Monday, September 30, 2019

List: Ten effective strategies to stop procrastination.

Before I went on a temporary blogging hiatus, I typed up a draft and saved it in my posts.  This draft was created on March 5, 2016 with my last post being September 26, 2016.  This post was ironically entitled "List:  Ten ways to stop procrastination."  Ladies and gentleman, I give you the ultimate procrastination!  To add insult to injury, this was my only remaining draft.

I could have deleted this draft, accepted my fate as a procrastinator, and moved on.  Instead I am choosing to change my ways.  I will no longer let today's problems become tomorrow's problems.  Here's to the start of something new!

Image result for there is no better day than today; ten ways to stop procrastination; let today be the day of something new

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Ten ways to stop procrastination.

1.  Learn to prioritize.
Sometimes things are pushed to the side because of time restraints.  Get organized by acting on the most important items first.  This is effective in stopping procrastination as long as you continue to throw in low priority items along the way.

Idea: Do my favorite activity and write a list with the high priority items at the top (link).

2.  Plan out your day.
At the start of your day, make a plan.  Use a calendar or agenda like this one religiously.  Think of all the things you need to do and schedule the best time for it all to ensure everything gets done.  An itinerary may get gruesome, but sticking to a plan eliminates the risk of procrastination.

3.  Identify your most dreaded tasks.
One of the biggest reasons for procrastination, at least for me, is not wanting to do something.   The things that sit and wait are the things that we are just not excited for.  Identify these tasks and get them over with early to ensure that they are done and not lingering.

4.  Keep your focus.
Once you have prioritized, made a plan, and flagged your most hated items, focus and get it done.  This means shutting the door, putting your phone on DND, and turning off anything else prohibiting focus.  Anyone else famous for getting distracted?  I could do that thing now but, oh wait, there's spaghetti!  One of the most effective strategies to stopping procrastination is to eliminate those pesky distractions!

5.  Talk about your tasks and deadlines.
Commit to your tasks by going public with your action items and timelines.  Strategically speak to people who will hold you accountable and question your progress.  You're more likely to do something timely when your reputation is on the line.

6.  Don't overthink something.
When we dread doing something we tend to complicate it.  I can't be the only one that does this!  Complicating simple things is another one of my many talents.  Try breaking the task down into smaller steps to simplify the process and ease the dread.

7.  Stop with the excuses.
Procrastination is usually found hidden below a pile of excuses.  Stop making excuses and do what needs to be done in a timely manner.  The world may implode, an ox may fall onto your roof, and aliens may invade, but they are still excuses.  Stop the excuses and stop procrastination!

8.  Find someone to do it with you.
When you have a friend going along for the ride, you may be less likely to procrastinate.  If possible, pick a buddy that isn't flaky and is just as invested as you are.  You may find yourself forced to continue simply because someone else is involved.

9.  Track your progress.
One of the best motivators is to acknowledge the milestones along the way.  Within reason, people!  I'm not going to cheer for a one sentence start to a 30 page report...  Many times you may find yourself eager to finish simply because you started.

Idea:  Invest time in keeping a journal designed to encourage high performance.  It's like a progress report of your life and the ultimate motivator.  I really like this one because of it's daily and weekly engagement and the low price tag.

10.  Plan a small reward at the end.
Just because you're doing a daunting task, doesn't mean you can't create incentive.  Promise yourself that if you complete the required tasks by a certain day/time, you'll indulge.  This reward may be the final push you need to stop that procrastination all together!

Idea:  Make your reward a virtual assistant like this one with a visual.  It's both a prize AND a tool to be used for future motivation.

How do you stop procrastination?


  1. I try so hard not to procrastinate because it throws everything out of whack. When I was a tutor in a university Writing Center, students told me all the time that they couldn't get started on their papers and would wait until the night before the essay was due before they did anything, which often led to muddled or unfinished essays. I always told them to do the title page. Once they've done the title page, they've started and they can keep going. #3 is on lists all the time. While I agree with it in certain situations, I find that if I do something simple first, such as the title page of the essay, I have started and can continue to something more difficult. Excellent tips.


    1. Thanks, Janie! You also made a great point. Starting with something small may motivate you to finish the entire task.

  2. Always been a do it and it is done type of person. Then I can just relax away at my bay knowing it is all done. Yeah, good not to rely on a flaky friend or it would still never get done. Get the dreaded crap over with first and then the rest is easy. At least until the dreaded crap comes around again.

    1. Speaking of dreaded crap, how did your day go at the poop factory?? hahaha

      Well, I'm totally not a do it and it's done type of person. As you can tell from this real life example. I let this blog post sit for YEARS, yet I felt so accomplished with I hit "publish".

    2. Yeah, you did soooooooooooooooooooooo great publishing it 3 years later. Just woweeeee. What? Don't believe me?

      Survived the river of poop as it went around and around. Was wide open for the taking. Could have got a jar full for you.

    3. ...but it shows that I follow through...eventually.

      LOL No poop for me, thanks!

  3. But why would anyone want to stop procrastination?
    I've always been a hardworking idiot, but I do like to procrastinate physically, I hate walking, running, doing anything remotely tiring :) I wish someone could glue me onto a flying little saucer so that I don't have to walk.
    When it comes to bloggcrastination, I'm the opposite of you, in last 12 years as my blog exists to the delight of millions :) I almost never had a day without a post!

    1. In that case, maybe I'm not a procrastinator and just a blogcrastinator. I walk as much as possible, do my squats every day, and can't go to bed until my house is back in order. I was so excited that I had blog posts written through December since its very uncharacteristic of me. You guys are keeping me motivated. :)

  4. I suffer from it quite a bit.

  5. I am the procrastination master. But, I've never failed to meet a deadline. I usually go to bed with high hopes on all the things I'm going to get done the next day, but when I wake it's like, "ehhh. I'll do all that stuff later."

    1. Lol yup!! Sounds very familiar to me. My favorite procrastination technique is to write a list in unnecessary detail. Any slight flaw means I need to rewrite the entire list.

  6. Dear Jax did you know Im a procastinator ?? I learned these last month and is not easy I know.
    Always are many things rounding my head all the time. sigh!
    Realloy I love this post Jax :)

    1. Thanks, Gloria! That’s a woman’s mind, filled to breaking point.

  7. I will come back and leave a comment. There is something shiny on the floor I have to attend to.


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