Procrastination: Why We Do It And How Do We Beat It?

We all procrastinate at one time or another. Whether we look through Facebook posts to avoid working on that big presentation or get sucked down into the rabbit hole of the Internet hole instead of working on that 5th SEO article about horse breeding, procrastination is a common tactic we use to avoid tasks that we deem unpleasant.

To end our tendency to procrastinate, we need to know why we do it in the first place. That’s why this article will discuss why we procrastinate, as well as tell you ways that you can tamper down the urge to get lost in the Instagram posts of celebrities.

Why Do We Procrastinate?

We don’t all fool around when we should be working for the exact same reason. Sometimes, different tasks call for different procrastination techniques. You may also procrastinate in a way that is very dissimilar to your friends who work in the same industry. While getting tips to beat this bothersome tendency is always great, it’s vital that you know how and why you avoid working on important work assignments. That’s why this article will give you three reasons why many people procrastinate, even when the assignment they’re working on is the utmost priority.

You’re Working On a Task That Is Either Too Hard or Too Boring

No one likes being in the weeds when it comes to their work. For this reason, many of us hold off on working on important assignments until the very last minute. But this tactic could end up with disastrous results if you’re not careful. If you’re dealing with a really hard assignment, try and get some direction from your boss. If you work from home, try to break the assignment up into workable chunks. Often you’ll find that once you start on your work, you’ll do more than you were originally expecting to do in one sitting.

Believe it or not, many of us procrastinate because the job set before us is too easy. We may think that the work is beneath us, or we might believe that we can put it off until it is the last minute. But one of the worst things about procrastination is that much of the time, you end up wasting more time thinking about working than you would actually spend if you were, you know, working. So if the job is really, really simple, just get it out of the way so that you have more time to spend watching cat videos on YouTube!

You’re Overwhelmed

You have a mountain of work to do and not a lot of time to do it. You’re freaked out, so what do you do? You go to YouTube and try to find a way to listen to your favorite band’s new album. You can’t find it, so you get distracted by YouTube randomness. Next thing you know, a whole day has gone by and you still have a looming deadline.

When you’re overwhelmed by all the work you have to do, it’s important to just relax for a moment and take a breath. It will get done. Just create a to-do list related to the job, put yourself in a distraction-free environment, and get to work.

You Need a Break

Some people find that they tend to slack off at certain parts of the day. No, you’re not being lazy. This is actually normal. Most of us can’t sit at a computer and work for 7-9 hours. That’s insanity. If you find that your mind begins to wander after 90 minutes to 2 hours of work, perhaps get up from your laptop and take a 5-10 minute walk. You can also talk to a friend or stretch for a bit. Take a break. You deserve it. But don’t forget to get back to work!

Tips For Beating Procrastination

Take note of how you procrastinate: We all have our chosen methods of procrastination. Whether it’s social media, your favorite blogs, cleaning house, or checking your phone 10 times an hour, figure out what you do to avoid tasks. Then make it harder to do these activities when work needs to get done. For example, if you don’t need the Internet to do your work, you can use apps such as SelfControl and Freedom to block the Internet for a specified amount of time.

Make work tasks achievable: One procrastination buster that a lot of people like is the Pomodoro method. First, set your smartphone alarm for 25 minutes. Then do nothing but work for that time. When the alarm goes off, you get a 5-minute break. After the 5 minutes are up, it’s back to work. Repeat until the job is done.

Factor in “procrastination time”: In fantasy land, every assignment would take as long as the task is supposed to take. But you have a life and life often interrupts your career. When telling a client how long a project is going to take, always factor in a bit of cat video watching time into the equation. But just a little bit! No client will pay you to watch YouTube all day.

Give yourself deadlines: If you work from home, not having deadlines over your head may not work as well as you originally hoped. Those entrepreneurs who constantly save work until the last possible minute could give themselves deadlines to complete tasks. Throw some accountability into the equation by asking a friend to hold you to said deadline.

Is procrastination a problem for you?  Do you find yourself geting lost in the Twitterverse or staring into the Spacebook? How do you get things done?

16 Comments

  • Anthony Manzolillo

    Reply Reply April 20, 2017

    Hi Dan, I would have to say, overwhelmed and lack of knowledge about the subject (so fear of the unknown) are my biggest procrastination instigators. Thanks for the post!
    Anthony Manzolillo recently posted…10 Ways To Save $6468 On A Tight Budget!My Profile

    • Dan Guillermo

      Reply Reply April 23, 2017

      I can absolutely relate…I’ve been working hard to overcome procrastination.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  • Donna Merrill

    Reply Reply April 23, 2017

    Hi Dan,

    Procrastination is probably the #1 obstacle to the success of most bloggers and online marketers.

    I coach bloggers who have many struggles, but most of the struggles begin and end with procrastination.

    Deadlines are so important to getting your blog running on high octane.

    Maybe the biggest issue with people procrastinating is trying to be perfect before completing a project.

    It never gets done because, naturally, it is NEVER perfect.

    Sticking to strict deadlines gets you past this because when the deadline comes, your project is complete… ready or not… perfect or not.

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted…Writing Blog Posts That Ignite Viral Content MarketingMy Profile

    • Dan Guillermo

      Reply Reply April 23, 2017

      Guilty….I have definitely had my share of procrastination. Trying to get it perfect was always one of the main culprits. Now I tend to get ready, fire, then aim.

      Thanks for stopping by..

