"The habit of always putting off an experience until you can afford it, or until the time is right, or until you know how to do it is one of the greatest burglars of joy. Be deliberate, but once you’ve made up your mind – jump in” – Charles R. Swindoll.

The Oxford English Dictionary defines procrastination as a postponement, often with the sense of deferring through indecision, when early action would have been preferable, or as deferring action, especially without good reason.

There are times when everyone tends to put off things and ends up doing it in just the nick of time. Procrastinators put off tasks constantly, they avoid challenging tasks and seek distractions. Even if they have a deadline lurking around the corner or an important assignment to complete, they will delay doing the task by distracting themselves with social media, checking emails, surfing the internet or just whiling away time instead of completing the task at hand.

Those who procrastinate, feel that they are able to produce the best results when they work under pressure, at the last moment. This can have negative repercussions as well, if we aren’t able to complete the task at the last moment, we may curse ourselves and wish we had started earlier. Procrastination can create negative feelings of anger at self, guilt, stress, panic and anxiety which will further interfere with the work in hand. There are ways to avoid procrastination and learn to be productive and that too in good time.


Break up your tasks into sections: Sometimes, the enormity of certain tasks can become quite overwhelming and we may keep delaying to commence such a task, or even boredom or confusion as to where to begin from can be dilemmas that can deter you to begin. It is advisable to divide the tasks into small achievable goals. The idea of breaking up the task into sections is so that you can concentrate at one part at a time and not get distracted by the enormity of the entire task itself. Also, it is important that you divide the tasks in a realistic manner so that you can achieve it in the delegated time frame.

If you can do it now, get down to doing it: When we procrastinate, we tend to put off doing certain important tasks unnecessarily, even if we are free and can manage to do it. When faced with the dilemma of either doing the task or procrastinating and doing it later, it is imperative to remind yourself in that moment what is more important and what will benefit you the most, doing the task or procrastinating. It is during these moments that you tell yourself that I have time and I can do the task right now.

Set realistic goals: When we set out to make goals for ourselves and pen down our to-do lists, it is very likely that we may load up on the tasks and looking at the unrealistic distribution of goals, we may tend to procrastinate and put off tasks. When we set realistic goals, it makes the goal seem achievable and one may not have the urge to put it off. When setting realistic goals, you must first understand how much you can do realistically and then set your goals accordingly.

Add deadlines to your tasks: At times it so happens that we may have free reign over the deadline of the task and we may not be able to complete or even begin the task at hand because we are so busy procrastinating. The idea is to set achievable deadlines to whatever tasks you take up. It is important to push yourself to begin, set a time frame that is realistically achievable so that you aren’t in a fix at the last moment.

Clear the clutter and reduce distractions: It could be a possibility that our surroundings are too cluttered or are arranged in such a way that could create multiple distractions. When your desk or your work space is too messy, it can further lead you away from executing the work. Hence, optimizing your work space, your desk and your surroundings to make you feel productive and motivated to work can help a great deal. Also cutting down the distractions around you can also be beneficial, wherein you refrain from using social media or similar things while working.

Set up a reward system and punishment for yourself: When dealing with procrastination, it is important to motivate yourself to do the things you are set out to do. In the same way, when you get distracted from the task or give in to procrastination, punishing yourself will also help. Rewarding yourself for completing tasks (using social media, going out, watching a movie, doing any other activity of your choice) and punishing oneself (reducing social media and phone privileges, or restricting any other distractions or activities) tend to work as motivators.

Start small and take it from there: When trying to beat procrastination and keep to the things you need do, it is not only important to set realistic goals but also to start small and gradually take it from there and increase your workload.

Work in small intervals: Usually, individuals who tend to procrastinate, may get put off looking at the entirety of the task and the number of hours one may estimate that will go into it. Hence, breaking down tasks helps to make it seem more achievable. Also, if working for a long time at a stretch does not help you, working in smaller intervals helps.

Seek help: There can be times when the task at hand is difficult and you may find it difficult to complete it on your own, and just thinking about beginning it leads you to procrastinate. When you find yourself to be in such a situation, then seek help of the people around you who can be your allies in completing the task.

Think about the end goal: One of the best ways to motivate yourself to work and not procrastinate is to think of the end goal. Think about the advantages that completing the work on time would bring with it. It will make you feel happy, satisfied, motivated for further endeavours and it will save you from undergoing negative emotions if you hadn’t taken timely action to complete the work.

"The really happy people are those who have broken the chains of procrastination, those who find satisfaction in doing the job at hand. They’re full of eagerness, zest, productivity, you can be too” – Norman Vincent Peale.

"You may delay, but time will not, and lost time is never found again” – Benjamin Franklin.