It feels out of your control and as each day passes, the stress of having so much to do becomes overwhelming. So, tasks get left, delayed and forgotten. But don’t beat yourself up over this because it’s not your fault. Procrastination is always a sign of another issue. It’s a major reason people are unhappy. We can put off different things… starting a healthy diet, project work or calling someone. This has real life consequences as health, finances and relationships suffer.So below is a list of tips that you can cherry pick depending on what feels right for you Here are 25 ways to stop your procrastination:
25 Ways To Stop Procrastination – The Ultimate List
1. Look At What Excites You
If you don’t enjoy what you’re working on, you’ll want to put it off.
Think about what you want for your life, is this what you want to be doing for years to come? What are you passionate about?
Work on projects that inspire, and you will jump out of bed every morning to get started. This article can help you find your inspiration.
2. What Personality Type Are You?
Gretchen Ruben, famously asked “How do I get people—including myself—to do what I want?”
She devised ‘The Four Tendencies’ framework’ that places people in 1 of 4 personality types: Obliger, Upholder, Questioner or Rebel.
By learning which personality type you are, you can use the strategies given by Gretchen to stick to habits and instil self-discipline.
I’m a rebel!
3. Think About The Rewards
If you’re in a job that doesn’t inspire you, it’s not always easy to give it up to follow for your ‘passion’. Everyone has bills and responsibilities.
But think about all the fun things you can do. Can you go on holiday with the salary you earn? Does it pay for a home for your family to feel safe in?
Your reasons will reap results.
4. Are you stressed?
When people are worried about money or a job, it’s easy to be distracted. Worrying about the future can be totally consuming. Feeling anxious can be paralysing. In times of intense stress or anxiousness, breath work is scientifically proven to bring calm. Learn about breathing techniques here.
Negative thoughts and positive thoughts can not occur at the same time. So every time you find yourself worrying about what might happen, swap the image in your mind to things you would love to happen in the future.
All of a sudden your mind will get excited about the future and the anxious feelings will dissapear.
5. The 5 Second Rule
Mel Robbins has been talking about the importance of taking swift action to improve her life. She says, “It’s a tool that creates massive change. Those 5 second windows add up, I promise. It changed my life and it changed the lives of over 100,000 who have written to me about the awesome effects the Rule has created in their own lives.
6. Avoid Perfectionism
Perfectionism is the biggest cause of procrastination.
It’s a deep-rooted fear of failure or not feeling ‘good enough’ and these beliefs are mostly formed during childhood.
So can you remember why you don’t feel good enough?
It’s probably because of something someone told you when you were young and that belief has become engrained in your daily thinking.
With those beliefs, so many of us don’t start things because we think we aren’t clever enough, pretty enough, rich enough and so on.
Remind yourself all the time that you are good enough. Write it on your mirror at home, write it in your journal. Set your alarm to remind you that you are enough every morning.
Switching up your daily thoughts and beliefs will change your life.
7. Focus On Just 1 Task Per Day
Rather than writing a huge list that looks totally overwhelming. Take the most urgent task and prioritise that at the start of the day.
By giving yourself just 1 task to think about, will make it easier to start. You can also pat yourself on the back each day when you have completed your task.
8. Break A Task Into Smaller Chunks
When a task feels overwhelming, break it down into smaller more manageable tasks. Just looking at the small step in front of you, rather than a larger harder goal will be easier to complete.
9. Be Kind To Yourself
Don’t berate yourself if you’ve put something off. Remind yourself that no one is perfect, and you are good person.
Negative self-talk leads to powerlessness and lack of energy. Replace those thoughts with a positive reinforcement such as, “I’m good enough and I have phenomenal coping skills!.”
10. Create Success Habits
Studies have shown that successful people use the same life strategies to achieve their goals. One reoccurring trend is the creation of daily habits.
Habits create our lives and we can change our lives for the better by instilling positive daily habits.
Laura Vanderkam’s study of morning rituals revealed 90% of CEOs wake up before 6am.
An early morning routine creates the best mindset to achieve a productive day. Vanderkam’s book, What Most People Do Before Breakfast can be bought here.
11. Surround Yourself With Positive People
They say you are the result of the 5 people you surround yourself with the most. If your friends are always complaining they have no money, unhappy with their job, or unsupportive – get new friends.
Staying on top of your health will give you more energy and something to feel proud about. By making regular exercise a habit, other habits will quickly fall into place.
13. Plan Your Tomorrow – Today
This was a huge game changer for me. It’s so easy to wake up without a clear goal in mind and then waste the whole day. Or worse, sit in bed thinking about things to do when you’re trying to sleep.
By writing your schedule for the following day- the evening before -you have clear plan as soon as you wake up. It also declutters your mind as you have already prioritised based on the clarity you have the evening before.
14. Visualise Your Day Ahead
As you write your plan for the following day, see yourself working on and completing those tasks. If you have a difficult phone call to make, see and feel how good it will be, when it’s over.
For each task you write, visualise each element.
