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15 Great Tips to Beat Procrastination and Conquer your Goals

Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing a task or activity, usually to the point where it becomes urgent or even stressful to complete it.

Procrastination is a common behavior that affects many people, from students and professionals to homemakers and retirees.

Defined as the act of putting off or delaying tasks or responsibilities, procrastination can have negative effects on productivity, motivation, and overall well-being.

While procrastination is often seen as a personal failing, it is important to recognize that it is a complex behavior with many underlying causes. Understanding the reasons why we procrastinate and developing strategies to overcome the behavior can help us achieve our goals, reduce stress, and improve our overall quality of life.


Procrastination definition

Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing a task or activity, usually to the point where it becomes urgent or even stressful to complete it.
Procrastination can take many forms, from actively avoiding a task to simply delaying it until the last possible moment.

Procrastinating can be caused by a variety of factors, such as lack of motivation, fear of failure, poor time management skills, or difficulty concentrating. Or maybe you just have too many things to do, and you don’t know how to delegate tasks. In that case, this might help: Unlock Your Delegation Power: Empowering for Success

Procrastinating can have negative effects on both personal and professional life, as it can lead to missed deadlines, decreased productivity, and increased stress.


What are the benefits of not procrastinating?

There are several benefits of not procrastinating, including:

  • Increased productivity: When you don’t procrastinate, you are able to use your time more effectively and accomplish more tasks in a shorter amount of time. This can lead to increased productivity and a greater sense of accomplishment.
  • Reduced stress: Procrastination can lead to a lot of stress, particularly when deadlines loom and tasks pile up. When you don’t procrastinate, you are better able to manage your workload and avoid the stress that comes with leaving things until the last minute.
  • Improved quality of work: When you don’t procrastinate, you have more time to focus on your work and ensure that it meets a high standard of quality. This can lead to better results and a greater sense of satisfaction with your work.
  • More free time: By getting things done in a timely manner, you free up more time for yourself to do the things you enjoy, spend time with loved ones, or pursue new hobbies and interests.
  • Better reputation: When you consistently meet deadlines and produce high-quality work, you build a reputation as someone who is reliable and competent. This can lead to more opportunities and greater success in your personal and professional life.



Procrastinating and Laziness

Many people confuse procrastination with laziness. Procrastination and laziness are both behaviors that can interfere with achieving goals and living a fulfilling life, but they are caused by different underlying factors and can have different outcomes.


  • Both procrastination and laziness involve putting off tasks or activities that need to be done.
  • Both can result in negative consequences, such as missed opportunities or a lack of achievement.
  • Both can be caused by factors such as lack of motivation or difficulty concentrating.


  • Procrastination is typically the result of a conscious decision to delay or postpone a task, while laziness is more of a general unwillingness to do things.
  • Procrastination often involves feeling stressed or anxious about the task that is being postponed, while laziness is more of a lack of drive or energy.
  • Procrastination can be situational, meaning that a person may only procrastinate in certain situations or with certain types of tasks, while laziness is often a more pervasive trait.
  • Procrastination can sometimes lead to increased productivity, as a person may be motivated to work harder and more efficiently when a deadline is looming, while laziness typically results in decreased productivity.

Reasons for procrastinating

Realizing that being lazy and procrastinating are not the same thing, it is important to figure out why you procrastinate.

After all, if we all know that not procrastinating leads to a greater sense of control over your life, more satisfaction with your work, and more time to pursue the things that matter most to you, it is hard to believe that procrastinating is such a big problem for many.

To help you to figure out why you are procrastinating, I made a list of common causes:

  • Lack of motivation: When a task feels unimportant or unpleasant, it can be difficult to find the motivation to get started.
  • Fear of failure: If you’re worried about failing or making a mistake, you may put off a task in order to avoid the possibility of negative outcomes.
  • Overwhelm: Sometimes a task can feel so large or complex that it becomes overwhelming, leading to procrastination.
  • Poor time management skills: If you struggle to manage your time effectively, you may find yourself constantly putting things off until the last minute.
  • Distractions: With so many distractions in today’s world, it can be difficult to focus on a task and avoid getting sidetracked by other things.
  • Perfectionism: If you feel that a task needs to be perfect, you may put it off in order to avoid making mistakes or falling short of your own high standards.
  • Procrastination as a habit: If you have a history of procrastination, it can become a habit that is difficult to break.

15 great tips to overcome procrastination

Identifying the root cause of procrastination is the first step in overcoming this behavior. Once you know what is causing you to delay tasks, you can work on eliminating the source of the problem. However, even with this knowledge, overcoming procrastination can still be a challenge. To help with this, I have compiled a list of 15 practical tips to help you get started on tasks faster and more efficiently. I have organized them into different categories:

Time management techniques

  1. Prioritize your tasks: Make a list of the tasks you need to complete and prioritize them in order of importance. This can help you focus on the most important tasks first and avoid getting bogged down by less important tasks.
  2. Create a schedule: Develop a plan for how you will use your time each day and set aside specific times for work, relaxation, and other activities. Having a schedule can help you stay on track and avoid getting sidetracked by distractions.
  3. Set realistic goals: Make sure your goals are achievable and realistic. Setting goals that are too ambitious can be discouraging and lead to procrastination.
  4. Use a timer: Set a timer for a specific amount of time and work on a task until the timer goes off. This can help you stay focused and avoid getting sidetracked by other tasks.

