What do you do if you get so overwhelmed that it makes you freeze completely?

I will have a lot of things that I would want to get done. I don’t know where to start and I usually just turn on the TV and sit there for hours accomplishing nothing.
Asked by Yohan

A pleasure to meet you! It takes courage to be here and you just took the first step, so cheers for that!

My name is Lorena Klahr and I am a licensed marriage and family therapist in Florida; I work with individuals, couples and families! Hopefully I can help you and guide you with your concern... I hear you saying that you do not know where to start or how to start when you have a lot of things going on! I like to call this procrastination, which means delaying an activity that needs to be completed. Procrastination happens as a way of coping with anxiety or negative thoughts that are difficult to cope with, which is probably what is happening to you. When procrastination happens, this coping mechanism is tied up to another one, for example, what you are mentioning about watching TV....

I want to give you some tips to fight procrastination! Hopefully it will be helpful and you can move forward and change some habits.

1) First and most important you have to consciously fight procrastination and change behaviors (perhaps, not turning on the TV at certain times of the day, try to set up a schedule or routine where you can plan when to watch TV).

2) Break tasks into manageable steps, which means do not leave everything to be completed in the moment but distribute it through the week/ month. Perhaps, grab a piece of paper and write down everything in bullet points that needs to be completed, next to it write if it needs to be done now or if it can wait.

3) Commit to a first tiny step; be conscious and sincere that you need to start somewhere. Create a reward system, example, if I do x then I can watch TV.

4) Give yourself permission to make mistakes, which means, if something does not go as planned, that is okay and part of the process.

5) Make tasks more enjoyable: add music in the back, a coffee, a little sweet, a podcast, something that tides up to what you are doing.

6) Make it hard to procrastinate, which means, do not let impulses come close, make them hard to reach. For example, do not turn the TV on.

Remember, write things down and make it easier to remember (now or ideal which means when are you going to do it) and then create a reward system (if I do exercise then I can have a smoothie)... this does not mean that your positive reward system is going to be strict and will always be there, remember, it is for certain occasions where you need a little bit more of a push... time management is crucial and once you understand your time management and how your system works, things will be easier for you :)

Hopefully this can guide you and help you get to a better place! 

When you finish reading this, right away write things down and start the process! If you are in Florida and want further help feel free to book a session! Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Respectfully, Lorena Klahr, LMFT..

Have a good day and take care!