how can you overcome procrastination
Self-development

How Can You Overcome Procrastination ?

The Bright side Of Procrastination

the bright side of procrastination

So you want to know, how can you overcome procrastination?

But first is there a bright side to procrastination?

Can I, postponing accomplishing certain tasks to a later day be a good thing?

Yes, it can be.

In fact, one of my professors in college told me that procrastination and accomplishing tasks at the last minute was a skill every engineer needs to develop, as this will happen a lot when we start working.

And some employers want to know how you handle tasks when you are pressured by a very close deadline.

This is because, like it or not in the business world, so many unpredictable things happen.

There will be so many times when you will be required to make spontaneous decisions and get things done in a very short period of time.

So you might as well practice being good at that by pushing things closer to the deadline.

Other than this some other advantages of procrastination are;

  • A boost in creativity
  • You get to complete tasks faster
  • Improve your mood and boost your energy
  • You make better decisions by intentional delay.

The Downside Of Procrastination

the downside of procrastination

Yes, there are some benefits but also so many disadvantages which we need to be aware of.

The pressure caused by getting to accomplish tasks close to the deadline will have an effect on your health.

Pushing tasks to the deadline might make you give up on them, as you might become overwhelmed by the workload you underestimated ( this was the cause of every bad grade I had in college)

Having to do things in a hurry might affect the quality of your service as you might miss some key details.

Procrastination can also lead to the unattainment of your goals and so much more.

Why You Procrastinate?

why do you procrastinate

We very often mix up procrastination with laziness but they are very different.

Procrastination is active, as this involves postponing one task for another.

Whereas laziness is postponing one task for nothing, just lying around.

So now let us reflect on all the times we have procrastinated before.

Why did we do it?

Was it because this task was not important?

Was it because you weren’t inspire?

Did you lack the right tools to accomplish this task?

Did you not know how to accomplish this task?

Were you more attracted to or inspired by another task?

Does the task look very challenging?

Do you feel you have so much time to get the task done?

Are you scared of the results you might get when you take action?

Well, I have procrastinated for all the above reasons and so much more.

How To Overcome Procrastination

Following the reasons why we procrastinate above, I will be listing some ways in which we can tackle each and every one of these reasons.

1. Do what you love

Probably by now, we have heard the stories of many entrepreneurs and how hard they have to work to achieve success.

We have surely heard of stories of successful people who had to work consistently hard for several years before their hard work paid off.

When they are asked what kept them going all those years, most say their love for what they were doing.

Most times we turn to choose to do other things than working on accomplishing our tasks because we love those other things more.

Check out some inspiring stories of highly successful people who went through numerous challenges but still fought their way to the top. Get to know about Victoria Arlen and Dr. Tererai Trent 

2. Have a purpose

Your purpose, your why inspires you to get things done or at least make a plan to get things done.

3. Set your goals

Write done your goals and always remind yourself of them.

Watch a video or read blogs which remind you of the life you want to be living.

This will inspire you to get up and get to work.

4. Make a plan

This is a very important step for overcoming procrastination.

How do you plan to make your dreams come through?

What do you have to do each day?

What are the daily priorities, what can be pushed to the next day or week?

Why is it a priority?

Let the adrenaline of their urgency drive you to work.

5. Commit to getting the task done.

Yes commit, don’t just plan or say you will do it, commit to doing it.

Commit- pledge or bind (a person or an organization) to a certain course or policy.

Committing implies getting the task done is not optional but obligatory.

6. Be Flexible

I intentionally put this after committing because I believe they go hand in hand.

As Tony Robbins says, we should commit to our goals but be flexible to how we achieve them.

I can commit to getting a certain task done in a day but I can at the same time to be flexible to how I get them done.

For example, I could commit to blogging daily but be flexible to what I blog about.

So in case I planned to blog about a certain topic today and I don’t feel inspired, I will save myself a lot of time if I just switch to something else.

Another example is committing to writing 2 pages of your book and you have no inspiration at that point in time, you might decide to do some more research on that topic instead at that point in time.

You could also commit to reading for a certain exam.

You don’t feel like reading at that point in time.

Remember your main goal is to study that topic for the exam, the how doesn’t matter, you might prefer watching a lecture about that topic on youtube. ( that was what I did when reading made me sleepy).

Be flexible about how.

7. Minimize Distraction.

Turn the notifications off, so you don’t get tempted to pick up your phone.

Work away from entertainment.

An in extreme cases you could consider blogging some sites on your work pc or deleting some apps on your phone.

6. Consume content which inspires you.

I dream to travel the world and I want to build a business which allows me to do just that.