Procrastination is easier to control when you have had a good sleep. Studies have shown that sleep helps us maintain discipline. Tiredness breaks down our strength needed to make the sensible choice or finish a task.
How many times have you gone to work feeling sleepy and so writing a simple email feels like a chore to send? Or you delay meetings and calls until tomorrow?
16. Work To Your Strengths
Think about when you have been the most productive. Is it when you are listening to music or at a particular time of day? Do you work better in a coffee shop rather than at home? Set yourself up for success by creating the best environment that suits you.
17. Smart Small
Just dedicate 5 minutes to a task. If a task is making you feel overwhelmed, just opening your laptop with a view of working on it for 5 minutes only will get you started.
More often than not, you will continue on after the 5 minutes. If you stop after 5 minutes, that’s ok too – you have made a start.
18. Realise You Have A Choice
The feeling of being forced can lead to resentment. By analysing the situation and deciding you can choose to complete the task or not, will give you the power.
Say to yourself, “I’m choosing to do this, I want to do this because …”.
19. Have Gratitude
Learn to appreciate the good things in your life and you will have more energy to ‘create’.
Therapist, Marisa Peer, says, “Someone would love to have your problem.”
If you hate your job, remember there is someone out there who would love to have your job and may have been looking for months.
If you have a crying baby late at night, remember all of those couples who are struggling to have children.
Just switching up your feelings to focus on having a positive mindset will change your life.
20. Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
Constantly looking at your competition or others who have already ‘made it’, will bring about feelings of insecurity.
It’s important to remember that everyone started out at the bottom. People you are looking to have probably had years to become competent. You too can excel, if you work hard enough and stay consistent for long enough.
21. Stop Seeing Happiness As Something You Will Have In The Future
Hoping for future happiness will only bring unhappiness in the present.
A feeling of lack leads to negative, depressive thoughts and will sap your energy to create.
So many clients have said to me, “I’ll be happy when I meet someone”, “I’ll be happy when I have a baby”, “I’ll be happy when I’m earning X”.
Waiting for external forces to make you satisfied, puts your happiness and power into the hands other people.
Take control of your life by choosing to be happy right now.
Look around and appreciate all things you have right now. Your health, your family, friends, nature around you, opportunities. Everyone will have a different list but guaranteed, you will have one!
22. Get Connected
Johann Hari’s research into what makes people depressed has been revolutionary.
He doesn’t prescribe medication for a ‘brain chemical’ problem.
He advises that by improve our connectiveness to community, we will reduce depression and increase happiness.
23. Shift Your Mindset
The book, ‘Mindset’ By Carol Dweck* talks about the the power of our most basic beliefs.
*Disclaimer: Author may be compensated if or credited for purchases and actions taken using affiliate links.
Having a ‘fixed’ or ‘growth’ mindset will “affect what we want and whether we succeed in getting it.”
This can either push us or prevent us from fulfilling our potential.
24. Eat The Right Foods
Chronic procrastinators often look for distractions.
And certain foods can be a very pleasurable distraction, even calming or soothing anxiety or depressive feelings.
Sugar and carbs make us feel better temporarily. Over time however, they lead to more tiredness as well as anxious and unhappy feelings over ‘guilt’ that we have eaten too much.
25. Write It Down
Use your need to turn the TV on or get something to eat as the sign that you are procrastinating. When this next happens, write down what you are feeling in that moment.
Could it be:
- you’re a perfectionist
- you don’t know exactly what to do
- it’s overwhelming
- you don’t enjoy the task
- you’re tired or drained
- you can’t make a decision
Getting clear on what emotions you are tying to the task will help in overcoming it.
I hope some of these tips help you and please drop me a line if you would like to talk about how I can help install some of these practises into your daily lives.
About the Author:
Kelly King is a Certified Therapist and member of the National Council
of Psychotherapists (UK).
With a background in nutrition and fitness coaching, she specialises in
helping people overcome insomnia, stress and weight issues naturally and
without the need for medication.
After suffering from Alopecia, insomnia and weight issues herself over
the years, she realised that her problems were all related to stress and
went on to to study the mind body connection.
This led her to study directly with her mentor, Marisa Peer, listed in
the Tatler’s guide to Britain’s Best Therapists and No1 Therapist in
Kelly has now overcome her issues to live a healthy and happy life and
works online with clients all over the world. The technique combines
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Meditation and Neuroplasticity to get to
the root cause of issues in just 1 session, bringing about fast and
She finds that more people prefer to access therapy online as it allows
them to stay in the comfort of their own home, even in remote parts of
With client’s experiencing amazing results, she would love to connect
with you too and guide you to a healthier and happier life.
What are Your Ways to Stop Procrastination?
Hello, I’m Thuy of honeybunnytwee. I write a Wellness Wednesday guest bloggers series. Send me an article or link to a blog post about health and wellness, self-care, fitness, or mental health at [email protected]. Upon review, you’ll have a chance to be featured! I’m always looking for more Wellness Wednesday submissions.