Let's Stop Procrastination Today With These 8 Tips

Is there anything more stressful then procrastination? On one side is the pressure that keeps you from starting. On the other side is the looming deadline. 

The longer you procrastinate the higher the pressure from both sides.

Today's 8 tips will give you the power to end procrastination once and for all.


How Can I Stop Procrastinating?

  • Recognize your triggers
  • Break tasks into smaller steps
  • Eliminate distractions
  • Set clear achievable goals
  • Reward yourself
  • Adjust your environment
  • Change your mindset
  • Start with the most challenging task


Tip 1: Recognize Your Triggers

Recognizing the triggers that lead you to procrastinate is the first step towards beating it. Procrastination triggers are specific situations, feelings, or thoughts that cause you to put off the things you know need to be done.

Identify Your Triggers: Start by reflecting on the moments you find yourself procrastinating. Is it when a task feels too big to handle? Or perhaps when you doubt your ability to complete it perfectly?

Maybe it’s simply that the task at hand is boring. Recognizing these triggers can help you understand the reasons for your procrastination.

Keep a Procrastination Diary: For one week, make a note of every time you procrastinate. Write down the task you were avoiding, the reason you didn’t want to do it, and what you did instead.

This diary will help you identify patterns in your behavior. For instance, you might notice that you procrastinate more at certain times of the day, or when dealing with certain types of tasks.

Common Procrastination Triggers:

  • Fear of Failure: Avoiding tasks due to a fear of not meeting expectations or failing.
  • Feeling Overwhelmed: Feeling overwhelmed by the size or complexity of a task.
  • Perfectionism: Delaying tasks because you’re worried you won’t be able to complete them perfectly.
  • Lack of Interest: Avoiding tasks because they seem boring. 
  • Vague Tasks: Procrastinating because a task lacks clear starting or ending points.


Tip: Once you’ve identified your triggers, challenge them. If fear of failure is a trigger, remind yourself that making mistakes is a part of learning and growth. If a task feels overwhelming, break it down into smaller, more manageable steps.


Knowing your procrastination triggers is an important step in fighting them. IF you know what causes your procrastinationyou can beat it!

Tip 2: Break Tasks into Smaller Steps

When faced with a big project, the size and scope can be intimidating, leading to procrastination. By dividing it into bite-sized pieces, the task becomes less scary and easier to tackle.

How to Break Down Tasks:

  • Define the Overall Goal: Clearly define what you want to achieve with the task at hand.
  • List the Steps Needed: Write down all the steps required to complete the goal. Don’t worry about getting them in perfect order at first; just get them down on paper.
  • Organize and Prioritize: Once you have your list, organize the steps in a logical order based on importance and urgency.
  • Estimate Time: Assign a rough estimate of how much time each step will take. This helps set realistic expectations and plan your time accordingly.
  • Use the "5-Minute Rule": If you're struggling to even start on the first step, apply the "5-Minute Rule." Tell yourself you’ll work on the task for just five minutes. Often, the act of getting started is enough to build momentum, and you’ll find yourself working beyond the initial five minutes.
  • Celebrate Small Wins: As you complete each small step, take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate your progress. This could be as simple as crossing the item off your list or taking a short break to do something you enjoy.

Breaking tasks into smaller steps is a powerful tool to end procrastination. It not only makes starting less scary it also gives a clear direction to completion.


Tip 3: Eliminate Distractions

Distractions are one of the biggest hurdles to productivity and a common trigger for procrastination. In today’s digital world, with its constant stream of notifications, social media updates, and the lure of the internet, staying focused on the task at hand can be challenging. 

Identify Your Distractions 

Start by identifying what distracts you the most. Is it your phone, social media, emails, noisy environments, or perhaps interruptions from others? Recognizing these distractions is the first step toward managing them.

