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Overcoming Procrastination: 4 Simple Strategies That Really Work

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Overcoming procrastination is something everyone has to do at some point in their lives. Even the most successful people succumb to the barrier to progress known as procrastination, or inability to get off your a**e and actually do whatever it is that you are supposed to be doing.

This time of year, it’s the dreaded tax return.

We promise ourselves every January that “next year, it’ll be different. I’ll get it done earlier”.

And what happens?

We are again scrabbling around in mid-Jan trying to get the figures sorted and the information off to our long-suffering accountant.

So, WHY do we perpetually make it harder than it needs to be?

There has been much research into what causes people to procrastinate and many different reasons are cited in different studies. However, 4 main reasons recur often:

  1. Fear of failure
  2. Excessive Perfectionism
  3. Low energy/boredom
  4. Lack of focus

These correlate to the 4 types of procrastinator

  1. Anxious
  2. Perfectionist
  3. Fun
  4. ‘Plenty of time’

Which one are you?

How to Overcome Procrastination


Tell someone when you are going to start and finish your task and have them hold you to those times. If you have a tendency to procrastinate and don’t have someone else keeping you on track, then you will not get started, let alone finished.

Believe you can

Fear of failure holds so many people back. Henry Ford said “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right”. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, so if you lack belief, you are much more likely to procrastinate. Believe you can and you will.

Chunk it

Tasks can seem overwhelming, so we put off starting. What you can do instead is to start small. Set a timer for 10 minutes – a great tip from Fran Ahmet at ClearSpace ClearMind Coaching and you will be surprised at how much you can get done with that focused time. And once you have started, it’s much easier to keep going.

For more complex tasks, you could try the Pomodoro technique which sets a timer for 25 minutes.

pomodoro timer for overcoming procrastination
Mechanical Tomato shaped kitchen timer for cooking, studying and working.

Drop your standards

Not everything has to be 100% perfect all the time. Striving for perfection can cause anxiety which can lead to procrastination. Realise that your good enough really is good enough most of the time and just get on with it.

There are many other suggestions for great ways for overcoming procrastination. I would recommend the following articles:

11 Ways to Overcome Procrastination

7 Ways to Overcome Procrastination

What sorts of tasks cause you to procrastinate? Maybe it’s your finances & bookkeeping, or perhaps admin or maybe writing tasks are hard for you – if so, check this out.

What strategies do you use to overcome procrastination?

I’d love to know, so please leave a comment below. Thanks

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