7 tricks to cease procrastinating


Make an appointment with the dentist? We’ll see next week. And the tax return? I have plenty of time… A file due in four days? I work better in a hurry! Paying that bill late? Maybe tomorrow, we are no longer within a day. Many people always find a good excuse to postpone everything. Not to be confused with abulia (a very debilitating mental disorder that affects motivation and leads to an absence of will and the inability to initiate tasks), procrastination is a bit like a craving for a cigarette: it is difficult to stop procrastinating and you quickly fall back into your old ways… even if it means doing everything in anxiety and having problems. Fortunately, there are tips to stop putting everything off until tomorrow at home and at work.

1) Clearly identify your priorities to fight procrastination

Often, when we feel too overwhelmed, we don’t know where to start. Don’t throw in the towel! If you are disorganized, clearly establish a list where your priorities appear (in order of urgency or importance). Here you can use a bullet journal or a single to do list to keep a clear record. Focus on your priorities and do not start another task until the previous one is finished. For example, if you have to answer emails, do it on a defined time slot and don’t touch it again until another task is in progress. This way, you will avoid spreading yourself too thin and feeling even more overwhelmed.

to do list
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2) Be more organized in terms of the tasks to be carried out

Generally, we tend to want to attack with what is easy to go crescendo. However, once the time has come to accomplish the more difficult tasks, we no longer feel motivated or we are tired. It is therefore also better to prioritize complicated tasks to then feel lightened and relieved. When drawing up your to-do list, do not hesitate to associate the estimated duration of each activity so that you can better set your deadlines and give yourself realistic objectives. This will limit the risk of postponement.

You can also divide each task into stages to avoid excess and guide you. Casually, when you cut a project as big as a mountain transformed into small steps that are easy to climb, it immediately seems more feasible!

3) Learn to say no and ask for help

Delegating is obviously crucial when you feel overwhelmed. Do not hesitate to ask for help if possible so as to make time for activities where it is not possible. You can also glean ideas from your friends and colleagues on how they can best accomplish your various tasks. And of course, in order not to add to the feeling that everyday life is an accumulation of insurmountable labours, it is also essential tolearn to say no to certain requests. Only accept what you can do or feel the urge to do.

4) Once launched, forget all forms of distraction

procrastination at work concentration
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The tendency to procrastinate is often linked to a difficulty in staying focused and anchored in the present moment. The slightest notification on the phone or distraction can then quickly take precedence over the desire to work or to accomplish an imperative. Also, once in action, remove all unnecessary temptation : computer screen off, smartphone notifications deactivated so as not to return to social networks, door closed so as not to hear noise, etc. Short, cut yourself off from everything that is not essential to the successful completion of your task. Tell yourself that with each deconcentration, your working time gets longer!

5) The pomodoro technique to not put anything off until tomorrow

The human brain is not unable to concentrate for more than 20 minutes. Also, you can use the pomodoro technique (or tomato in Italian, a technique that takes its name from the tomato-shaped timer used by its inventor) to keep your motivation at a good level. It consists of timing your time to alternate 25 minutes of work without distraction and 5 minutes of break. This allows you to focus on the time slots worked rather than on the progress of the task. And that’s also good for productivity! Taking a mini break allows you to be more available for the work to be done. However, be careful not to overflow and stay disciplined!

6) The two-minute rule to motivate yourself to complete more tasks

work time
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If completing the task does not take no more than two minutes (emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash, etc.), do it immediately. So you can quickly free your mind of those cumbersome thoughts that you can easily and quickly get rid of. And on another level, deciding to embark on a project only takes two minutes. Once launched, it is then easier to continue on its momentum!

7) Plan rewards to overcome procrastination

For many people, it is very satisfying to be able to tick off your list as you successfully complete a chore. This form of visual gratification to be a source of motivation! However, this is not always enough to maintain good levels of motivation. So, always plan a reward to get after your work phase is over. Whether it’s a square of dark chocolate, a break to listen to your favorite track or even a manicure or a moment in the restaurant for a bigger project to celebrate. The reward allows us to be happy with the time we just spent working and is motivation for what remains to be done.

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