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Overcoming procrastination: a guide to tackling procrastination

Why we procrastinate: tips and techniques. How to overcome procrastination

A Guide to Overcoming the Habit of Procrastination is a resource guide that helps readers understand the reasons behind procrastination and how to overcome it. The article focuses on psychological aspects of procrastination and provides specific strategies and techniques for time management and motivation.

Why do people procrastinate?

People procrastinate for several reasons. One of them is lack of motivation. For example, if you have to write an essay but you are not particularly interested in the topic, you will probably put it off because you have no desire to start.

Another reason is the lack of clear goals and plans. For example, if you have a project at work but haven't made a list of tasks to complete, you may find yourself overwhelmed and procrastinating.

Also fear of failure can lead to procrastination. For example, if you have to enrol on a course and you are afraid you will fail, you may put off the decision until later.

Poor time management can also be a factor in procrastination. If your attention is often distracted by social media or other distractions, you may not leave enough time for important tasks and procrastinate.

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All of these factors can contribute to procrastination, but it's important to learn how to motivate ourselves, set clear goals, and manage our time more effectively to reduce procrastination and achieve greater productivity.

Think for a moment about Elena, an ordinary woman with two children, a job, a family and a fast-paced daily life. Night after night, Elena says to herself, "Tomorrow I'm going to start working out. I definitely need exercise!" But the morning brings new challenges, new tasks, and the workout gets postponed again.

So, why do people like Elena procrastinate?

  1. Fear of failure: Elena may worry that she won't be able to follow her training regimen or that she won't get the results she wants. Sometimes it is easier not to try than to try and face the potential failure.
  2. Perfectionism: Elena can wait for the "perfect moment" to start training. But in real life, there are rarely "perfect" moments.
  3. Busy: With work, children and household tasks, Elena may simply feel overwhelmed. When we have too much on our minds, it's easy to put off tasks that seem like an extra burden.
  4. Lack of clear motivation: maybe Elena is not quite sure why she wants to train. If a person doesn't clearly understand the benefits or reasons why they want to do something, it's easy to put it off.
  5. Fear of change: although Elena wants to change, change can be scary. Sometimes people are comfortable in their current life, even if they are not completely happy with it.

Procrastination is a natural human instinct, especially when we face the unknown, confront our fears or are overwhelmed . But at the same time, we need to understand that procrastination can rob us of opportunities, growth and happiness in life. Actively trying to resist this tendency can be the key to a better and more meaningful life.

Here's a brilliant video on procrastination from Tim Urban: Inside the head of a Procrastination Expert

A guide to overcoming the procrastination habit can be downloaded at the end of our article. This guide provides techniques for overcoming the procrastination habit based on research and practical examples. It is important to keep in mind that overcoming procrastination requires effort and consistency.

How does the deferral mechanism work?

Procrastination is a psychological process that explains why people tend to put off tasks or activities instead of completing them on time. This mechanism consists of several steps and is often repeated, reinforcing procrastination. Here's how the procrastination cycle works:

  1. Avoiding the task: The first step in the procrastination cycle is avoiding the task or activity. This can happen due to lack of motivation, fear of failure, or simply putting off unpleasant or difficult tasks.
  2. Feeling stress and guilt: when you avoid the task, you usually feel stress or guilt. You know you have to do it, but you procrastinate and it causes you negative emotions.
  3. Seeking activities that delay performance (procrastination): To avoid stress and guilt, many people seek side activities. These are other (usually easier or more enjoyable) tasks that take up their time instead of the one that needs to be completed. For example, instead of writing an essay, you might decide to clean your room.
  4. Feeling relieved: when you take on the side activities, you usually feel relieved because you avoid the stress and guilt associated with the task you've been putting off.
  5. Cycle repeat: After completing the side activities, the deferral cycle repeats. You often return to the first step - avoiding the main task. This cycle can be repeated many times, and each repetition increases procrastination and can lead to serious difficulty completing tasks.

Understanding this mechanism of procrastination is important so that you can find ways to interrupt it and deal with procrastination more effectively. This can include creating motivation, working with stress and guilt, and improving time management and productivity skills.

Is there common between a person's character and the habit of procrastination

Yes, there is a connection between a person's character and their procrastination habits. The habit of procrastination can be part of personality traits and can be influenced by various aspects. Here are some of the ways in which character can influence the habit of procrastination:

  1. Self-discipline: people with a higher degree of self-discipline are more likely to complete tasks on time and not procrastinate. They have a stronger will and can cope more effectively with the demands of time.
  2. Motivation: motivation plays an important role in attitudes towards work and procrastination. People with high motivation try to complete their tasks even when they are difficult or unpleasant.
  3. Perfectionism: People who are perfectionists by nature can be prone to procrastination because they strive for perfect results and fear that they cannot achieve them.
  4. Confidence: confidence in one's own abilities can influence whether one will tackle a task or put it off. People who feel insecure may be more likely to procrastinate.
  5. Ability to plan: the ability to make clear goals and plans for them is an important aspect of time management. People who are more organized are less likely to procrastinate.