So watching videos of bloggers and entrepreneurs who get to do that inspires me to get to work.

I want to be able to impact and inspire young girls to do more.

So watching a documentary about some of the limitations of women inspire me to work harder.

Also on days when I want to write about a certain topic and I lack the inspiration to, I watch videos and read blogs about that topic, that gets my creative juice flowing.

7. Restrict the amount of time you give to accomplish a certain task.

A task set to be done in 2 hours will most likely be done in about 2 hours.

Try seeing if you can accomplish that same task in less time.

You probably can, if you have just one and a half hour to get it done.

Don’t set the task to be done before the day runs out.

That is 24 hours allocated for a task that could be done in much less.

Setting a time limit will go along way to avoid you doing other things instead of on working on that task.

8. Ask someone to keep you accountable.

We mostly procrastinate especially on our personal projects.

because we have no boss keeping us accountable.

We could be our own worst boss or employees.

To avoid procrastination due to lack of accountability, why don’t you ask someone to keep you accountable.

You could have an accountability partner.

You keep each other accountable.

Trust me, this will go a long way to inspire you to work harder, you don’t want to be the slacker.

Just imagine having an accountability partner who tells you they got 7 things done on a certain day and you never succeeded to get anything done.

How much will that inspire you to work the next day?

When To Procrastinate

Ok by now you might probably be wondering, when do you know the right time to procrastinate and the times not to.

Like I said procrastination has a bright side and a downside.

So the million dollar question is how do we take advantage of the bright side while avoiding the effects of the downside.

Here it goes.

When you catch yourself procrastinating.

Reflect on the why?

Be honest to yourself.

Is it a lack of inspiration?

Then go do something else, you find that our best ideas come when we are not thinking about the project.

Side note: sometimes the inspiration comes when you start, other times you find yourself staring at a blank screen for 30 minutes.

When you are experiencing the later, I do believe its okay to procrastinate

Also procrastinating on a certain activity is because you have other more pressing things to handle is okay.

At the end of the day, we are all unique and have unique circumstances

What we need to do is reflect on the why and decide the best route to take, guided by our love, our why and our plan to achieve our goal.

When Not To Procrastinate

I think it is only right we talk about when not to procrastinate before we go.

Don’t procrastinate, when procrastinating means not meeting up the tasks which will lead to the attainment of your goals.

Now I will like to hear from you, How can you overcome procrastination?

How has procrastinating impacted your life?

As usual, my friends go be legendary

“A year from now you may wish you had started today.”
― Karen Lamb

procrastination quotes

34 Comments

  • Ola

    Procrastination is a great disease that damages and destroy ones life. I have been a victim of procrastination and I almost lost everything I had because I procrastinate alot. When you believe you still have enough time to do some things meanwhile you can easily do it NOW. Obviously Its disadvantages outweighs its advantages in several ways which makes it much more damaging. This article is a must for everyone to read.

    • Etah

      I am glad you found some value here, Ola.
      I like your take if you can do it now, no need to postpone.
      Thanks for sharing your experience with procrastination and adding some value here.
      Best regards to you.

  • Joshuam99

    Hello!

    My name is Joshua, and I have read through your homepage on your website. 

    The content looks great! I especially like the picture that you first see upon entering your website, and the display is catchy. I, personally, struggle with procrastination, so as you might imagine… I was hooked on reading more. What you wrote about doing what you love really resonated with me because it took me a long time to figure out how to do that. And, interestingly enough, I think we all now have that ability here on WA… to do what we each individually love!

    All the best,

    Joshua

    • Etah

      I am happy to hear, this article and some of the points resonated with you.
      Yeah being on wealthy affiliate is really a blessing for me.
      Thanks for visiting my site.
      Best regards to you

  • Misty Outdoors

    I have definitely struggled with procrastination. I do this especially when I’m working on a project that I do not
    enjoy.
    I  agree with one of your points that doing what you love can help overcome procrastination. I have my own business now- and work out of my home. I am very motivated compared to when I was working for a Corporation in a Cube Environment.

    The purpose is key as well-mine is to help people live a healthy and active life outdoors. It really does make a huge difference having passion for your work.

    Oh- and to touch on your point about waiting until the last minute sometimes. I know this to be the Parkinsons’ Law.
    Where the project fills the amount of time you’ve given it. Have you heard of this? I also use the Pomodoro technique when
    I work. I get twice as much accomplished in half the amount of time.

