Overcoming procrastination; admitting is the first step

Darragh Aherne

At one time or another we have all procrastinated. Every day in the business world we are faced with so many tasks to do. What procrastination means is to keep putting a task off for as long as possible.

We have all done it at one stage in our careers we put of creating that excel spread sheet or that PowerPoint presentation, we lose focus and it’s all done in the last minute which is the biggest cause of low productivity in the workplace.


What kind of procrastinator are you?

“I'll do it later’’ we have all heard that in our office, putting a must do task off for a certain amount of time because it may be dull, boring complicated or all three. So, there are a few different types of procrastinators here;

1. Unmotivated
2. Indecisive
3. Unorganised
4. Easily distracted

Which type are you?

Identifying the reasons why you procrastinate

Here you must look at why am I putting this task off for so long. Is it that the project is too hard, do you need help, and why are you procrastination so much.

Many factors come into play here. You could be stressed, have strong emotions, time of personal crisis, financial worry, are you a type of ‘Yes’ man/woman who takes on way too much work? These are factors that can contribute.

The solution to some of the above factors can be as easily as having a mental health break, exercising and taking care of your body, making sure you get enough sleep, eating healthy and watching your weight. Even avoiding coffee may help. People think coffee is great but it only reaps short-term benefits.

A particular matter that has helped me is using focusing techniques like mediation. It is very important to take time out and to recharge and refresh yourself.

Beat Procrastination by getting motivated

Sometimes we all can get a lack of drive with a certain task, we are only human after all. I found using positive or negative visualisations to help you get it done. Asking yourself what will happen if I don’t get the report done? My boss will be very unhappy with me. On the other hand, visualise the presentation going well, the clients loving it and making heaps of commission.

Here, I think it is of vital importance to learn how to break the task down into bite sized chunks.

Also, you must reward yourself when the task is complete. Go see a movie or go to a new restaurant. Rewarding yourself is very important.

Beat procrastination by being more decisive

“I’ll do it later ” this ladies and gentlemen is the motto of a Procrastinator.

We do this because of a fear of failure and we over analysis the situation. Here we must learn to be brave. Focus in getting started and don’t get overwhelmed, take the first step and go forth from there. What can really help here is setting milestones and deadlines for yourself and reward yourself where appropriate.

Beat Procrastination by organising your time

We often tackle the easy tasks first ‘low hanging fruit’. Then we put off the important task till later in the day. What is so important to remember here is the fact that we have more energy in the morning than what we have in the afternoon. So, taking advantage of the time of day when you have the most energy is the most productive way to get that hard task done first.

Start all the tasks you hate first, and another great idea is to start a task list off when you finish work for the following day before you leave the office.


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