It is important to note that the habit of procrastination can be changed and improved regardless of personality traits. With effort and proper time management and motivation strategies, people can reduce their procrastination habit and be more productive.

How can people who have a habit of procrastinating be helped?

Helping people who have a habit of procrastinating can be important, as procrastination can have negative effects on a person's productivity and success. Here are some strategies and ways you can help people overcome this habit:

  1. Understand the reasons: first help people understand why they procrastinate. There may be different motives and factors that influence the habit of procrastination. Understanding these reasons is a key step.
  2. Set clear goals: help them set clear, specific and measurable goals. This can give them greater clarity about what they need to achieve and how to move forward.
  3. Create a plan: help develop a plan to accomplish tasks. It should include actions, deadlines and priorities.
  4. Set realistic expectations: help people be realistic about how much time and effort is needed to complete the task. Warn them that it won't be perfect and that effort is important, not just results.
  5. Support them through motivation: encourage and support people when they make progress or successfully complete tasks. Stress the importance of small successes and remind them of their goals.
  6. Avoid pressure and judgment: it is important to avoid judgment or pressure. Instead, be patient and understanding and try to understand their needs and challenges.
  7. Share Time Management Techniques: Learning effective time management techniques, such as creating priority lists, using timers, and breaking tasks into smaller chunks, can be helpful in overcoming procrastination.
  8. Offer them support from a professional: If the problem of procrastination becomes serious and hampers daily life or professional success, it may be helpful to consult a professional psychologist or coach who specialises in managing procrastination.

Helping people overcome their procrastination habit requires patience and support. With the right support and strategies, many can reduce or overcome procrastination and become more productive.

"5+ Practices and Techniques to Overcome Procrastination and Improve Productivity"

Visualization - Imagine success

Include information about visualization and how it can help a person focus and believe in the possibility of successfully completing tasks.

Look for a friend for support

Explain the importance of implementing an accountability system that includes mutual support among friends or colleagues. What are the benefits and how can this practice be implemented?

Regulation of emotions

Explain how measuring and understanding emotional attunement can help identify negative emotional experiences and how these experiences can be overcome.

Intelligent procedures in life

Explain the importance of habits and routines and how they can provide a solid foundation for greater productivity and discipline. What are the practical steps for introducing these habits into a person's life?

Don't make too many commitments

Emphasize the importance of being able to say "no" to commitments that cannot be fulfilled, and how this can help prevent overload and procrastination.

Request feedback

Explain how asking for feedback can help overcome the fear of mistakes and incompetence and how this practice can improve performance.

More non-standard techniques to overcome procrastination

  1. The 5 Minute Technique: If you have a task that seems difficult or uninteresting, promise yourself that you will only work on it for 5 minutes. After this short period of work, you will often find the motivation and energy to keep going.
  2. Use a countdown: start counting backwards from 10 to 1 before starting a task. This psychological trick can encourage you to act by creating a sense of urgency.
  3. The Positive Self-Conviction Method: replace negative thoughts and doubts with positive statements. For example, instead of telling yourself "I won't make it," tell yourself "I can do this."
  4. "Source of Inspiration": Create a collection of things that inspire you, such as quotes, photos, music or success stories. When you feel a lack of motivation, review this source of inspiration to spur yourself to work.
  5. The Anti-Note Method: write a note to yourself vowing to do nothing but the task you want to complete. By signing this promise, you are committing yourself to keep this agreement with yourself.
  6. Race with a friend: choose a friend or colleague and compete to see who can complete the most tasks in a given time. This competition can motivate you and make work more fun.
  7. The Art of Procrastination: read the book "The Art of Procrastination" by John Perry. It presents different philosophies and techniques for dealing with procrastination in a creative way.

Remember, there is no one-size-fits-all technique that works for everyone. Choose the one that works best for you and try different approaches until you find the one that helps you deal with procrastination.

Here are a few articles and books that can help you in overcoming procrastination:


"Overcoming Procrastination: How to Start Taking Action" - A Psychology Today article that provides practical tips for overcoming procrastination.
"Procrastination and Its Causes" - An article in the Harvard Business Review that analyzes the causes of procrastination and how to deal with them.
"The procrastination cycle and how to break it" - Lifehacker article that explains how the procrastination cycle works and how to break it.


"The Now Habit" by Neil Fiore - This book presents strategies and techniques for overcoming procrastination and increasing productivity.
"Eat That Frog!" by Brian Tracy - The book offers tips on prioritizing and managing time to reduce procrastination.
"The War of Art" by Steven Pressfield - This book focuses on the art of overcoming resistance and procrastination, especially for artists and creative people.

These materials can provide you with additional ideas and strategies to combat procrastination and become more productive.