’ve heard them say, I didn’t go to the swimming carnival because I knew I wasn’t going to come first.
Or well I did not go to my my running event because I knew I wasn’t going to come first, they wanted to be perfect because coming second or third or even behind that or even just attending is not good enough for them. So they’re growing up with this perfectionism and it’s I think that’s causing a lot of harm.
To set it down straight away. It’s very sad because I mean I don’t want to take … would you say that’s very sad listening to it because the idea of a carnival is that it should be fun. But should show coming, first of all that’s very important but underlying everything is I mean the name says it all is supposed to be fun. It’s so say I am I am.
I’ll use myself as an example.
Quite often when we need a teachable moment and I’m, I’ve done lots of courses, I’ve got three degrees and a number of diplomas and have I done any of them perfectly. No way. There hasn’t been one assessment. Maybe when I was in high school maybe I did a few 100 percent maths. That’s from practice but everything else that I’ve done… Nothing’s been perfect but it’s all been good enough.
And so when will you accept that you let go of perfectionism because it’s not going to take you that much further unless there’s an absolute need. Okay. Except people are thinking they have to be perfect at everything even looking at people’s homes and this is causing great distress. The dishwasher has to be perfectly done or the cupboards or clothing cupboards or the garages.
That’s okay to be neat but we need some flexibility. If the lack of perfectionism is going to cause distress that’s not healthy. And so let’s if we tie that up with procrastination, because that’s our original topic that they do relate to one another.
Some reasons why people procrastinate fear of failure. Fear of success.
Yes. Yes. Fear of losing control fear of being separated. Fear of attachments. There’s all these fears this fear of unknown lack of motivation they can’t tolerate. They can’t form good habits so I guess it’s a way of teaching people to plan because if they’re busy procrastinating then the they’re not busy planning.
So this the tool we see. Like you said earlier on. What is it that our clients or individuals need to learn. If they are procrastinating they need to, we need to work out a system that’s going to work for them.
I think that a lot of people did procrastinate as well because ultimately they want to. Depending on where they are and obviously what’s happening is well within their lives as well. But ultimately by procrastinating they have the illusion that it’s going to keep them safe. I want to keep them so safe whether it’s been not not being able to do it properly. Well let’s to say this though they’ll be ridiculed.
So for whatever different reason it’s about keeping safe and keeping within their boundaries that they’ve created for themselves. And you know life. Life you need to be like the old saying is is about sailing, but it looks nice in the harbour. But that’s not what it was meant to do, it was meant to sail the high seas. A boat was meant to explore and see new lands and that’s where we are with people. As people we need to grow.
We need to experience things. And sure there are going to be some rough times. But on the whole, there are nice times, that we need to do that. We use to learn more and live life to the fullest as well. And yes you know you can be ridiculed like a big storm. So if you if you’ve done your best that you can. So what does it really matter. And that’s what we need to understand.
Yeah. Your best is good enough.
You don’t have to be the best. And so it becomes important when we have individuals coming into our clinics that we get to identify with their beliefs their belief system and what they sensitivities are. And this can help us plan our sessions. For example are they missing the first step. What, what is it that they need. What do they not know. Do they not know how to get started. Perhaps.
What are they hesitating about. We have to, have allow our clients to explore these. The opportunity to explore it in a safe way because for them to be in our clinic space it’s obviously caused a problem in their daily lives. And so whilst we may think that what’s easy for us it may not be so easy for them so we provide them a safe place to for self discovery self awareness.
We look at their their boundaries and a conflict management. What are they like. And what do they need to improve on. What do they ruminate. Did they have a busy mind. Do we need to work on that as well. So we need to look at what things are keeping them procrastinating or keeping them from breaking that pattern. They have thoughts people who procrastinate. What are they thinking.
And what are their thoughts doing to them. What are they thoughts suggesting. How are they stopping themselves from getting movement towards the very first task. So processes… what’s missing. Hypnotherapy helps them with self discovery process. Sure we use counselling techniques as well but hypnotherapy is a situation where they can have the opportunity to go inside using their own resources for states because they’re procrastinating on one task.
