How to Stop Procrastinating (A Step-By-Step Guide to Boost Productivity)

If you’ve so many issues to do this you typically end up struggling to complete initiatives and duties and transfer on to different stuff, you’re actually not alone. Studies present that over 20 % of the grownup inhabitants delay or keep away from doing sure duties by permitting themselves to be overtaken by distractions.[1]

What about the remainder of the inhabitants? What do they do to stop procrastination?

In this text, I’m going to elucidate to you why procrastination is so tough to beat and how one can cease procrastinating as soon as and for all by following a step-by-step information. But first, you have to perceive how procrastination occurs.

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What is procrastination

Piers Steel, the writer of the ebook The Procrastination Equation: How to Stop Putting Things Off and Start Getting Stuff Done, defines procrastination on this method:[2]

“Procrastination is to voluntarily delay an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off for the delay.”

In different phrases, procrastination is doing extra pleasurable issues instead of much less pleasurable ones. The finish result’s that essential duties are delay to a later time.

This comedian is among the typical examples of procrastination:

Why stopping procrastination is tough

Human beings have restricted self-control. Dr. Roy Baumeister, a psychologist from Florida State University, has been finding out self-control and he has discovered that similar to any muscle tissue, human’s self-control is a restricted useful resource that may shortly turn out to be exhausted.[3] When self-control is near being depleted, human have a tendency to decide on what’s extra pleasurable– the quick procrastinated duties as a substitute of the particular works.

At its core, procrastination is an avoidance technique. Procrastinators select to do one thing else as a substitute of doing what they should do as a result of it’s a lot simpler to decide on pleasure over ache.

In brief, procrastination is so tough to beat as a result of it’s a battle in opposition to human’s pure enemy, a human weak spot that’s in-born.

A step-by-step information to cease procrastinating

Despite the truth that it’s human nature to hunt for quick rewards and procrastinate, right here I’ve a step-by-step information so that you can observe in order to cease procrastinating.

1. Identify your triggers: the 5 varieties of procrastinator

Identifying the kind of procrastination you personally expertise is a necessary step so that you can repair the issue at its root.

Take a take a look at this flowchart right here to seek out out what sort of procrastinator you might be:

Which sort of procrastinator are you? Let’s check out the triggers to your procrastination sort:


Being good is the pleasure perfectionists need. But typically this results in them being too scared to point out any imperfections. Because of this, they regularly fail to finish issues, as they’re perpetually looking for the right timing or method. Tasks find yourself by no means being accomplished, as a result of within the eyes of the perfectionist, issues are by no means good sufficient.

Instead of ending one thing, perfectionists get caught up in a endless cycle of additives, edits, and deletions.


An ostrich prefers to remain within the dreaming stage. That method, they don’t should work for actual, or cope with any negativity or stress.

Dreaming provides this sort of individuals a false sense of feat, as of their minds, they envision massive, formidable plans. Unfortunately for them, these plans will most probably keep as desires, they usually’ll by no means accomplish something actually worthwhile.


A self-saboteur has purchased into the road that ‘by doing nothing, bad things won’t occur.’

In actuality, self-saboteurs have developed a concern of creating errors or doing something unsuitable. Their method to keep away from these mishaps, is to do nothing in any respect. In the top, they might make few errors – however additionally they see few accomplishments.


Daredevils are those that consider that deadlines can push them to do higher. Instead of getting a schedule to finish their work – they like to get pleasure from time doing their very own factor earlier than the deadline comes round.

It’s most probably an unconscious factor, however daredevils evidently consider that beginning early will sacrifice their time for pleasure. This is bolstered of their minds and emotions, by the numerous instances they handle to get away with burning the midnight oil. Often they sacrifice the standard of their work due to speeding it.


Chicken lack the power to prioritize their work. They do what they really feel like they need to do, relatively than considering via what they really want to do.

Prioritizing duties is a step that takes further time, so hen will really feel it’s not price it. Because of this, they often find yourself doing a whole lot of easy duties that don’t contribute a lot to a venture. They’re incessantly busy on low-impact duties, however appear oblivious to pressing, high-impact duties.

2. Face your triggers and eliminate them

Whether it’s concern of failure, overwhelming emotions, avoidance or convincing your self you’re simply too busy to get one thing completed, you possibly can enhance your means to be productive by eliminating your procrastination triggers.

