Last-minute work is never fun for anyone. Infact, it can cause feelings of guilt, anxiety and stress.

By avoiding procrastination, you are able to complete tasks in a timely manner and avoid the stress and anxiety that comes with a approach. 

Not only does this lead to a better ability to manage time effectively, but your morale will get that boost you’ve been wanting for so long.

What you can do about procrastination

1. Understand procrastination triggers

Every time you catch yourself thinking things like “I’ll do that later,” stop and ask yourself why you’re finding the task at hand so off-putting. Do this for a week, and you’ll be surprised to see that you’ll start to see a pattern emerging. Here are some red flags to watch out for:

  1. A task is boring

  2. You feel frustrating

  3. It’s difficult

  4. The task is unstructured or ambiguous

  5. You have no purpose for it

  6. You don’t feel rewarded or engaged by it


2. Just give it 5 minutes

You don’t have to be in the right mood to do a task. You just have to make a start. Once you’ve gotten over your initial reluctance, you’ll want to stay at it for longer. 


3. How will it make you feel tomorrow?

Justify putting off doing something if like a little festering disease. And just like a disease, the problem caused by procrastinating can get bigger and bigger. The next time you feel procrastination creeping in, imagine your future self and how you’ll feel tomorrow. You’ll thank yourself for it.


4. Set time limits

Whether you have a large, complex task or a small bite-size one that you’re dreading, give yourself a scheduled, defined chunk of time to work on it. That way, instead of thinking, “This is going to take me at least two hours” (which is daunting, intimidating, frustrating and demoralising), you’ll have a finite time to create on that task. You don’t even need to finish the task in this amount of time. But doing it over 3 x 45-minute sessions is better than a stressed and panicked last minute rush.


5. Don’t beat yourself up

The worst part about procrastination isn’t actually the impact on your work; it’s the impact on your self-esteem and unecessary impact on your stress levels. Even if you manage to still meet your deadline, procrastination can make you feel really bad and really guilty. So when you’ve procrastinated, try to draw a line under it and move on. Then, be kind to yourself and just let it go.

6. Disconnect from the internet

Yes, really! A surprising percentage of people’s time online is spent procrastinating. If you’re trying to make progress on a complex task, the best thing you can do is simply disconnect from the internet. Set your phone to Do Not Disturb; put your devices in airplane mode.



7. Focus on the big picture

What are your goals… your purpose? Referring back to  procrastination trigger #5; if you don’t have a purpose, a why, a reason for doing something, it can be hard to get motivated about it.

Sometimes we avoid doing things because they can’t see how they fit into our own bigger picture. But even tasks that feel trivial can have weight (and, what’s more, they still need to get done). So try to relate each task back to your own personal goals and ask yourself, “How can this help me develop personally or professionally?”


Natalia has a wealth of knowledge and is available for a free consultation.