Social Anxiety Disorder Work and School Tips for Dealing With Procrastination When You Have Social Anxiety By Arlin Cuncic Arlin Cuncic Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety." Learn about our editorial process Updated on December 15, 2020 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Steven Gans, MD Medically reviewed by Steven Gans, MD Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Tim Robberts / Getty Images People procrastinate for many reasons, but the immediate goal is to bring a temporary sense of relief. The problem with procrastination is just that; the relief is temporary, and it is eventually replaced with anxiety about being behind in what you need to get done. If you suffer from social anxiety disorder (SAD), you probably procrastinate out of fear of disapproval or failure. Perhaps you put off making phone calls, delay discussing difficult issues at work, or get behind scheduling health appointments, haircuts, or any other task that involves interacting with people. Unfortunately, the typical solutions for procrastination don't work in these scenarios. Breaking big tasks down into smaller chunks doesn't really apply when all you need to do is make a phone call. If you waste time at work trying to solve a problem on your own because you don't want to ask a coworker a question, no amount of planning or organization is going to help. How to Deal With Procrastination Caused by Social Anxiety First, realize that waiting for a better time to face others is not the solution. Waiting can make things worse. Personal relationships may suffer if problems are not dealt with early on. Work issues may become magnified if you don't ask for help. If there is no valid reason to put off talking to someone, then it is always better to do it right away. What are some reasons you might think it is better to wait? Thought: "If I call right now she might be busy. It's better to wait an hour as that is probably a quieter time of day for her"Fact: Unless you know for sure that someone is busy, there is no reason to wait. You can't predict someone else's day.Thought: "My coworker looks really busy. I don't want to bother him now, I will wait until after lunch"Fact: Even if your coworker is busy now, he might be even busier after lunch. By telling him now that you need help, he can either respond right away or plan a time to talk with you. Recognize your thought patterns, and then come up with competing arguments about why you should go ahead anyway. Most of the time, taking action now is the right thing to do. Nancy Schimelpfening, Verywell.com's expert on depression, also offers the following tips to help deal with procrastination: Make a list of tasks and prioritize what needs to be done. Reward yourself for completing difficult tasks. Use relaxation strategies to deal with anxiety about completing tasks. Does your social anxiety cause you to procrastinate? What are you putting off doing right now? By Arlin Cuncic Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety." See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist for Social Anxiety Disorder Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.