Strategies to Eliminate Distractions

  • Use Technology Wisely: Turn off notifications on your phone and computer or use apps designed to block distracting websites and apps during work hours. 
  • Create a Distraction-Free Workspace: Organize your workspace to minimize clutter and distractions. If possible, choose a quiet place where you’re less likely to be interrupted.
  • Set Boundaries: Inform family members, friends, or colleagues of your focused work times to minimize interruptions. Setting clear boundaries is essential for maintaining concentration.
  • Schedule Breaks and Distracted Times: Allow yourself specific times to check emails, social media, or relax. Knowing you have a designated time to indulge in these activities can make it easier to resist the temptation during work periods.
  • Implement the Two-Minute Rule: If you encounter a distraction that requires your attention, apply the two-minute rule—if it can be dealt with in two minutes or less, do it immediately and then return to your task. If it requires more time, schedule it for later.

Manage Your Digital Environment

Since many distractions come from digital sources, be deliberate about how you use your devices.

  • Declutter Your Digital Space: Keep your computer desktop and workspace tidy. A cluttered digital environment can lead to a cluttered mind.
  • Use Separate Devices or User Profiles: If possible, use different devices or create separate user profiles for work and personal activities. This separation can help mentally compartmentalize work and leisure, reducing the temptation to drift into non-work-related activities.
  • Practice Mindfulness and Self-discipline: Building a habit of mindfulness can help you become more aware of when you're getting distracted and why. Practicing self-discipline helps you to gently steer your focus back to the task at hand without self-criticism.

Getting rid of distractions takes environmental changes, technology management, and personal discipline. By addressing and reducing sources of distraction, you create a more focused and productive work environment.


Tip 4: Set Clear, Achievable Goals

Setting clear, achievable goals is a fundamental step in overcoming procrastination. Goals give you direction, focus, and a benchmark for success. Here’s how to set goals that motivate rather than overwhelm.

Use the SMART Criteria

  • Specific: Clearly define what you want to accomplish. The more specific your goal, the clearer the path to achieve it.
  • Measurable: Determine how you will measure progress and success. Knowing your milestones makes it easier to track progress.
  • Achievable: Make sure your goal is realistic and attainable. It should stretch your abilities but remain possible.
  • Relevant: Ensure your goal is important to you and aligns with your broader objectives. This increases motivation.
  • Time-bound: Set a deadline. A timeframe creates a sense of urgency and helps prevent procrastination.
  • Break Goals into Smaller Tasks: Just as breaking down tasks can help overcome procrastination, breaking down your goals into smaller, actionable steps can make them seem more achievable. Each step completed brings a sense of accomplishment, motivating you to continue.

Visualize Your Success 

  • Write Down Your Goals: The act of writing down your goals can make them feel more concrete and actionable. Keep your written goals in a visible place as a constant reminder and source of motivation.
  • Review and Adjust Your Goals Regularly: Goals are not set in stone. As you progress, you may find some goals need to be adjusted or refined. Regular reviews allow you to stay on track and make necessary changes to keep your goals achievable and relevant.
  • Celebrate Milestones: Recognize and celebrate when you reach milestones. This positive reinforcement can boost your motivation and commitment to your goals.
  • Accountability: Share your goals with someone you trust. Having someone to check in with can increase your sense of accountability and provide additional motivation to stay on track.

Setting clear, achievable goals is about more than just deciding what you want to do; it’s about creating a roadmap for action. By using the SMART criteria to define your goals, breaking them into manageable steps, and regularly reviewing your progress, you can maintain focus and motivation.


Tip 5: Reward Yourself

Incorporating rewards into your strategy to overcome procrastination is a great way to boost motivation and reinforce positive behavior. Rewards can provide something tangible to look forward to upon the completion of a goal, making the effort feel more worthwhile. 

  • Choose Meaningful Rewards: Select rewards that are genuinely appealing and motivating to you. This could be anything from a small treat, like a cup of your favorite coffee, to larger rewards for more significant achievements, such as a day out or a new book. The key is to ensure the reward is something you truly value and look forward to.
  • Match the Reward to the Achievement: The size or value of the reward should correspond to the difficulty or importance of the task. For completing a small, daily task, choose a small reward. For larger projects or goals, plan a more significant reward. This scaling ensures that your rewards system remains motivating and fair to your efforts.
  • Immediate vs. Delayed Rewards: While immediate rewards can provide instant gratification and reinforcement, delayed rewards can build anticipation and offer motivation over longer projects. Use a combination of both depending on the task and your personal preference.
  • Include Breaks as Rewards: Sometimes, the best reward can be a break or some downtime. After focusing intensely on a task, a short break to take a walk, meditate, or just relax can be incredibly rejuvenating and rewarding.
  • Reward Effort, Not Just Outcome: It's important to reward yourself for the effort you put in, not just for achieving a perfect outcome. This approach reinforces the value of hard work and persistence, especially when tackling challenging tasks.

