How To Overcome Procrastination (14 Tips Proactive People Know)

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Stop Procrastinating And Increase Your Productivity With These Helpful Habits

Procrastination is the act of putting off essential tasks.

Instead, we do something else or nothing rather than focusing on the tasks we are supposed to do. As a result, time is wasted, essential activities are ignored, work gets done late, and meaningful activities are forgotten for another time or day.

Since procrastinating is a bad habit, I will share my top tips for beating procrastination before it beats you.

Top Tips For Overcoming Procrastination

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1. Each Day, Create A To-Do List For Tomorrow

Before you wrap for the day, create your to-do list for tomorrow. Include the top one or two things you have been putting off.

Doing so will fight off indecision and give you confidence and control of the new day ahead. Knowing the tasks will provide focus and channel your energy in the right direction.

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2. Identify And Eliminate Barriers

Identifying and eliminating barriers is crucial for overcoming procrastination.

Productive individuals understand that obstacles beneath the surface hinder progress. Thus, actively seek out these barriers such as fear, lack of motivation, distractions, or time constraints.

Effective methods to overcome barriers might involve setting boundaries, organizing your environment, adjusting your mindset, or scheduling a meeting necessary for having a difficult conversation you have been putting off.

Removing real or perceived barriers clears the path to completing difficult but essential activities.

3. Tackle Something You Have Been Putting Off At The Start Of The Day

Prompt performers start the day by accomplishing an irritating but vital task.

Completing a task first thing can avoid distractions that may arise during the day. Then, move on to something more enjoyable while your mind is fresh and the morning is still young.

Wake up and start your day with a “just do it” attitude.

4. Make A Deadline and Set Interim Milestones

For longer and more complex projects, set a deadline for completion and break your goal into smaller milestones. Get clear on what needs to be done.

Deadlines give you a finish line, a target to aim for. Milestones mark your progress along the way. It’s like a roadmap guiding your journey.

Interim checkpoints keep you focused and motivated. Each milestone reached is a victory, propelling you toward the ultimate finish line.

Deadlines and milestones work hand in hand, keeping you focused and helping you beat procrastination.

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5. Take Action Without Regard To The Outcome

Get started and act without fixating on results. Focus on the task and process.

By embracing the process, you detach from stressing about the outcome. It’s about doing, not obsessing over what might be.

Adopting this mindset strategy eliminates overthinking. Taking action builds your momentum.

Thus, embrace the present action and let your productivity evolve naturally. Relieve yourself from constant worry about the outcome.

6. Keep A Clean And Clear Work Space

A cluttered workspace breeds procrastination.

Clutter is distracting, and having other unattended projects in your workspace encourages you to lose interest in the task and drift toward other activities.

Thus, I recommend you remove everything from your desk and computer other than your current priority.

7. Avoid Multi-Tasking

Action-oriented individuals work on one project at a time. Studies have shown that it is virtually impossible to focus effectively on two tasks simultaneously.

Thus, work on one thing at a time. Do that one thing to the best of your ability. Bring the task to a conclusion or logical stopping point before moving on to something new.

Yes, interruptions happen. I understand that. Handle the interruption then get back to what you were working on.

Okay. Before continuing with my last seven tips for overcoming procrastination, pin this image so others can stop procrastinating, too!

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8. Maintain A Productive Mindset

Your productivity is influenced by what, how, and when you think.

What thoughts should you have? Well, that’s easy: productive ones. Thus, have a positive attitude about your life and your productivity.

Banish procrastination from your life by repeating the following phrase:

“I am productive simply because I get the most important things done first.”

Emphasize the word “done.” because procrastination isn’t solved by activity or being “busy.”

Eliminating procrastination relies on getting critical things done. That’s where your daily to-do lists come into play. Your list keeps you focused on essential but unpleasant tasks that are easy to put off.

9. Take Short Breaks

Take a short break after starting a task when the urge to procrastinate creeps in.

My favorite break is closing my eyes, taking deep breaths, relaxing, and letting the tension drain from my eyes and muscles. I do this for up to a minute several times a day.

Try it. It’s rejuvenating, and a break like this will take you to a better place, if only momentarily.

Then, refocus on the task at hand.

More readingHow to Achieve Your Goals in Life

10. Don’t Let Perfection Get In The Way Of Progress

Procrastination-resistant individuals never pursue perfection. Thus, set a performance standard equal to expectations and then meet those expectations.

Feeling like you have to go the extra mile may encourage procrastination. Waiting for flawless conditions or pursuing the perfect result discourages getting started and creates excuses.

Thus, I recommend you prioritize progress. Small, imperfect steps beat perfection paralysis. Action propels you forward.

Embrace progress. Foster your consistency with continuous effort.

Thus, always keep moving toward your goal. Refine the results later as you see fit. Let your instincts guide you.

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11. Adopt A Positive Attitude

Stay upbeat and practice positive self-talk. Avoid negative thoughts because they often become self-fulfilling and make getting difficult or unpleasant things done more challenging.

Yes, I know there are days when being positive is difficult. When that occurs, stand or sit up straight. Put a smile on your face and strive to dress and look your best.


You can control your physical actions more quickly and efficiently than your mental ones. Often, your mind follows your physical behaviors.

Then, with your mind in the “right place,” tackle whatever you have been putting off with all your energy.

12. Practice Persistent And Finish Strong

Proactive people never give up. They work on tasks and projects to completion by finishing strong. Conversely, procrastinators never get started.

Furthermore, know that the first 80% of any task or project comes easily. However, the final 20% is always the challenge.

So my advice is to finish strong. Complete whatever it is you have started.

13. Journal Your Thoughts

End your day with reflective thoughts. Ask yourself what went well and what you could do better to overcome procrastination.

Doing so will allow you to process your emotions for the day and consider how to stop procrastinating in the future.

Then, sleep on your thoughts and let your subconscious go to work solving your challenges with procrastination.

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14. Savor The Journey, Enjoy The Process, & Celebrate Your Success

Delight in the journey; find joy in the process. Celebrate each step toward being more proactive because your small daily wins matter.

It’s not just about the finish line but relishing every step. Getting those unpleasant tasks you have been putting off doing is sweeter when you enjoy the taste of progress.

Best Ways To Overcome Procrastination: Wrap-Up

Practicing today’s tips will help you be more proactive and productive. So, pick one or more of these ways to beat procrastination and build them into your daily routine starting today:

  1. Make a daily to-do list
  2. Eliminate barriers
  3. Start your day right
  4. Set deadlines and milestones
  5. Get started
  6. Clear your workspace
  7. Avoid multitasking
  8. Think productively
  9. Take short breaks
  10. Avoid perfection
  11. Stay positive
  12. Finish strong
  13. Journal your thoughts
  14. Celebrate your success

Thanks for reading. Before you go, please pin this image to Pinterest so others can overcome procrastination, too!

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Author Bio: Tom Scott founded the consulting and coaching firm Dividends Diversify, LLC. He leverages his expertise and decades of experience in goal setting, relocation assistance, and investing for long-term wealth to help clients reach their full potential.

14 Ways To Stop Procrastinating