Overcoming Avoidance of Unpleasant Tasks



Overcoming Avoidance of Unpleasant Tasks
Tackling problematic tasks
Overcoming resistance
All of us have things to do that we would
rather not.
 Packing your lunch?
 Cleaning the cat litter box?
 Homework, reading, and writing for school?
But they have to get done or trouble ensues.
So how do we work on those tasks we’re
Here are 4 tips that might help.
1. Figure out what is the problem.
Sometimes we avoid something because it’s in fact impossible.
 We don’t have the directions.
 We don’t have the pieces.
 We don’t know how to start.
 It’s physically impossible.
 We’re exhausted.
 We have too many distractions.
 ETC.
If you can figure out what you need to get
started, then you can get started!
2. Figure out what is the NEXT STEP.
Most big projects come in steps or chunks.
First you do this, then you do that, and so on.
You can often get a much better result if you tackle each step one at a time
and have a bit of a breather between each rather than pulling an all-nighter.
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
You don’t climb a mountain all at once. Start with
the first step. Then take the next one– and so on.
Break big, daunting tasks into doable small bits.
Estimated Time Needed
1. Reread prompt.
5 min.
2. Brainstorm ideas onto paper.
15 min.
3. Look back through the book and find quotations.
45 min.
4. Organize thoughts into paragraphs.
20 min.
5. Draft intro, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
30 min. ea.
6. Read what I have. Make edits and/or revise as needed. 45 min.
7. Allow extra time in case any of these steps take longer than
You can make a big project doable by breaking
it up into its component steps.
Plus, every time you complete a step, you get a boost of pride.
3. Make an appointment to do the task you’re
Set a date and time.
Write it in your planner.
Decline all distractions.
Keep that appointment as you would a doctor’s
That way you know it will get done.
4. Make the task as pleasant as possible.
For schoolwork you might provide:
 a comfortable chair and desk.
 Good lighting.
 A glass of water.
 Decent paper and writing utensils.
 A quiet spot where you won’t be interrupted.
For other tasks you might:
 Listen to music as you work.
 Promise yourself a reward when you are done.
 Invest in high quality, pleasant tools and supplies.
If you enjoy the work itself, you won’t have
resistance to conquer. Whistle while you work.
Those 4 tips again:
1. Identify the problem.
2. Break up large tasks into
chunks and steps.
3. Schedule it.
4. Make it as pleasant as possible.
Overcoming avoidance is part of life.
Become a master.
The cat will thank you.
If you need additional help with tackling unpleasant
tasks or any other organizational skill…
•Please tell your advisor.
•Your advisor will contact
Mrs. Semisch, who is
available to work
individually and in small
groups with students during

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