    • Etah

      Thanks for sharing your experiences, on how you overcome procrastination.
      The techniques you shared are awesome and very useful.
      I have heard of the Parkinson’s law before but not the Pomodoro.
      Though researching it now, it tells me the techniques of working with break intervals in between. This is a tip, I learned and have been using for a long time now, very effective.
      Thanks

  • Gracen

    Hi Etah, I must say you got me there. I mean at first, I was skeptical about procrastination having a bright side. Yeah, I was skeptical because I have a close friend who procrastinate a lot and once she is under pressure, I will be the first person she will run to in order to help her accomplish a task she could have ordinarily taken care of before the dead line.

    However, reading through your post, especially the line of business, your argument on procrastination having a bright side is well grounded. Truly, procrastination seems to make one more creative and there is this energy surge that comes with wanting to meet with dead line.

    I love your tips on how to overcome procrastination especially having a purpose and setting goals.

    • Etah

      Hello Gracen,
      Yeah, when I first heard of the bright side of procrastination, it took some time to sink in.
      But as time went by I have come to experience lots of benefits of procrastinating and not feeling so down on myself when I do it.
      You are also right there could be a downside of procrastination which we really need to be looking out for.
      I am glad you found some value here.
      Best regards

  • Peace

    This is my first of hearing that procrastination has its good sides. Looking at it more closely, I realise that you are right. 

    I agree with all your tips on how to overcome procrastination, especially the flexibility advice. 

    I don’t like doing anything without bringing all my heart into it. And whenever I sense that I am not in the mood to achieve a particular goal, I procrastinate the doing the task but I go into other things that will improve my motivation to accomplish that task.

  • Adamuts

    Hello Ettah.

     I’m glad to read this lovely post about Procastination.I would say it an eye opener. I also love the way you highlighted your points. I have been following this blog posts for a long time, because your posts are always educative and resourceful.  I must tell you this is not an exception.

    Thank you for dishing out words of wisdom and encouragement. Best regards 

  • Olanike

    Hi Etah, good to read another of your wonderful posts. As a mother you have really hit the nail on the head concerning procrastination. My headache is pushing my responsibilities forward to another day.

    At first I thought its because I am so committed to my family. But your post has really shone a light on my undoings, and I am going to follow your advice religiously, hopefully, I will be able to kill the time killer once and for all.

    • Etah

      I am glad you found some value here, Olanike.
      Yeah sometimes we get so comfortable finding excuses for some fo our shortcomings but the first step overcoming whatever shortcoming is admitting to ourselves that we can do better, no excuses.
      All the best to you

  • Kenechi

    That was very inspiring and motivating article. I have always known procrastination as the worst thief of time. I have a principle that guides me. Whatever I know I can achieve today, I don’t keep it till tomorrow because tomorrow might be so inconvenient to achieve the task. Yea no one knows tomorrow! Procrastination has stole a lot of visions and destinies in this generation and I don’t actually see more of its benefits. The downside of procrastination outweighs it’s benefits and I always advise everyone to be far from procrastinating any task.  My key to overcome  procrastination just like i said before is to always achieve anything I can achieve today and not to leave it for tomorrow. 

    • Etah

      Great principle, Kenechi.
      You are right, sometimes the downside of procrastination could out weight the benefits and we just need to be able to judge that for ourselves, when that’s the case.
      Best regards to you.

  • Seun Afotanju

    Thanks for this interesting article, Procrastination is a trap that many of us fall into and I’m glad I came across your post in other to help me avoid procrastination over a long period of time, as this can lead to be demotivated and disillusioned with our work, which can lead to depression and even job loss. Thanks alot for this brilliant post.

  • Yormith96

    A nice write up, now I see I have sometimes been mixing procrastination with laziness. The bright side caught me, but I see it as a positive tool to be able to work during pressured days. Also doing things not just being idle also timing would be a good one I would be using as well. Thanks for the insights 

  • Achievers

    This is a wonderful article to come by. This is really informative and educative. I never thought that procrastination could have a bright side as well as all our mentality toward procrastination is the down side. I have learnt something important today via your article. Reading through the lines of your article, procrastination could be good if you have other pressing issues that need urgent attention and could be really bad if you don’t have reason to delay. This article is rich and loaded with wisdom. I will share this article. Thanks. 

    • Etah

      I am glad you found some value here,
      Yeah, as you said if there is no reason to delay, then do it now.
      Thanks for the share,
      best regards to you

  • Paul

    Dear Etah,

    Procrastination is my biggest problem and to be honest I wanted to write quality content on my blog daily but you know what, I have nearly postponed it for six months and following or doing other things on my online business. This post means a lot to me.

