Health Advocate Blog

10 quick tips to fight procrastination

Procrastination is often pervasive at home and in the workplace. Somehow, there’s always a task that you need to do that you can’t stop putting off. Since September 6 is Fight Procrastination Day, here are our top tips to help you kick procrastination to the curb. We’ll keep them short just in case you’re procrastinating by reading this blog post!

  1. Know your “why.” Understanding why you’re procrastinating is the first step toward fixing the problem. Is the procrastination coming from a place of fear, overwhelm, or unclear directions? identify the real issue and take steps to fix it.
  2. Chunk it. Break an overwhelming task down into smaller, more manageable chunks—and then focus on getting them done one at a time.
  3. Reduce distractions. Are you having difficulty focusing? If your office is noisy, take steps to eliminate distractions. If you’re the one who’s distracting yourself (for example, if you’re checking your cell phone too often), impose limits on yourself. In the case of checking your phone too frequently, tell yourself that you can check it after working for an hour, or completing a specific task.
  4. Be accountable. Give yourself a deadline to get things done. And for additional help staying on track, tell someone else about your deadline so that they can help hold you accountable.
  5. Single-task. Multitasking can overwhelm you and diminish your focus, which can contribute to procrastination. Instead, do one thing at a time, and then move on to the next thing.
  6. Don’t wait until you “feel like it.” Motivation is often not around when you need it. Instead, take action! Taking one small step toward your goal can lead to a chain reaction of steps, and before you know it, you’ve made progress!
  7. Switch up your environment. Is your environment too quiet, too noisy, too populated, too lonely? Switch it up! Consider using a conference room, coffee shop, empty office, or cafeteria to work in, depending on both your preferences and your workplace’s norms and requirements.
  8. Take breaks. You wouldn’t think that breaks can help you get more done, but they truly can keep you fresh and clear-headed to do your best work. Note that a break need not be long, or even time spent away from your desk. Just getting up from your seat and stretching, standing up for a minute, or walking in place can help refresh you!
  9. Use your imagination. Imagine how good it will feel once this task is done and you don’t have to think or worry about it anymore! Reminding yourself that there is an end in sight and that you’ll feel really good when you reach it can be great motivation to get started and keep going.
  10. Reward yourself. When all else fails, why not bribe yourself to reach your goal or complete your project? Even small bribes are effective, such as grabbing a snack or a coffee break with a friend.