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How To Avoid Procrastination And Get Back To Work

Before you close this tab again(what procrastinators are best at), let me claim the next 10 minutes spent reading the article can make you worse procrastinator. The hustle to avoid procrastinating seems never ending and somewhere we accept it as an intact part of life. What’s more funny, as time passes we become habitual procrastinators. Though we realize the damage procrastination is doing to our life and career still we aren’t able to avoid it. With time things become frustrating and we feel more helpless, isn’t it.

Before we dig deep into the topic let me clear that procrastination isn’t similar to laziness.  

Procrastination Vs Laziness

Procrastination is when you fill your day with low-priority task just to avoid an unpleasant but important task.

Laziness is just inactivity or unwillingness to act.

You see no way these two things are completely similar. So it’s good to search out other possible reason for procrastination. Let’s have a closer look on reasons for procrastination.

Why we procrastinate

1. Weak memory – You already have a bad experience in past because of procrastination. But somehow you forget the consequences and again repeating the same mistakes. Weak memory to recall bad consequences because of procrastination force us to repeat it again. 

2. Anxiety – It’s possible you’re anxious because of certain problems in life. The time you start the work a sudden wave of anxiety overpower you. This wave distracts you and force you to worry about that problem instead of current work. Hence, you end up procrastinating.

3. No-Planning– You aren’t sure where to start! Not having a plan invite confusions. This confusion force you to take more number of decisions. This can causes decision-fatigue. When you do many spontaneous decisions(hit and trial) instead of a well framed plan the brain overwhelms. The decision-fatigue results in lack of interest in application to the actual task. This bad habit of not planning eventually cost you heavy.

4. Not-Prioritizing– You aren’t selective with the task you are completing. There’s no benefit in completing all low-priority task and missing out the important one. This happens when you don’t prioritize your day hours and the tasks to be done. Often low- priority tasks make us overwhelmed and we miss out higher priority tasks.

5. Addicted to Perfection – So you love perfection and won’t convince on anything less than that, right. It’s good to add value to your work but value added beyond timeline is always nil. Think about eating green vegetables for a week to purify blood for donation which suppose to be donated on the spot a week back. Sorry but you’re late no matter how perfectly you did the work. 

6. Inner-Criticism / Self-Doubt – We know criticism brings quality but let the criticism come from outside world. Self-doubt or Self-criticism could be the reason for procrastinating any task. The more you criticize yourself the less deserving you feel towards the reward and this force you to skip the task.

Avoid procrastination


7. Low-Confidence – Confidence plays an important role in handling a task. A completely new or challenging task creates self-doubt and insecurity. When you’re afraid of failure the mind want to avoid that pain. Finally, ending up procrastinating things.


8. Overconfidence –  Ok, may be you are too confident with the work and hence feel it’s fine to delay it. Your mind gets an illusion that the task is easy enough to be hold till the last minute. This happens if you already did similar tasks in past. 


How To Avoid Procrastinating

1. Consider the consequences

It’s possible to procrastinate but not-possible to escape its consequences. Take a breath and imagine a situation where the task exceeds deadline. Try to have a glimpse of that situation and it’s affect on your career and life. After that write down all those outcomes and how worse situation can become. 

When you forget the past experience with procrastination the present becomes carefree. This affects the future, isn’t it. But when you record all the past results and recall it during the task a guilt monster comes into play. This guilt monster force you to start the work instantly or face the same horrible result and thus helping you to avoid procrastination.

fear of procrastination

2. Chunk The Data

Chunk it! 

The hardest part of a task is very often “the start”. Chronic procrastinators admit that even if they are interested in any task they simply fail to start it. This often happens with a very complex and difficult assignment.

It’s possible that your task is very hard and lengthy. There are chances that you may find the task hard enough to even visualize and thus delaying it for infinite time. What you can try is to divide or chunk the task into several parts and then combat them individually. 

It’s all about initiating! That’s the hardest part. Once you initiate, the mind get constant boosters and motivation to finish the task. Figure out the easiest chunk of a tough task and try to complete it within a time limit. 

No matter how difficult a task seems but it’s always possible to divide it into sub-tasks. This way the task would look achievable and brain won’t mind to start it instantly. 

3. Avoid procrastination using DEADLINE

Deadlines have their own importance and they need not to be set by your boss or teachers. 

I will do it someday!!

Humans are experts in visualizing these kind of “Someday’s” which never arrives. Instead try to mould it into:

I need to complete it by that day’s that time…

For every chunked task set a deadline and be loyal to it. Deadlines create an obvious push towards the task. Our mind is very proactive to challenges though small and achievable. Moreover it gives the mind a better clarification of the timeline it needs to follow in order to complete the task. There are various apps to make you follow a deadline e.g Trello. 


4. Make A Work Circle

We all have a friend circle though small, large or may be none. Well fortunately numbers don’t matter when it comes to a work circle( P.S- “none” is not an option though). 

Not getting solutions on specific intervals during a task can result in loss of interest. Working in a group or asking support from similar interest people can help you to carry on the task. But that doesn’t mean you should hangout with any random group.

Community matters

Yes you read it right. The quality of work you’ll do depends on quality of suggestion your group provides. Being in an unproductive group can leave you nowhere and may decrease the productivity.  

“hey I’m working on this project, any suggestion where to start with”

Yes! that one sentence to a reasonable group member can solve out a major problem(of starting the work), isn’t it. Or

“Hey I’m planning to finish it by tomorrow, I will give my best”.

This sentence is enough to build a virtual pressure on you and start the work as soon as possible.

To avoid procrastination becomes necessary when it comes to pride and personality, isn’t it. 

5. You deserve a reward

Reward is a catalyst! 

You just completed a work on time and definitely deserve a gift. With every completed task it’s ethical to appreciate your deeds on being successful to avoid procrastination. It could be playing your favorite video game after completing an assignment or a night out with friends after completing your major project.


reward yourself

Remember to promise a reward under budget else the guilt of spending too much can demoralize you about the next task. Also, don’t forget to track your reward activity with the help of cellphone alarm if it’s something like playing video games or watching favorite movie. 


6. Save Quotes & Videos

Words and visuals could be powerful. You may have noticed sometimes that reading certain quotes or viewing particular videos abruptly motivates you for work. Our mind is meant to get influenced, either by a time wasting activity or a motivating quote/video. 

There could be instances where you can’t stop yourself procrastinating. This could be scrolling through memes pages or funny videos. 

Right here switching to an already saved motivational video or reading a quote can swing the mood. This comes with realization of time wastage along with an impulse to immediately start what’s important. 


7. Pomodoro Technique

May be you want to start the work but anxious of the time it consumes and the dedication it demands. This can cause procrastinating the task as you’re enough anxious and overwhelmed. 

Pomodoro technique comes to rescue by helping you to manage time and avoid distractions. It works on the principal of work and wait, giving you a good long run with the task. The steps are as follows

1) Pick a task to complete.

2) Set a timer of 25 min.

3) Work on the selected task for these 25min and stop after time is up. Count this as 1 Pomodoro.

4) Take a 5 min break. 

5) After every 4 Pomodoro take a longer break of 15-30 min.

This is a much better technique to not feel overwhelmed with a time consuming task. In fact, after the 1st Pomodoro you’ll be more confident towards the work.


Procrastination is a termite. It eats up all our talent, time and profession. Also restrict us to get what we deserve. But it doesn’t mean the situation can’t be improved. Though slow, but using above given measures you’ll see a constructive change in your habits and attitude towards work. Let’s bring out the change and kill this termite. Yes you can do it, all you need to do is give it a try. 

Best selling book for Procrastinators.

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