Using rewards effectively is about understanding what motivates you personally and using that to encourage progress.


Tip 6: Adjust Your Environment

The environment in which you work will impact your productivity. An environment that is set up for focus and efficiency will help minimize distractions. 

  • Create a Dedicated Workspace: Having a specific area designated for work can help cue your brain that it’s time to focus. This space should be as free from distractions as possible. If you don’t have a separate room, even a specific desk or table can serve the purpose.
  • Organize Your Physical and Digital Space: A cluttered workspace can lead to a cluttered mind. Take time to organize your physical workspace, keeping only what you need within reach. Similarly, organize your digital space by decluttering your desktop, organizing files into folders, and closing unnecessary tabs and applications.
  • Control Noise Levels: Some people work best in complete silence, while others prefer background noise. Find what works best for you. If you need quiet but are in a noisy environment, consider noise-canceling headphones or earplugs. If you prefer background noise, try ambient sounds or music that doesn’t distract you.
  • Adjust Lighting: Good lighting is crucial for reducing eye strain and keeping you alert. Natural light is ideal, but if that’s not possible, ensure your workspace is well-lit with lamps or overhead lights. Avoid harsh lighting that can cause discomfort.
  • Ensure Comfortable Furniture: Your chair and desk play a significant role in your productivity. Invest in ergonomic furniture that supports your posture. Discomfort can be a significant distraction and lead to procrastination.
  • Use Visual Cues: Post motivational quotes, goal lists, or project deadlines where you can see them. These visual cues can serve as reminders of what you need to accomplish and why.
  • Regularly Change Your Environment: Sometimes, a change of scenery can boost productivity. If possible, alternate between different workspaces, such as moving from your home office to a coffee shop, to keep your environment stimulating and reduce monotony.

By creating a workspace that minimizes distractions, you can create a foundation that supports focused work and helps break the cycle procrastination.


Tip 7: Change Your Mindset

Overcoming procrastination is deeply rooted in changing your mindset. Your attitudes and beliefs about work, success, failure, and your own abilities can affect whether or not you procrastinate. 


  • Shift from Perfectionism to Progress: Many people procrastinate because they fear their work won't be perfect. Recognize that perfection is unattainable and that making progress is more important than achieving perfection. Embrace mistakes and setbacks as part of the learning process.
  • Reframe Tasks: Change how you view tasks by focusing on their benefits rather than their burdens. Instead of thinking about how difficult or tedious a task is, consider what you will gain from completing it. This shift in perspective can make tasks feel more meaningful and less aversive.
  • Practice Self-Compassion: Be kind to yourself when you slip up or procrastinate. Self-criticism can lead to a negative spiral of procrastination. Acknowledge your feelings, understand that everyone procrastinates at times, and gently guide yourself back to the task at hand.
  • Develop a Growth Mindset: Cultivate the belief that your abilities and intelligence can be developed with effort, learning, and persistence. A growth mindset fosters resilience and a willingness to tackle challenges, reducing the likelihood of procrastination.
  • Visualize Success: Spend time visualizing yourself successfully completing tasks and achieving your goals. This mental rehearsal can boost your confidence and motivation, making it easier to get started and persist through challenges.
  • Challenge Negative Thoughts: Pay attention to and challenge your negative thoughts and beliefs about work and your abilities. When you catch yourself thinking, "I can't do this," question that belief and replace it with, "I can do this if I take it one step at a time."
  • Focus on Why: Keep your larger goals and the reasons behind your tasks in mind. When you connect the work you're doing to your values and long-term objectives, it becomes more meaningful and engaging, making procrastination less appealing.
  • Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness can help you stay present and focused, reducing the anxiety and overwhelm that often lead to procrastination. Techniques such as deep breathing or meditation can help calm your mind and increase your focus on the current task.
  • Adopt an Attitude of Gratitude: Regularly remind yourself of what you're grateful for, including the opportunity to work on the tasks before you. Gratitude can shift your focus from what you're avoiding to what you're achieving and can enhance your overall well-being and productivity.

