Most people deal with procrastination of some form or the other. There are different theories as to why some are more susceptible than others, exploring the psychological, biological, or evolutionary basis of the phenomenon. While there are instances of needing to postpone things, procrastination not managed or dealt with can cause significant loss in productivity, performance and ultimate success.

Procrastination is the act- or shall we call it the ‘art’ of delaying.

Procrastination occurs for different reasons, including:  exhaustion, you are too tired to start or complete the task; or aversion, that is, you do not like the task and have developed some sort of aversion to it.  Making that important business or professional call ranks high in this category. Procrastination can also be caused by distraction, where you are easily diverted from the goal of completing an activity or project.

I find that I can easily delay things for as long as possible for any or all of the above reasons. I also use substitution in my procrastination - for instance making pancakes when I should really be trying to meet my deadline!

Because I know how susceptible I am to procrastinatIon, I have had to develop and use strategies to get me back and stay on track!

See if they work for you.


Change the way you view the task

We are more likely to procrastinate if we feel that an action is unpleasant or difficult. For example some people have an aversion to paperwork that is almost a medical condition! Often these tasks are compulsory, but some can be done away with once you examine their validity; some can be delegated or others even automated. The key is to not think the task is unpleasant, but instead to consider creative ways to complete them.

Review the task

Is this task really something you need to be doing? If the answer is yes, refer to number one, change the way you view it and apply creative solutions to solve it. What if the answer is no? Perhaps you have left this task so long, it is no longer valid: it no longer fits into your overall objectives or it no longer serves your goals. Review the task so you don’t spend any longer procrastinating on it!

Reframe your words

Our words are powerful carriers of our intention and can also determine our results. ‘I hate paperwork!’ ‘I should go on a diet!’ ‘I ought to make that call’. These statements are limiting, words such as ought, should, must, carry negative connotations. Instead use positive and proactive words which will energise and propel you to action.

Plan for action

You have a task that you have applied the first three tips to. You are ready to proceed and you don’t seem able. Well, what does your work space look like? Just as we need to clear clutter in our minds so we need to clear our work area. Now some people insist that they can only work within chaos, but for the majority of us there is nothing as liberating as a clear space!

Do it!

Don’t wait until you feel like it, just do it! Easier said than done? Not really. All it takes is practice and determination. The more we get on with the task the less procrastination has a hold on us. We are more confident, we feel increasingly energised and the results are amazing!

Are you ready to turn your skill, knowledge or passion into a business? There are some great reasons to stop procrastinating, discover five of them here.