7 Easy Steps to Defeat Procrastination

Ade Omosanya


Ade Omosanya


Sep 28, 2023

7 Easy Steps to Defeat Procrastination

Procrastination, the sneaky thief of time, can often hold us back from achieving our goals. It's a circle of self-defeating behaviour that can be hard to break, but with a few practical steps, it's possible to overcome procrastination and reclaim your free time.

In this article, we will be sharing 7 easy practical steps to help you defeat procrastination and get the job done. So if you are struggling to get rid of this habit, you're in the right place.

What is Procrastination and How Does it Work?

Procrastination is simply the act of delaying or postponing tasks - it's when you know you should be doing something, but you end up doing everything else instead.

Imagine you've got a big project due tomorrow, but you're cleaning your room, binge-watching telly, or even staring at the wall.

That's procrastination at work. It's a common human behaviour, but it can become a problem if it starts to interfere with your productivity and stress levels. So, it's important to understand why we do it and how to overcome it.

1. Recognise and Acknowledge Your Procrastination

The first step towards defeating procrastination is recognising and acknowledging it. It's easy to dismiss procrastination as 'just being lazy', but it's often a sign of something deeper. Maybe you're feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or unsure about the task at hand.

By identifying when you're procrastinating and understanding why, you can start to tackle the issue head-on. Be honest with yourself. Note the tasks you tend to delay and your feelings towards them.

This self-awareness is key to overcoming procrastination. It's not about criticising yourself, but rather understanding your habits and patterns. Once you've recognised the problem, you're better equipped to address it.

2. Break Down Large Tasks into Manageable Chunks

One of the main reasons we procrastinate is because we find the task too big or daunting. The solution? Break it down into manageable chunks - this makes the task seem less overwhelming and more achievable.

It's easier to start a small, specific task than a large, vague one. Instead of trying to 'write a report', break it down into steps like 'research', 'outline', and 'draft'.

Each completed step brings a sense of progress and accomplishment, motivating you to continue. So, next time you're facing a big task, don't let it intimidate you. Break it down, start with one small step, and watch your productivity soar.

There are many task manager tools and apps that can help you break down the task into smaller, more manageable steps.

3. Set Specific, Achievable Goals for Each Task

Setting specific, achievable goals for each task is a powerful tool in combating procrastination. When your objectives are vague or unrealistic, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and put things off.

However, when you have clear, achievable goals, you know exactly what you're aiming for. This clarity brings focus and direction, making it easier to start and continue tasks.

For instance, instead of saying 'I want to lose weight', specify how much weight you want to lose and by when.

This gives you a concrete goal to work towards and makes the task less daunting. So, remember, be precise and realistic with your goals - it will make a world of difference in your productivity.

4. Prioritise Your Tasks Based on Importance

Prioritising tasks based on their importance is a strategic way to beat procrastination. It's easy to get caught up in less important tasks, while the critical ones keep piling up. This approach leaves you feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

To avoid this, list your tasks and rank them according to their urgency and significance. Tackling the most crucial tasks first not only eases pressure but also gives you a sense of achievement that fuels further productivity.

Remember, it's not about being busy but being effective. Prioritising helps you focus your energy where it's needed most, ensuring you make the best use of your time. So, start prioritising and say goodbye to procrastination.

5. Eliminate Distractions in Your Work Environment

Creating a timetable and sticking to it is an effective strategy to overcome procrastination. Without a schedule, we can easily lose track of time and end up rushing tasks at the last minute.

A timetable provides structure to your day, ensuring that you give enough time for each task. It also helps maintain focus, reducing distractions and time-wasting activities.

When you set specific times for tasks, you create a sense of urgency that motivates you to start and complete tasks on time. Focus and sharpen the skills that are needed to get the job done!

It's essential, however, to be realistic with your timetable - don't cram too much into your day. With a well-planned timetable, you'll find yourself procrastinating less and achieving more.

6. Reward Yourself After Completing Tasks

Rewarding yourself after completing tasks is a great motivator to stop procrastinating. It's human nature to respond positively to rewards, and this principle can be applied to our work habits too.

When you complete a task, treat yourself to a small reward. This could be anything from a short break, a favourite snack, or even a little extra time on a hobby. The prospect of a reward provides additional motivation to get started.

It also encourages a positive relationship with task completion, making it easier to start next time. Remember, the reward should be proportionate to the task, don't over-reward for small tasks. Start rewarding yourself and watch your procrastination habit fade away.

7. Seek Support or Accountability if Necessary

Seeking support or accountability can be a powerful tool in defeating procrastination. Sometimes, we need a little push from others to keep us on track.

Having someone to hold you accountable means you're less likely to put tasks off, knowing that you'll have to explain your delay. This could be a colleague, friend, or family member. Alternatively, seek professional support like a coach or mentor.

They can provide advice, strategies, and further motivation to stay focused. Sharing your goals and deadlines with others also makes them feel more real and urgent.


So there you have it! Procrastination can be a serious issue, but with the right strategies and techniques, it can be beaten. The main goal is to first realise you're procrastinating and why.

Once you know this, you can start to address the issue head-on. Follow the steps mentioned above and see improvements in your productivity. Remember, the key is to take it one step at a time and keep motivating yourself. With enough patience and time, you'll soon see results. Good luck!

Ade Omosanya


Ade Omosanya


Sep 28, 2023

Ade Omosanya is a father of one, a UK Chartered Certified Accountant and owner of AO Accountants Ltd. He has a keen eye for all things finances and shares his thoughts and tips via the My Future Pound blog.

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