Changing your mindset is a big step toward ending procrastination. By creating a positive, growth-oriented mindset, you can reduce the mental barriers to action. 


Tip 8: Start with the Most Challenging Task

This approach is based on the idea that by completing the task you're most likely to procrastinate on first, you not only get it out of the way but also create a sense of achievement that can fuel productivity for the rest of the day.

  • Identify Your "Frog": Each evening, identify the most significant, challenging task for the next day—the one you're most likely to procrastinate on. This task should be a high priority that will have a substantial impact on your goals.
  • Prepare the Night Before: Once you've identified your "frog," spend a few minutes preparing for it. Gather any materials or information you'll need to get started right away the next morning. This preparation minimizes barriers to beginning the task.
  • Make It the First Task of Your Day: Before you do anything else, before checking emails or social media, start on your most challenging task. The morning is often when many people have the most energy and fewest distractions, making it an ideal time for focused work.
  • Break It Down: If the task is particularly large or daunting, break it down into smaller, more manageable steps. Focus on completing just the first step. Often, starting is the hardest part, and once you've made some progress, momentum will carry you forward.
  • Limit Distractions: Ensure you have a distraction-free environment when tackling your "frog." Turn off notifications, clear your workspace, and let others know you need to focus.
  • Reward Yourself: After completing your most challenging task, give yourself a reward. This positive reinforcement can help build a habit of starting your day with the most difficult task.
  • Reflect on Your Success: Take a moment to reflect on the accomplishment of completing your most challenging task. Acknowledge the effort it took and the benefits of having done it. This reflection can increase your confidence and motivation for future tasks.
  • Be Consistent: Make "eating the frog" a part of your daily routine. Consistency strengthens the habit, making it easier to tackle challenging tasks first over time.

Starting your day by completing the most challenging task can transform your productivity and reduce procrastination. It not only gets the task you're most likely to avoid out of the way but also sets a positive tone for the day. 


Don't Wait! End Procrastination Today!

Overcoming procrastination is about making a conscious decision to change, followed by consistent action towards using these strategies in your daily life. 

  • Identify Your Triggers: Reflect on what typically leads you to procrastinate. Is it fear, perfectionism, or lack of interest? Recognizing these triggers is the first step toward managing them.
  • Set One Small Goal: Choose one small, achievable goal for today or tomorrow. Apply the SMART criteria to ensure it's specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
  • Tackle Your Frog: Determine the most challenging task you've been putting off and commit to tackling it first thing in your next productive period. Prepare for it tonight.
  • Organize Your Environment: Spend a few minutes today to declutter and organize your workspace. A clean and orderly environment can significantly boost your focus and productivity.
  • Reflect and Adjust: At the end of your day, take a few minutes to reflect on what worked and what didn’t. Be patient with yourself and understand that progress takes time. Adjust your strategies as needed.
  • Celebrate Progress: Remember to reward yourself for the progress made, no matter how small. Celebrating your successes can build momentum and encourage you to keep moving forward.

The journey to overcoming procrastination is personal and ongoing. There will be successes and setbacks, but each step you take is a step towards becoming a more productive, efficient, and fulfilled. Remember, the most critical action is the next one you take. Start small, be consistent, and gradually incorporate more strategies as you build confidence and make every day better.


1. Bailey, C. (2019, November 26). 5 Research-Based Strategies for Overcoming Procrastination. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2017/10/5-research-based-strategies-for-overcoming-procrastination

2.Jkim. (2021, November 5). How to Stop Procrastinating: There is a science to it - Nursing@Georgetown. GU-MSN. https://online.nursing.georgetown.edu/blog/how-to-stop-procrastinating-there-is-a-science-to-it/

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