Tips to Stop Procrastinating

We all have procrastinated. Some people are worse than others but if there is a task that seems daunting or something we don’t want to do, the immediate reaction is to avoid that task. Utilize the following tips to stop procrastinating:

  1. Break up the work – Depending on the project, this can be minutes, hours, or even days. Mark it in your calendar. Know when you are going to work on your project and stick with it. Work emergencies may come up but if your team can handle it, let them. Some things, no matter how unimportant they seem, still need to get done.
  2. Change your environment – Remember when you were in college and you would leave the dorm to go to the library? Apply that line of thought to your work. If you really need to focus, change your environment to one that is free of distractions. If you work in a virtual company, maybe take the day to go to a physical office space (provided that is available). Even moving to a different room of your house can help change the ambiance and focus of completing a task.
  3. Ask for help – Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Someone on your team may have previously done this job so asking them for help can save you a lot of time. A team member may have automated the process, or you will find they are already working on this project and you are duplicating efforts.
  4. Just go for it! – Sometimes people don’t want to complete a task because they think it will be onerous. Is it really as bad as you think it is? Just dive into what you have to do and before you know it, you will be done.
  5. Set up Parameters to avoid Procrastinating – The above tips are for people who are already procrastinating. Put yourself in a position where you avoid procrastinating. Getting in the practice of being a ‘first in the inbox, first in the outbox’ kind of person is a great way to ensure you do not procrastinate. When you touch a piece of paper, do something with productive with it besides putting it in a new pile for another day – make the phone call, send an email, but take action. Your end goal should be to shred that piece of paper.
  6. Create Accountability. Have someone else hold you accountable for your work.  Set up a daily or weekly reporting structure on your work that you must give to your team.  Knowing that they will see and review it is a great way to avoid procrastinating.

In conclusion, procrastinating is a treatable symptom of anxiousness. Set yourself up to be in an environment of control and take charge of your work to deliver great results. Your team expects you to be a go-getter and you should expect that of yourself!


Patrick Coughlin is a Senior Marketing Analyst with Consultants 2 Go.