  • Susan Velez

    Reply Reply April 24, 2017

    Hey Dan,

    These are some great tips for avoiding procrastination. I actually used to be guilty of spending so much time on Facebook when I started my blog.

    Sometimes it can’t be helped, especially, when you’re trying to learn how to do something. I quickly realized that my time spent on it wasn’t helping me get closer to my goals.

    Now I have a to-do list each and everyday. I focus on the big tasks early in the morning. Like if I have to create a YouTube video or write a blog post, I do that the first thing in the morning.

    I seem to be more productive in the mornings. Once I get those big tasks out of the way, I then can breathe a little because I’ve accomplished the tasks that take the most time.

    Around 1:00 PM, my productivity level goes way down. I am such a morning person 🙂

    I also like keeping everything I do to grow my blog on Trello. This helps me see my continual growth and keeps me in line with my game plan.

    Thanks for sharing these tips, I know they will help people overcome their procrastination and just get things done.

    Have a great day 🙂

    Susan

  • Joy Healey

    Reply Reply April 25, 2017

    Hi Dan,

    At this very moment I am procrastinating because I am waiting for someone to ring me and confirm that they have done something that’s mentally blocking me from moving forward to concentrate on something totally unrelated – if that makes sense.

    Problem is, I’ve been waiting for two weeks, and my head just won’t go from the people I can’t control, so me – who I should be able to control 🙁

    What a silly state of affairs.

    However, at least I’m doing something productive by commenting on blogs 🙂

    Joy – Blogging After Dark
    Joy Healey recently posted…Best Support In A Network Marketing CompanyMy Profile

    • Dan Guillermo

      Reply Reply April 25, 2017

      It does makes sense and I have been there too. At least you are using the time productively.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  • Clay Smith

    Reply Reply April 25, 2017

    Hello there Dan,

    This is my first time at this blog. I actually read many of your posts, but this one made me comment for the first time here.

    You should know that I procrastinate things a lot. I’m trying to find ways to defeat it. I consider as a serious danger to success.

    You mentioned some good points here and liked the way that you do not go around the bush. Just set the things on the table and ready to go, right?

    I will stick around your website because I see this blog where I can grab knowledge to myself. Kudos to you.

    Regards,

    Clay Smith.

  • Lisa P. Sicard

    Reply Reply May 1, 2017

    Hi Dan, oh yes procrastination can be a problem for me from time to time.
    I find if I do the hard stuff first I can get more done. Or if I break things down into pieces, and do a piece at a time that helps too.
    Otherwise I go on to other things and never do the thing that need to be done – not good!
    I like your idea of a deadline, that usually works for me.
    Thanks for the tips Dan.
    Lisa P. Sicard recently posted…How Wonderful Blogging Has Changed And Actually ImprovedMy Profile

  • Sue Bride

    Reply Reply May 7, 2017

    Hi Dan, I’m pleased to discover your blog after you commented on mine. I’m really good at procrastination – or should that say bad. It’s a skill I developed over many years 🙂

    I think confidence is often an issue for me. I come up with an idea and then wonder if it is good enough. I have quite a trail of abandoned projects that never saw the light of day. Some took up a lot of time too.
    Sue Bride recently posted…KISS Your Blog Post And Keep Readers InterestedMy Profile

  • Mark

    Reply Reply May 21, 2017

    Excellent advice Dan!

    And I love your play on words, regarding Specebook!LOL!

    Because tons of people, definitely get lost in it.

    And since we definitely struggle with this re-occurring issue,
    from time to time.

    Thanks for providing some extremely practical tips!
    Mark recently posted…How Under Used Assets Help Some Extremely Savvy Entrepreneurs Make Money!Part TwoMy Profile

  • amantripathi

    Reply Reply June 19, 2017

    this artical so nice
    thanks for sharing

  • Aman tripathi

    Reply Reply July 12, 2017

    hello
    I would like to say this thing
    This article so nice and I get some good point in this article

    This For sharing this article

  • Nzekwe Godswill

    Reply Reply August 24, 2017

    this is my first visit on this website and I really found some amazing information here..you have shared some quality information on this place…looking forward to gain more knowledge from this website..thanks for sharing them..!!
    Nzekwe Godswill recently posted…JAMB Deadline For 2017 Admission ProcessMy Profile

  • John

    Reply Reply September 21, 2017

    Hi Dan,

    This is an excellent and inspiring piece of content. It’s awesome, I must confess.

    What I have personally discovered aligns with your number three points on wny we procrastinate. Honestly, it is due to the fact that people actually need a break. Most people don’t realize this, but having a break by either resting, changing environment/tasks/assignments is one way to combat the addictive issue.
    Thanks for sharing, you are a great coach.
    John recently posted…My $150 Per Day Google Adsense EarningsMy Profile

  • Sathish Arumugam

    Reply Reply November 11, 2017

    Hey Dan,

    Kudos for the much relatable article. This is my first time on your blog and I am very glad to comment on such an inspiring post.

    We must all admit the fact that we hardly take seconds to deviate from work, be it a phone call, a youtube video, a WhatsApp message, whatsoever. This leads to procrastination of work activities. The possible reasons and feasible methods to overcome the same are beautifully presented here.

    Enjoyed every word in this article.
    Thanks much for sharing.

    Have a great day.

    Sathish Arumugam
    Sathish Arumugam recently posted…Get Fresh 75+ DoFollow Backlink Sites List & Secret Link Building Strategy {Verified}My Profile

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