We asked them in the pre talk obviously was there a time that you did a task efficiently and you did not use procrastination at all. It was not part of your your formula or your agenda and quite often the answer is yes I can do this and I’ve done that. So we know that they do have a process. They do have knowledge of making the first step and so how do we get them to transfer this to that gap.
With the other outcome it is so struggling with with procrastination absolutely so taking on from what you’ve said we all we all do have resources we all know we were all born in our know lives develop ways of doing things but there are circumstances came along where we may have been pushed aside or something and depending on where we’re at we start developing some kind of shelter trying to keep us away from some kind of thing.
So by using hypnosis we’re chipping away at those barriers we’re removing the chit chat that occurs in our mouth mind in the back of their mind that self-doubt that comes through and obviously we’re not talking about sitting total extroverts or anything like that that being what’s natural for you but being the best you that you can be. I think that’s that’s what you want to aim for for everyone.
And to be fair sometimes there’s environmental triggers so they may what they are procrastinating about now may they may not have procrastinated about that five years earlier or share this same situation occurred in five years time. They may find that they’re not procrastinating then as well. So we look at their environment right now and sometimes the environment needs to change.
Sometimes it’s workplace culture sometimes it’s their peer group or their social group sometimes there’s an illness or a disability sometimes it’s their age and stage of life sometimes it’s just there’s financial pressures and so some of these contribute to why a person is procrastinating right
now and do we then deal with those issues or does that give the client permission to then say, now I understand why I’m procrastinating.
How about I still acknowledge that I have these issues which may or may not go away but I can also eliminate my procrastination because I understand where it’s come from and when we understand something we have knowledge and knowledge is power and that helps us move into a space of being proactive and then making decisions and then we make that plan because quite often they don’t realize that it’s the environmental triggers that’s making them like that feeling depressed or anxious they don’t know that.
So that’s why I’m procrastinating on worrying about what the outcome might be. So I guess it’s a it’s really truly a place of self discovery, self acceptance. Finding the resource state and helping clients make a plan. And that first step in a plan right through to the end as well till they achieve what did he set them off to when you’re talking about environmental factors as well.
That’s a very important points and environmental factors also include like you said relationships at work and home and all kind of stuff and it doesn’t … by dealing with them doesn’t actually mean that you need to escape from them but just to deal with them more effectively and to be aware of what your role is in all that and to start making changes to yourself and taking control of each situation.
And that doesn’t mean being controlling but being in control of how you are and you’d be surprised how this works out people and this is what happens is that they’re surprised at how they’re able to change and turn things around in their favor because you can’t control other people but you do influence other people by the way that you are.
And that can make a big difference and you feel so much better when you know that you do have control especially related to what we our topic is procrastination you don’t control how that how that will ultimately outcome and how it will be successful for you.
And developing strategies when someone knows that they are procrastinating about something they know they have to develop strategies. And to develop strategies, a person needs energy and commitment they need to find out the strategies that will work for them. Even even to reward oneself is a strategy to know that … can’t get to the end.
But I’m going to do step by step and maybe they can say at step three of reward myself by doing this. So at least I’ve got something to look forward to. And they’re not looking for the reward right at the end. So there’s little rewards along the way. Being persistent being patient. These are the strategies so. Quite often the person who’s procrastinating they’re not persisting.
And that’s why they’re not moving they’re not patient and that’s what they say and the more they later see them the more they get into this mindset that they can’t do anything about it. Iit just becomes more and more overwhelming in nature. And that’s all I want to realize this is just chip away. You always get them saying that every journey that this Chinese saying that every journey of a thousand miles or something starts with a single step before you know it you well on your way.
That’s true. Just look at the person who wants to lose 20 kilos when you look ahead and single one of those 20 kilos you’re going to start losing half a kilo first then you’re going to have lost one kilo. So you’re going to have to make a lot of steps to get to that 20 kilo loss, you have to be persistent. You have to be patient. You have to have a plan.
