How to Stop Procrastinating

Sometimes waiting until just before a deadline is very motivating. And sometimes, procrastination is a way to postpone a dreaded task until we feel more prepared, energetic, or able to do it. 

Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone!

Procrastination is a trap that many of us fall into.

But sooner or later, chronic procrastinating will begin to deteriorate job performance. It will also affect our mood and state of mind by generating worry, fear, or added stress. 

If procrastination has become a problem for you, let’s check these strategies to help you be more productive.


1 – Make the rewards of taking action more immediate

Bundle a behavior that is good for you in the long-run with a behavior that feels good in the short-run.

The basic format is: Only do [THING YOU LOVE] while doing [THING YOU PROCRASTINATE ON].

Here are a few common examples of temptation bundling:

  • Only watch your favorite show while doing some physical exercise.
  • Only listen to audiobooks or podcasts you love while doing household duties.
  • Only get a manicure while processing overdue work emails.


2 – Make the Task More Achievable

The 2-Minute Rule states, “When you start a new habit, it should take less than two minutes to do”.

The idea is to make it as easy as possible to get started and then trust that momentum will carry you further into the task after you begin.


3- Design Your Future Actions

One of the favorite tools psychologists use to overcome procrastination is called a “commitment device”. 

An example, you can stop wasting time on your phone by deleting games or social media apps, or hiding your PlayStation in a closet and only taking it out when you don’t have pending tasks.


Finally, take  a look at the recommendations from our friends at mindtools.com

  • Forgive yourself for procrastinating in the past. Studies show that self-forgiveness can help you to feel more positive about yourself and reduce the likelihood of procrastination in the future.


  • Commit to the task. Focus on doing, not avoiding. Write down the tasks that you need to complete, and specify a time for doing them. This will help you to proactively tackle your work.


  • Promise yourself a reward. If you complete a difficult task on time, reward yourself with a treat, such as a slice of cake or a coffee from your favorite coffee shop. And make sure you notice how good it feels to finish things!


  • Ask someone to check up on you. Peer pressure works! This is the principle behind self-help groups. If you don’t have anyone to ask, an online tool such as Procraster can help you to self-monitor.


  • Act as you go. Tackle tasks as soon as they arise, rather than letting them build up over another day.


  • Rephrase your internal dialog. The phrases “need to” and “have to,” for example, imply that you have no choice in what you do. This can make you feel disempowered and might even result in self-sabotage . However, saying, “I choose to,” implies that you own a project, and can make you feel more in control of your workload.


  • Minimize distractions . Turn off your email and social media, and avoid sitting anywhere near a television while you work!


  • Aim to “eat an elephant beetle” first thing, every day! Get those tasks that you find least pleasant out of the way early. This will give you the rest of the day to concentrate on work that you find more enjoyable.


“Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest diseases, and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.” — Attributed to Wayne Gretzky




📌Shilly-shally: fail to act resolutely or decisively.

📌Nonresolution: failure to resolve something.

📌Diligent: caring and conscientiousness in one’s work or duties.

📌Assignment: a task or piece of work assigned to someone as part of a job or course of study.

📌Work-shy: (of a person) lazy and disinclined to work.




📌Put off: postpone something.

“Talking about homework, I always put it off until the last minute.”

📌Give up: to stop trying.

“After ten minutes trying to get the answer I gave up.”




📌Fish or cut bait: stop vacillating and act on something or disengage from it.

📌Play for time: to delay until you are ready.



Related Articles:

📌4 skills to Develop Emotional Intelligence https://www.englishpriority.com/4-skills-to-develop-emotional-intelligence/

📌Mastering Emotional Balance https://www.englishpriority.com/mastering-emotional-balance/

📌Learner Autonomy https://www.englishpriority.com/learner-autonomy/

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