How to Stop Procrastinating: 7 Ways to End Procrastination


Procrastination vs. Efficiency

Procrastination is not just a matter of better time management. It’s much more complex. It’s a combination of external and internal, rational and emotional factors that lead to this state, which, through repetition, becomes a habit.

The habit itself may seem harmless, but it has significant repercussions. In organizations, when individuals procrastinate, it can negatively affect overall productivity, leading to costs that cannot be directly attributed to one or several employees’ procrastination but rather to poor leadership management and the productivity culture of teams.

On the other hand, sometimes it’s the workplace itself that leads individuals to procrastination due to factors such as low salary, lack of personal recognition, lack of direction or perspective, job instability, etc. It is up to the management to identify whether it is the employees’ procrastination affecting the workplace or the workplace characteristics leading to employee procrastination.

How to Stop Procrastinating

Regardless of the cause, each of us can take responsibility for our part. Here are seven ways to stop procrastinating and become more efficient:

1. Create a Daily Task Log by Priority and Use Visual Cues

Although it may sound cliché, and you might hear that making a to-do list is procrastinating itself, if done with technique and focus, keeping a task log can be a great starting point.

To stop procrastinating, get used to keeping a record of all the tasks to be done in a week and also in a day. At the beginning of the day, it can help to know how much work needs to be done and how to divide the day according to each task’s priority.

Place the task log in the form of a checklist in a visible place throughout the day, such as on your desktop screen or a large notepad at your workstation.

This checklist can serve as a visual cue or reminder that prompts you to act. Every time you check off an item, you’ll feel a sense of satisfaction that motivates you to achieve more.

2. Categorize Tasks

It’s useful to categorize tasks by type, time required to complete them, and whether they are tasks you must do yourself or can delegate.

An example of categorizing tasks to stop procrastinating:

  • Calls, emails, messages: Group these tasks together to do them in sequence; staying focused on one type of task allows for greater efficiency.
  • Tasks to delegate: Organize this task with the most suitable people to carry it out and set a feedback time.

3. Manage Your Environment and Eliminate All Possible Distractions

Expressions like “Netflix or Instagram” or the smartphones in our hands with access to social media at the touch of a button are often the reason for our procrastination. In one minute, you start scrolling, and before you know it, half an hour has passed.

Eliminating distractions from your environment can be a great help in ending procrastination. It’s a good idea to associate social media use or content watching with a specific moment, such as during work breaks, which you can also organize, or after work.

4. Break Down Larger Tasks into Smaller Ones

Have you heard the expression “eat an elephant one bite at a time”?

Most people procrastinate because the task at hand seems enormous and they feel they lack the energy. The easiest way to tackle it is to break the task into smaller ones.

For example, if you need to create a presentation for the board members, break the presentation into parts like the introduction, main body, statistics, and figures, and work on them one by one, taking breaks in between.

5. Reward Yourself After Completing a Procrastinated Task

Procrastination is often associated with deadlines that act as triggers. If there isn’t a deadline set by a superior, client, or because it’s part of a team project, set one for yourself. Reward yourself at the end of each deadline, like enjoying a cup of coffee with your favorite coworker or taking a moment for a personal task.

6. If It Takes Less Than 2 Minutes: Do It Now!

Any task that will take you less than 2-3 minutes, do it now! An excellent way to stop procrastinating is first to identify all tasks that can be completed in 2-3 minutes. You’ll see that in no time, you’ve eliminated a lot of tasks that take up space not only on your list but also in your mind.

7. Accountability

Accountability can be useful when procrastination results from a lack of personal responsibility. Leadership within teams and organizations plays an important role in creating responsibility and commitment within the team, especially for those who may tend to delay their work without apparent reason. Team management and achieving results are the primary responsibilities of a good leader.

If you’re unsure how to stop procrastinating personally or need to create new habits to make your team more efficient, the support of a good professional coach and our digital coaching platform can be your solution.

For more information, contact us and request a free demo.


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