And you have to look at your environmental triggers because people want to go on their diet or make changes to their lifestyle so that they can get that end result which is I want to lose 20 kilos but the procrastinating because I don’t know that I haven’t made a process that that’s procrastination as well. Everyone wants to go on a diet. They can want to go on it for 20 years until the day that they actually make the decision and go on the diet or change the way they eat or the exercise that they do.
So goals are extremely important. Someone who procrastinates is very good at ignoring what they need to do. Visual reminders. People use settings on their phone for an alarm to remind them hey you’ve got to do this and you’ve got to do that. Procrastination is not laziness it’s laziness, and procrastination is something totally different.
Procrastination doesn’t mean you, if you’re tired, or being tried, doesn’t mean you’re procrastinating.
You see procrastination is something totally different. But to develop strategies you need to say okay this is how overcome it. And yes you have to talk yourself into doing things because you know you’re avoiding it by avoiding it you’re obviously saying something else like I’m not going to do that I’m not going to look that one would do this instead or do this instead I’ll do that later. That’s the talk that someone’s having with themselves when they’re avoiding or procrastinating.
So we teach our clients to self monitor themselves and to have reminders and to forced their way into doing something that you have to break through is procrastination has a beautiful set of boundaries around it that stops you from getting something done so time time management and planning like you said like you said last week when I spoke about losing weight the biggest loser and how you know with the best equipment the best trainers and all that kind of stuff they lose weight.
But then when the show’s over they start putting it back on. And as you said rightly so change first has to happen from the inside out. You want us and you’ve got to develop in your own mind the way of doing it. And that’s the only way really that’s sustainable to effect change that and it’s in every area of your life you don’t expect other people to do it. We don’t expect you to leave.
You’ve got to you’ve got to do it yourself cause you are because you are basically in control and you know what. These days with Youtube or whatever you want look it’s people that have done everything. So if you think that your situation is worse than anyone else’s with a from background or with a from you know your circumstances you know what you’ll always be proven wrong because there’s always someone who’s had it worse than you use its head of harder than you that’s had no muss significantly worse situation to begin with.
And yes that’s what they wanted to do it was lose weight make money develop something get a degree or whatever it is. There are countless examples of people that have done it because I just really want to try those. Thank God they’re no longer go luck. He said that it’s internal. You’ve gotta really want to do it. Procrastination is yours. You own it.
It’s no one else’s procrastination from procrastinating about something you’re not doing it for me. You’re not procrastinating we can’t blame anybody else. We have to be responsible. And so it’s ours. So we have to take care of it. We are responsible for absolutely every decision and outcome to get it done. Yeah yeah yeah. And and as I just said before there’s no reason why you can’t.
You could you can if you can do anything that you put your mind to. You just need a plan. And yeah. And then to time have no system to round it all off. I read somewhere that back in. It could be the Melbourne Olympics in 1956.
If I’m not wrong the Russian team a team for the first time twelve hypnotherapist to deal with the team and that year the Russians got the highest tally in the medals. So basically they saw a long time ago that with the right hypnotherapy gave the right mind set that they went they won gold and then beat everyone else said you can’t sue anyone can they can they can get a gold medal whatever they want.
Once they put their mind to it and with a little help from a therapist like us that’s right. Thank you George you’ve been quite informative with all your examples from all the research that you’ve plucked out to bring into our session today. I’m very grateful. One last message for all of our listeners is that procrastination requires a plan.
It’s a process it’s easy to tackle once you sit down. Sometimes you need the help of an expert therapist. You sit down and you look at your external factors or environmental triggers. We look at what else is living with procrastination. Also we look at what your beliefs and your sensitivities are.
We look at your discrimination skills and if there’s any other elements such as whether you jump to conclusions or if you’re suffering from perfectionism or if you’re experiencing catastrophes in your mind. So we explore a whole bunch of things that can hopefully make your life a little bit smoother and easier and get you moving.
Finishing your tasks, moving towards your end goals as fast and as efficiently as you possibly can so that you can put an end to this procrastination once and for all
George Pegios from help my pain. Thank you very much for being with us today.
Thank you very much. Amazing Amanda. Thank you for the opportunity. Very well said. All right then.
So I’ll see you next time. Thank you.
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