12 Tips To Beat Procrastination

Jun 20, 2024

“My mother always told me I wouldn’t amount to anything because I procrastinate. I said, ‘just wait.’”— Judy Tenuta

In a world filled with distractions and competing priorities, procrastination can often feel like an unavoidable hurdle on the path to productivity.  But fear not!  Whether you're a chronic procrastinator or just looking to boost your productivity we'll explore how to banish procrastination and reclaim control of your success:

  1. Identify your triggers.  What are the things that usually lead you to procrastinate? Once you know your triggers, you can start to avoid them or develop strategies for dealing with them.  
  2. Start with the hardest task first, in the morning   We have greater levels of chemicals in our brain that will drive action (norepinephrine and epinephrine, dopamine and cortisol are elevated during this time)
  3. Activate the prefrontal cortex.  The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that is responsible for planning, decision-making and impulse control. When we procrastinate, we are essentially letting our limbic system (the part of the brain that is responsible for emotions and rewards) take over. We can activate the prefrontal cortex by doing things like meditation, mindfulness, exercise or even writing your name backwards! 
  4. Don't strive for perfection  , focus on progress and the positives of what you have done.
  5. Change your environment.  If your environment is full of distractions, it's going to be harder to focus and avoid procrastination. If possible, try to work in a quiet place where you won't be interrupted; put your phone on focus mode and dig in for a good hour of deep thought.
  6. Reward yourself.   When you complete a task, give yourself a small reward. This will help to reinforce the behaviour of completing tasks by giving you a dopamine hit, encouraging that behaviour again and make it less likely that you will procrastinate in the future. 
  7. Break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable ones.  This will make the task seem less daunting and more achievable.  Plus, you're leveraging that dopamine circuit again - you'll get a mini reward for each milestone . 
  8. Set deadlines for yourself and stick to them.   Yes really actually stick to them! What I've found really helps, is saying "I'll just do 1 hour on this." and then just start. It's amazing once you get into it, how much easier it is! This will help you stay on track and avoid putting things off until the last minute. 
  9. Find something you like doing even less! This uses a dopamine rebound to fuel your motivation on the thing you actually need to do.
  10. Set realistic goals.  If you set unrealistic goals, you're more likely to give up and procrastinate. Instead, set small, achievable goals that you can build on over time.  Use streak reminders 
  11. Decrease the Activation Energy to start   Everything needs energy to start, so if it feels like a huge task, you'll never want to!  So, make it really easy to do that one step.  Put your gym clothes out.  Or do your work (or workout!) in your PJs.  Who cares!  Just get started.
  12. Take one step. Even if REALLY TINY. 

"Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.”

Spanish Proverb

Which one will work for you?  Hit reply and let us know, and don't forget to celebrate your victories along the way. Here's to a future filled with purposeful action and unstoppable momentum.

Go forth and conquer!


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