Productivity techniques:

  1. Break tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces: Sometimes the sheer size or complexity of a task can be overwhelming and lead to procrastination. Break the task into smaller pieces and focus on completing each one at a time.
  2. Use the Pomodoro technique: This involves working for a set amount of time (usually 25 minutes) and then taking a short break before starting again. This can help you stay focused and motivated while also allowing for periodic breaks.
  3. Eliminate distractions: Identify and eliminate any distractions that may be interfering with your ability to focus and work on the task at hand. This may include turning off your phone, closing your email, or working in a quiet space.
  4. Use visualization techniques: Visualize yourself completing a task or project and imagine how it will feel to accomplish that goal. This can help you stay motivated and focused on the end result.

Self Motivation techniques:

  1. Use positive self-talk: Instead of focusing on what you haven’t done, focus on what you have accomplished and the progress you are making. Use positive self-talk to encourage yourself and stay motivated.
  2. Reward yourself: Set up a reward system for completing tasks or reaching milestones. This can be a great way to stay motivated and reinforce positive behaviors.
  3. Practice mindfulness: Take a few minutes each day to practice mindfulness, such as deep breathing or meditation. This can help you stay focused and calm, which can make it easier to overcome procrastination.

Accountability and support techniques:

  1. Get an accountability partner: Find someone who can help keep you accountable and motivated. This could be a friend, family member, or colleague who can check in with you regularly and offer support and encouragement.
  2. Seek support: If you continue to struggle with procrastination, consider seeking support from a therapist or counselor who can help you identify underlying causes and develop strategies to overcome the behavior.
  3. Use an app: There are many other apps available that can help you overcome procrastination and improve productivity. The key is to find the app (or combination of apps) that works best for you and your specific needs.

The 15the secret tip!

Don’t procrastinate on things you’re not going to do!

Let me leave you with a thought-provoking question and tip: why would you include things on your to-do list that you have no intention of doing?

Personally, I often receive requests that aren’t relevant to my role and are a waste of my time. For example, surveys that you’re required to fill out after making a purchase. In the education sector, directors are often asked to provide information for various organizations, such as the local government or a collaboration project. While I’m happy to contribute if my schedule allows it, if my to-do list is long, I cross off these types of non-compulsory surveys immediately.

If you don’t plan on doing something, it’s best to remove it from your to-do list. Chances are, it’s not urgent enough to take up your valuable time, and you don’t want to create a problem you don’t really have. You could read Applying 3 Problem-Solving Models – From Stuck to Solution if you’d like to know more about problem-solving.


The anti-procrastination checklist

I have made a special checklist for people who need some help to overcome procrastinating. 

Start by removing all the things you are actually not planning to do (tip 15)

Time management techniques:

  1. Prioritize your tasks
    • Which tasks are most important?
    • Which tasks have the nearest deadline?
    • Which tasks will have the greatest impact on your goals?
  1. Create a schedule
    • What tasks do you need to complete?
    • How much time do you need to allocate for each task?
    • When do you have the most energy and focus for each task?
  1. Set realistic goals
    • What is the specific outcome you want to achieve?
    • Is your goal achievable within the time frame you have set?
    • Are you able to break down your goal into smaller steps?
  1. Use a timer
    • How long do you want to work on a task?
    • What intervals work best for you?
    • Can you commit to working on a task for a certain amount of time?

Productivity techniques:

  1. Break tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces
    • What is the specific outcome you want to achieve?
    • Can you break down the task into smaller, more manageable steps?
    • How long will each step take?
  1. Use the Pomodoro technique
    • What task do you want to work on?
    • How long do you want to work on the task?
    • What will you do during your break time?
  1. Eliminate distractions
    • What distractions are preventing you from completing your work?
    • Can you eliminate or reduce those distractions?
    • What techniques can you use to stay focused?
  1. Use visualization techniques
    • What is the specific outcome you want to achieve?
    • Can you visualize yourself achieving your goal?
    • How will you feel once you have achieved your goal?

Self-motivation techniques:

  1. Use positive self-talk
    • What negative thoughts are holding you back?
    • How can you reframe those negative thoughts into positive ones?
    • What affirmations can you use to motivate yourself?
  1. Reward yourself
    • What goal do you want to achieve?
    • What reward will motivate you to achieve that goal?
    • When will you reward yourself?
  1. Practice mindfulness
    • How are you feeling right now?
    • What distractions or negative thoughts are you experiencing?
    • How can you refocus your attention on the present moment?

Accountability and support techniques:

  1. Get an accountability partner
    • Who can help keep you accountable for your goals?
    • What specific goal or task do you want to work on together?
    • How often will you check in with your accountability partner?
  1. Seek support
    • Who can provide emotional or practical support for your goals?
    • What specific challenges are you facing?
    • How can others help you overcome those challenges?
  1. Use an app
    • What specific features or functions do you need in an app to help you stay focused?
    • Are there any apps that have worked well for you in the past?
    • Can you commit to using an app consistently to help you overcome procrastination?

Good Read about Procrastinating:

One of the most popular and widely-read books about procrastination is “The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play” by Neil Fiore.

First published in 1988 and revised and updated in 2007, this book provides a comprehensive approach to overcoming procrastination and developing healthy work habits. It is based on the idea that procrastination is not a character flaw, but rather a learned behavior that can be unlearned.

The book offers practical strategies for breaking the cycle of procrastination, including techniques for changing negative thought patterns, managing time effectively, and developing a positive mindset. It also emphasizes the importance of taking breaks and engaging in enjoyable activities as a way of reducing stress and boosting motivation.

“The Now Habit” has been praised for its clear and practical advice, as well as its compassionate approach to helping readers overcome procrastination. It has been widely recommended by psychologists, productivity experts, and business leaders as a valuable resource for anyone struggling with procrastination.


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