Tuesday, February 17, 2015

ABC Narrative of Procrastination

In the world of behavior therapy, there is something called an ABC narrative. It stands for antecedent, behavior, and consequence. While these are most frequently used to gain a deeper understanding of why a preschooler keeps throwing tantrums, I decided to use this technique to figure out why I procrastinate with the simplest of  daily living tasks. And what did I learn about myself? I don't make any goddamn sense, and my house is a mess.

And here is the data...

Antecedent: Dishes are piled in the sink from dinner.
Behavior: Jackie did not clean the dishes until the next morning (or later).
Consequence: House smelled of garbage the next day. The candle burned all day to cover up the smell, and now it has run out of wax.

Antecedent: The dryer buzzed.
Behavior: Jackie took the clothes out of the dryer and put them on the floor. She said to herself, "I"ll fold those later."
Consequence: A mountain of "clean" laundry now lives in the hallway.

Antecedent: A visible layer of dust lives on Jackie's desk.
Behavior: Jackie ignores the dust. She thinks to herself, "I should dust that," but she doesn't. This goes on for longer than Jackie will admit.
Consequence: Shame and sneezing.

And there you have it. Chores are boring. I avoid them. Consequences are moderately unpleasant, but not bad enough to teach me a true lesson.

1 comment:

  1. I'm laughing while reading this and looking around my house. Glad to hear, I'm not the only one.


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