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How To Overcome Procrastination

Updated: Apr 29

This past month I had the opportunity to talk in front of a group of women.  Because it is hard to put a talk together I kept trying to spend time on it but ultimately putting it off, waiting for the inspiration to come. As you might guess, the inspiration never came.  And guess what? The talk never got written.  It was only when I pushed myself and got myself under intense pressure that I began to write my talk.


Do you have the same problem with procrastination?  You keep pushing it off until it is too late to do a good job? Or is it too late to include all the elements you needed to?


Procrastination is a habit.  When we procrastinate we avoid something that gives us stress.  As human beings we are wired to avoid pain at all costs.  It is a survival mechanism. As a result of our procrastination, the stress will actually increase because the assignment wasn't finished or the talk wasn't done and now there is pressure to go with it.


As you try to overcome the habit of procrastination, the goal is to gain control of your procrastination habits so you can gain control over your schedule, gain control of your stress, and gain control of your life.


You need to start every day with a clean plate.  Just because you procrastinated yesterday doesn't mean you have to do it again today.  You can make a choice.  But it has to be a decision.  It is up to you if you are going to stop the desire to procrastinate again today.


We can only rise to the level of our self-esteem.  It is important that you understand how you are showing up when you are procrastinating. What are you trying to avoid? Or what do you not want to address? 


I have listed 10 ways that you can begin to address your procrastination habit:

  1. Recognize and Realize that you are not a procrastinator. Just because you did it yesterday doesn't mean that you are going to do it today.  Have a positive attitude.  Recognize that you can overcome a tendency that does not define you.

  2. Just do it.  Get started.  Take a small step to begin to erase your procrastination.  Find a small step that you can take forward.  It doesn't have to be a huge step.  Don't think about the outcome, that is too big of a step to take.

  3. Eliminate distractions- Turn off your phone, begin to play music in the background so you can concentrate, and find the thing that will stop you from being distracted.  Exert self-discipline.  Make a goal to concentrate for 45 minutes while you are accomplishing the task.  Then at the end of the 45 minutes reward yourself.  Take a break.  Have a cup of tea, or whatever you find enjoyable.

  4. Reframe how you look at it.  It is a choice to move forward, it is not a task.  Communicate your priorities to yourself.  The longer your to-do list the harder it is to get things done.  Pick the top three things to do for the day and get those done.

  5. Make your list smaller.  It is important to have a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.  Pick and choose what you will do.  Also, communicate your boundaries so you are taking on other people's tasks. 

  6. Stop promising the world to others.  When you have too much to do it results in broken promises, even to yourself.  Then you begin to break TRUST.  When others lose trust in you then communication begins to break down. 

  7. Multi-tasking- You begin to confuse your brain.  As the jobs and the tasks begin to bounce you back and forth it makes your brain bounce back and forth and you can never get anything done.

Make a goal to only check your email 3 times a day.  Respond when you are done. That way you are thinking clearly and are ready to respond.

8. .   Ask for Help!

Too often I think we can do it all by ourselves. I  have to ask the four D's

Do it, Delegate it , Dump it (if there is too much on your plate get rid of some things), or find a Deadline and get it done. Or Does it need to be done?


Once you have implemented these ideas you will begin to see a change in your thinking about procrastination.  It will start becoming a habit in your life and you will begin to reap the results.


Comment below if you have another way you have found to stop procrastinating. 

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