An image depicting Procrastination? Here Are 12 Tips To Help You Take Action

Procrastination? Here Are 12 Tips To Help You Take Action

The first thing to start with is to let you know that procrastination is a universal human experience. We’ve all put off a work assignment, delayed a personal project, or avoided a difficult conversation at some point in our lives. Procrastination provides temporary relief but most times, it often leads to increased stress and missed opportunities. Are you looking for effective strategies to help you overcome procrastination and take action toward your goals? We share some tips to help you break free from procrastination and start making progress.

What is procrastination?

Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing tasks or responsibilities. It’s opting for immediate pleasure or avoiding discomfort over long-term goals or obligations. It involves putting off important activities despite knowing they need to be completed which results in wasted time, increased stress, and decreased productivity. People procrastinate for different reasons. Ultimately, it reduces your ability to achieve your desired outcomes and fulfill commitments on time.

Why do people procrastinate?

  1. Fear of failure: Many people procrastinate because they are afraid of not meeting their expectations or the expectations of others. This leads to avoiding tasks to avoid potential disappointment or criticism.
  2. Perfectionism: We all strive for perfection. Striving for perfection can lead you to delay starting or completing tasks because you feel you must meet very high standards you’ve set. Perfectionism leads to a fear of making mistakes and you can end up not doing anything.
  3. Lack of motivation: It’s very easy to procrastinate when tasks seem uninteresting, overwhelming, or not aligned with your goals at the time.  When you’re not interested in a task, you tend to lack the motivation that’s needed to put in the work.
  4. Poor time management: Another reason people procrastinate is through poor time management skills. Not allocating your time and resources effectively can lead to procrastination. When it’s difficult to prioritize tasks, set realistic goals, or manage your time effectively, you likely have little time to meet up with tasks.
  5. Instant gratification: Doing things for comfort like watching TV, browsing social media, or engaging in other enjoyable activities, can distract you from tasks that require effort or concentration and can lead to procrastination.
  6. Feeling overwhelmed: Complex tasks can be intimidating and can cause you to procrastinate out of uncertainty about where to start or how to do the task effectively.
  7. Lack of self-discipline: Some people may struggle with self-control or managing their impulses, finding it difficult to resist the temptation to procrastinate and prioritize short-term pleasure over long-term goals.
  8. Perceived lack of consequences: When the consequences of procrastination are not immediate or severe, you may delay taking action with the assumption that you can complete the task later without significant repercussions.

12 tips to help you overcome procrastination

  1. Understand the root cause
  2. Set clear goals
  3. Create a plan
  4. Eliminate distractions
  5. Break tasks into smaller steps
  6. Use time management techniques
  7. Practice self-compassion
  8. Find accountability
  9. Visualize success
  10. Reward yourself
  11. Practice mindfulness
  12. Seek support

Understand the root cause

Procrastination can come from various factors such as fear of failure or feeling overwhelmed. Take some time to reflect on why you’re procrastinating. Identifying the root cause will help you address the issue more effectively.

Set clear goals

Break down your goals into smaller tasks you can manage with specific deadlines. Clear goals provide clarity and direction which makes it easier to take action. Also, set realistic deadlines and prioritize your tasks to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Create a plan

Once you have set clear goals, create a detailed plan listing the steps you need to take to achieve them. With a plan, the task at hand feels more manageable and reduces the likelihood of procrastination.

Eliminate distractions

This is the golden rule, avoid distractions. Identify and eliminate things that prevent you from focusing on your work. This might involve turning off notifications, finding a quiet workspace, or using website blockers to limit access to distracting websites or apps.

Break tasks into smaller steps 

Large tasks can be overwhelming and that makes it easier to resort to procrastination. So, break them down into smaller goals and focus on completing one step at a time. Celebrate your progress along the way to stay motivated.

Use time management techniques

Techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique, time blocking, or setting timers can help you stay focused and productive. You won’t always feel motivated to work. Focus on working in short bursts of effort and ensure to have brief breaks to maintain momentum and prevent burnout.

Practice self-compassion 

Be kind to yourself when you experience setbacks or delays. You won’t always meet up with the timelines.  Avoid self-criticism and negative self-talk, as these can contribute to feelings of guilt and further procrastination. Instead, practice self-compassion and remind yourself that everyone struggles with procrastination from time to time.

Find accountability

Share your goals with a friend, family member, or colleague who can hold you accountable. Knowing that someone else is aware of your goals can motivate you to take action and stay on track.

Visualize success

Take a few moments to visualize yourself completing the task at hand. Imagine how you will feel once it’s done and the sense of accomplishment you’ll experience. Visualization helps to boost motivation and reduce procrastination.

Reward yourself

Yes, finishing your tasks and meeting your goals is a big deal. Set up a system of rewards for yourself as you make progress towards your goals. Treat yourself to something enjoyable after completing a task or reaching a milestone. Rewards help reinforce positive behavior and give you something to look forward to after the task.

Practice mindfulness 

Adding mindfulness practices such as meditation or deep breathing exercises into your routine can help reduce your stress level, increase focus, and improve self-awareness. When you feel okay, it’s easier to overcome procrastination.

Seek support

If procrastination is significantly affecting your life or mental well-being, don’t hesitate to seek support from a therapist or counselor. They can help you find the underlying issues and develop coping strategies to overcome procrastination that are peculiar to you.


Overcoming procrastination is not a one-time thing. It takes time and effort and it’s possible with patience and persistence. You can take control of your actions and make meaningful progress toward your goals by implementing these strategies. Don’t leave your goals to chance. There’s a lot you can achieve when you achieve your goals at the right time. Remember, small steps taken consistently can lead to big results over time.


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