For Perfectionist, re-clarify your targets.

Much of the time procrastination tendencies type just because we’ve outgrown our targets. We’re ever-changing and so are our desires in life. Try wanting over your targets and ask your self in the event that they’re nonetheless what you need.

Take day out to regroup and ask your self what you actually wish to obtain:

  • What steps do you have to take?
  • Is what you’re presently doing reflecting what you need?
  • What do you have to change?

Write issues down, scribble them out and rewrite.

For Ostrich, do the tough duties first.

Even should you really feel you’re not a morning individual, the start of the day is when your mind is most efficient. Use this window of time to get the tougher stuff completed.

If you permit your tough duties to later, you’re more likely to place it off since you’re drained and lack motivation.

Finishing a lot of easy duties in the beginning of the day akin to studying all the brand new emails solely provides you a false sense of being productive.

For Self-saboteur, write out a to-do (and a not–to-do) checklist every day.

Writing issues down is highly effective and psychologically will increase your have to get issues completed.

Each day, make a behavior of making an inventory of the duties you know you’ll attempt to keep away from. By doing this, it brings these ‘difficult’ duties to your thoughts’s consideration as a substitute of retaining them locked away someplace in your avoidance mode.

Remember, assume how satisfying and productive it feels to cross of a accomplished activity.

For Daredevil, create a timeline with deadlines.

It’s frequent to have a deadline for a purpose which looks as if a good suggestion. But that is mainly an open invitation for procrastination.

If it’s a self-created deadline with no stress, we are likely to justify pushing it again every time it comes into sight and really feel we haven’t but completed ‘enough’ to get there.

Create a much bigger timeline then inside that, set up deadlines alongside the way in which. The fantastic thing about this comes when every deadline completion depends on the subsequent. It retains you on monitor and retains you accountable for being in alignment with the general timeline.

For Chicken, break duties into bite-sized items.

Quite a lot of the time procrastination comes from overwhelming ideas.

If one thing feels too massive to sort out and we don’t know the place to begin, it appears like a wrestle. This can be true if our purpose is just too obscure and missing course.

Break down bigger duties into smaller ones and switch them into each day or weekly targets. Smaller steps might appear to be the slower method to attaining a purpose, nevertheless it typically leads you far more shortly to the place you wish to be as a result of highly effective momentum you get going.

three. Take deliberate breaks

Human mind isn’t designed to work repeatedly on the identical activity and this might be a purpose for procrastination.

Make certain you’re taking common, structured breaks away out of your activity to be able to come again refreshed and able to be extra productive.

A break as brief as 5 minutes is sufficient to preserve your thoughts sharp and wards off fatigue. I like to recommend you to make use of the Pomodoro Time Tracker. It is a superb software that can assist you take breaks at set intervals. Simply begin the 25-minute timer, and observe the prompts.

four.  Reward your self

It’s essential to acknowledge and reward your self for attaining even the small duties. It creates a way of motivation and releases these feel-good, productive feelings that spur you on to attain much more.

Make your reward proportional to the duty you accomplished so getting a bite-sized activity completed will get you a cup of your favorite espresso or snack. Then plan a weekend away or enjoyable exercise for the larger stuff.

Personally I attempt to make staying focus extra enjoyable by utilizing the app Forest. It turns productiveness right into a recreation. In the sport, you possibly can plant a digital tree in the beginning of your work time. If you keep focus during the timer, you’ll develop a tree so as to add to your forest. It’s rewarding when you possibly can finally develop a forest.

5. Keep monitor of your time in a wise method

If you wish to forestall the unhealthy behavior of procrastination from coming again, preserve monitor of the time you spend every single day.

By having a transparent concept of the place you spend your time, you possibly can at all times overview your productiveness and know which areas to enhance.

It’s not simple to maintain monitor of each minute you spend all through the day so I like to recommend you to make use of the app Rescue Time.

It will get you a categorized breakdown of the way you spend your time and lets you learn the way a lot time you’re actually on-task. You may even label actions as productive and non-productive in order to dam your largest distractions.

Procrastination exists for a lot of causes and solely for yourselve what these triggers are. Understanding the supply of your avoidance tendencies is essential in transferring them out of the way in which and enable you begin the productiveness momentum.


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