How to Beat Procrastination

Posted on March 25th, 2019

We’ve all been there. Projects and other items on your list are piling up but you don’t have the energy or inspiration to get things done. Procrastination is not only frustrating, it can seriously mess with our bottom line. Here are some ways to beat procrastination if you noticed you’ve been procrastinating lately:

Think About the Why

There is always a why behind what we do. There’s an underlying reason for why you’re procrastinating. Think about the work that you keep putting off.

Do you like the work that you’re doing? Are you having second thoughts about the product you’re creating? Are you scared of success?

Be honest with yourself. Start writing down some thoughts in a journal. If it’s that you don’t like the work you’re doing, maybe it’s time to make a business pivot. If you’re not sure the product your creating will sell, maybe it’s time to put a pause on production so you can do a bit more market research.  

Act to Gain Motivation

Motivation to do the things you don’t want to do comes from action. For example, if you have writer’s block, writing cures it. The first few paragraphs may be painful to write, but slowly words and new ideas come to you as you keep writing.

Schedule a time to sit down to do what you don’t want to do. The beginning may be a drag. But eventually, the faucet of motivation and inspiration will open up and start flowing.

Reward Yourself

For the longest time, I thought money was the best motivator. If money was involved, there was no way I wouldn’t be motivated to get work done.

After years of freelancing and self-employment, I’ve found that this is definitely not the case. I will procrastinate on assignments if I’m not inspired by the work even if the client is paying a handsome price.

Better rewards are things that you actually care about. Perhaps you reward yourself with an evening out, a long walk with the dog, a glass of wine, time with family, or a full week off. Think about what means the most to you and reward yourself for completing a task. This way you have something great to look forward to as you’re finishing work.

Stop Working

This may sound like counterintuitive advice, but it can work. Procrastination can happen when your brain is simply tired of working.

You may close the laptop, but your mind is constantly thinking about work. You’re exhausted and overwhelming yourself. Who would want to work under those conditions?

Take real time off from work. Try to give yourself evenings and weekends off both physically and mentally. Only check your email a few times per day. Stop yourself from checking your social media feeds. Put your phone on “do not disturb” after working hours. This way you have a fresh and undistracted mind when you sit down to do work.

Final Word

Procrastination happens. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Obsessing over procrastination can distract you even more. Take some time off if you need it, act even if you’re not motivated, and treat yourself when you get things done.

Taylor Gordon

Taylor Gordon

Taylor K. Gordon is a personal finance writer and founder of Tay Talks Money, a personal finance and productivity blog on hacking your way to a happier savings account. Taylor has contributed to MagnifyMoney, The Huffington Post, GoGirl Finance, Madame Noire, and The Write Life.

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