    Indeed compared to the advantages the disadvantages of Procrastination is numerous. You not only discussed the problem but you have provided with solution as well which is very helpful. The questions on why we procrastinate hit me on my head and all the 10 points you discussed are helpful and going forward I will implement what I learned from this post.

    Your article certainly made me think more on the subject and I am bookmarking it for future reference.

    Much Success!

    Paul

    • Etah

      hello Paul,
      I am glad you found some value here,
      Yes, blogging daily could be challenging but worth it in the long run.
      What you need to do as I said is reflect about why you have been postponing that, in the why is found the how to overcome it.
      Best regards to you

  • Barrywesley

    Your articles are always inspiring and teaching on ways of life. I commend you for that keep it up. My take on this, you have made me to understand that procrastination has a good side of it. But I will be very bad when you are not able to complete a task because of procrastination. I remember my university days when I keep procrastinating my reading time because I was doing three jobs every day then I come back so tired, the I won’t be able to read any more.. But when it’s time to write an examination, I read and study under pressure then I just pass that examination, I guess that side of reading under pressure has really helped me in my work place, because some times I work under pressure. But it is not good when you are not able to meet up with targets

    • Etah

      I am glad you found some value here, Barry.
      I ups and downs of procrastination are real and sometimes intertwined.
      Like you said the secret is not letting procrastination be the reason for you not meeting up with certain tasks.
      All the best to you

  • affiliate_ghost

    Hello Etah :), 

    I really enjoyed reading this post and how you broke things down resonates greatly with me. A lot of us confuse procrastination(which has its benefits when used properly as you have described in details- thanks again for that) and laziness(which has no benefits to personal growth).

    I recently stated “procrastinating” the right way by using  audiobooks and youtube videos when i am too jaded to read on a subject or a task i have to accomplish. I find what i enjoy and find a way to use it to build on myself. and i feel more people need to read your post and understand this better as i have gained a few new tips also.  

    • Etah

      I am glad you found some value here.
      I love your tip on listening to audiobooks and youtube videos, that is my go-to way to get through many self – development books, it is very effective for me.

  • eightball

    Procrastination pressures with a deadline always gets me nervous. Brain tends to shut down, then fear sets in, that I’ll have the wrong answer or solution. I walk away, push it aside and come back later. Sometimes days later. From what I’ve read on Entrepreneurs, they fail quite a bit one way or the other. But they don’t quit they always find the solution. That’s one of my biggest goals, is to be an Entrepreneur. And to read they fail a lot, that kinda scares me. They say we need to welcome failure. I’m not there yet. But, on a good note, your web page has given some tremendous ideals that I haven’t even thought of or tried. I will try your suggestions because what I am doing isn’t really working all that well. So I thank you and God bless

    .        Eightball 

    • Etah

      I am glad you found some value here, Eightball.
      Yeah, the disadvantages of procrastination can really get to us.
      What really matters is getting to know ourselves.
      Getting to know the situations and environment in which we strive in.
      We are all working progress, we try, we fail, we again until we succeed.
      Best regards to you

  • Riaz Shah

    Excellent tips Etah!

    I have to admit, the distraction part is what gets me. Whenever I plan to take a short break, I ended up procrastinating what I do because I feel like I’m at a state where everything feels so comfortable which makes me lazy. Okay enough of stalling, time to get to work, thanks for giving me that slight nudge, here’s to both our productivity today!

    • Etah

      Hello Riaz,
      Yeah, I totally get that, sometimes it’s so hard getting out of that comfort zone, who am I getting all time 🙂
      But what we really need to strengthen is our willpower to do the right thing even when we don’t want to. That is when committing becomes really necessary, so going back to work is non-negotiable.
      Cheers, to our productive days.

  • Topazdude

    Hi Etah, Thanks for sharing this helpful and inspiring post on how to overcome procrastination. I agreed that there is a bright side to procrastination, but it’s cons outgrow its pros. This is because, like it or not in the business world, so many unpredictable things happen. I can remember when I used to trade cryptocurrency then, a day of postponement really my ass from liquidation from buying a coin then because there will be so many times when you will be required to make spontaneous decisions and get things done in a very short period of time. But not always, as it always happens that the habit will boomerang with greater effect. I often mix up procrastination with laziness  but they are very different. I learned that from the post that Procrastination is active, as this involves postponing one task for another. Whereas laziness is postponing one task for nothing, just lying around. These solutions to overcoming procrastination really come handy to me, as I will adopt Setting my goals, by writing down my goals and always remind myself of them. I hope a daily to-do list will be helpful?

  • Etah

    I am glad you found some value here.
    You are right the cons of procrastination could be really dangerous.
    Yeah, a to-do list will be perfect.
    Best regards to you.

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