How to avoid procrastination

Follow these top tips to help avoid procrastination

Procrastination refers to the act of putting off important tasks to a later time. Procrastination can become a habit which leads to detrimental results in daily life. Bills can be left unpaid, purchases are left to the last minute and planned goals are missed. All of this leads to disappointment, frustration and ultimately increased stress in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over and become a recurring problem in your life by following the tips below.

How to avoid procrastination:

Make a plan

  • Write down a list of all the things you need to do
  • Make sure each item on the list will take no more than 20 minutes
  • If it does, write a sub-list to break the task down into bite-size chunks
  • Put mundane tasks together such as making phone calls or replying to emails
  • Set a 20 minute time limit for writing the list – a classic method of procrastination is over planning
  • Focus on the sense of achievement you will have once your tasks are completed


  • Set a timer for 20 minutes
  • Start on the item that you are least looking forward to doing
  • After 20 minutes, stop. If you keep going you will just get bored and frustrated
  • Once a task is completed, cross it through with a marker pen – very therapeutic
  • Leave yourself with a sense of achievement that you have actually started something
  • Now go and reward yourself. This may be as simple as a sit down with a cup of tea or a 10-minute nap

Procrastination is the bad habit of putting of until the day after tomorrow what should have been done the day before yesterday.

Be realistic

  • Perfectionism does not exist
  • Striving for perfectionism often causes procrastination
  • Don’t strive for perfection. Strive for progress


  • At the end of each day review your list
  • Put a red dot against all the items still left on the list
  • As you add items to the list, prioritise tasks to do each day on the one with the most red dots against them
  • If you get an item with 7 red dots, consider if it really is important enough to be on the list or whether it can be crossed off as not important.

Stop procrastinating now and start to enjoy that wonderful sense of achievement when you complete all those tasks you were trying to avoid.