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Ways to help overcome Procrastination

posted by Carla on Saturday, 23 April 2016

“Tomorrow the best time to do everything you had planned for today, If procrastination was a sport I’d start playing it next year”

This is something I am guilty of so when I was given his task, it took me forever to start, in fact it’s still not finished and my deadline was an hour ago (Only joking I still have 2 hours until the end of the day)

Do you procrastinate?

If so you are not alone, many people procrastinate to some degree but some are so affected by procrastination that it stops them fulfilling their true potential. Procrastination is one of those things that even the most well-organized and punctual fall victim to at some point or another.

The key to controlling this is by first recognising that you do it! Reflect on the reasons why you procrastinate, your habits and thoughts that lead to procrastinating.

What exactly is procrastination?

In short, it is when you put off things that you should be focusing on right now, usually in favour of doing something that is more enjoyable or that you’re more comfortable doing.

“Focus on what you want to do, not what you want to avoid”

Procrastinators have certain tendencies, do you recognise any of these?

  • Do you return phone calls and emails promptly?
  • Do you quickly make decisions?
  • Are you always in a rush to complete things?
  • Do you delay tasks when you know you really should have started them already?
  • Do you think “I’ll do it tomorrow?”
  • Do you wait for the right mood when you are about to start something?
  • Do you think ‘It won’t take me that long’?

10 Ways to help you overcome Procrastination

  1. Do the task for short periods of time Use the Zeigarnik Effect – once you start something your brain remains alert until finished. It’s easier to complete the task because you’ve gotten started and removed some of the obstacles to finishing
  2. Do the hard tasks first Doing the more complex tasks whilst your brain is still fresh means you are less likely to give up on them or procrastinate
  3. Focus on starting rather than finishing.
  4. Believe in your ability You can do it, just implement the skills and strategies you have learnt to self-regulate
  5. Manage your environment– control it, don’t let it control you. Get rid of distractions especially that buzzing phone linked to every social media account! Choose where you work/study wisely
  6. Practice effective time management such as setting yourself short deadlines- impending deadlines get you going, they are something to work towards, and stick to them! (Dwelling on the size and difficulty of a looming task will overwhelm us, and thus promote procrastination)
  7. Model Success– Who do you know that has done this task well? Adopt some of their strategies
  8. Make the task harder Sounds counter-intuitive I know, but making more out of the task makes it more interesting.
  9. Ask someone to check on you peer pressure works! (Think slimming world and AA meetings)
  10. Keep a prioritised ‘To-Do’ list and stick to it, in the order written down and when you have accomplished reward yourself.

In Summary: If you find yourself procrastinating day in and day out, week after week, month after month, maybe you’re not doing what you’re meant to do. Maybe it’s time to get a new job, switch careers and pursue your passion.

  • Know your most important goals and values.
  • Only do tasks that contribute to those goals and values.
  • Mentally link tasks to the pleasurable outcomes you seek.
  • Plan your day and week.
  • Do, but don’t overdo. Rest when needed.
  • Break down big tasks.
  • Get help making decisions.
  • Believe in yourself!
  • Trick & Treat!


“[Time] is a limited resource, and so it’s so important that we are aware of it, and that we mark it and that we cherish it.” –Kerry Washington