5 Steps to Stop Procrastinating

You sit staring blankly at the screen and can’t take action. The more you procrastinate, the harder it becomes to get started. The tasks pile up, eventually becoming unmanageable, so you continue to drag your feet.

You know what you need to do, but you don’t do it. Perhaps it is too overwhelming to get started. Maybe you do part of it, get frustrated, and then give up. Maybe you avoid what you need to do by doing something else entirely.

The bottom line is that you can’t move forward because procrastination is ruling your life. And the more you put off the inevitable, the more demotivated you are.

So, what can you do about it?

It may sound counterintuitive, but procrastination happens for two reasons.

Either you think doing it will be more painful than the pleasure of getting it done, or perhaps you are gaining satisfaction from the act of procrastinating itself.

In short, the benefits of not doing it outweigh the benefits of completing it.

It’s time to take action.

Step 1: Where are you procrastinating?

The first step is to identify where you are currently dawdling. Yes, this may seem obvious; however, as our to-do list grows, you can easily forget what you were even avoiding in the first place.

So, where are you currently procrastinating? Is it just one thing, or does it have multiple layers? Look at all of the components and find the root item.

When did it start happening anyway?

This week I faced a creative block and was doing anything to avoid writing, including cleaning, cooking, and many other tasks.

I thought that I needed to organize my posting system to create a better strategy, and it seemed like a big task, so I avoided it.

When using this example, the original cause was my creative block which became unmanageable when dreading the weight of the organizational component. Did I need to organize my posts to develop a new topic this week? I didn’t.

It’s essential to focus on the original cause first, as maybe you don’t even need to complete the other tasks to get it done.

Where are you postponing the inevitable?

Step 2: Why are you procrastinating?

Avoidance happens when you believe that doing the task will be more painful than not doing it. To best understand this, list all of the reasons you think you may be putting off what needs to happen. 

There are always benefits to not doing something. How is not doing this task benefiting you? 

To explore this, ask yourself, what are you gaining by avoiding the task at hand?

It could be a surface reason, such as it seems more fun to go to the beach instead of doing work, or maybe you can’t think of a creative idea for your next article, so it feels better to vacuum.

What are you avoiding by not doing it? Do you feel like it will be boring, tedious, or confusing? Maybe not doing the task will help you avoid boredom or challenges.

However, there are often more profound reasons why this serves you. These deeper reasons could be the root cause of chronic procrastination.

Perhaps you believe that you won’t be successful and are afraid of failure.

Does not moving forward help you avoid possible rejection?

Does it allow you to stay small by helping you avoid real success because you don’t think you deserve it?

Or are you fearful of what change will create in your life? Are you afraid of who you will become, how people will react, how it will change your relationships or social status?

Perhaps you are addicted to the cycle of procrastination itself?
Maybe this pattern is familiar and comforting in some way. You know what to expect or love the thrill of getting things done at the last moment.

Often avoidance is laden with excuses.

Are you telling yourself you aren’t the commitment type, that it is too hard, too risky, will take too long, or that you don’t have enough time?

It may take some effort to understand the root cause. If you need help untangling why you are procrastinating, Book a Free Discovery Call Here.

Step 3: What will happen if you don’t get this done?

After identifying reasons you may be procrastinating, ask yourself what the outcome will be if you never do this.

What will be missing from your life or the lives of others?

Will it impact you in a meaningful way?

What discomfort will you experience?

Lastly, notice what feelings it is causing while you are procrastinating.
Are you anxiously thinking about this task as you avoid it?
Is it causing you to miss out on other opportunities or creating tension because you cannot relax and truly enjoy yourself? Or are you feeling stressed because this is looming?

Step 4:  What benefits will you gain once you get this done?

Take time to reflect on what benefits you will experience once this task is complete. What reward will this bring?

Give yourself a powerful reason to commit to this.

Why is completing this task important to you?

What type of pleasure or gifts will you gain? Will it help move you forward? Will it bring joy?

Take time to tap into the actual benefits and how they could outway the reasons standing in your way.

Step 5: How can you motivate yourself?

Add some motivation by thinking about what has generally helped ignite action in the past. How can you tap into that to create change?

Here are a few ideas that may help:

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1. Create some excitement.

Is there music that pumps you up?

Get up, dance, and get energized!

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2. Take a walk or exercise to get motivated.

How can you give yourself a physiological boost?

Can you go somewhere that creates inspiration or that energizes you?

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3. Replace your excuses with commitments.

Write a positive affirmation statement for each reason not to do the task.

Example: “I don’t have time” change to “I make time for what’s important to me.”

4. Break your larger tasks down into more manageable tasks.

Create small games to get the smaller tasks done.

Can you get three tasks done in one hour? Make it fun!

5. Celebrate your success. What can you do to celebrate once you complete this task?

Creating a positive reward can be just the push you need to get moving forward. What can entice or motivate you here?

For more tips on taking action, read the post 5 Steps to Overcome Fear & Take Action Here.


Procrastination can feel so overwhelming that you avoid moving forward. Take time to reflect on the following steps to create the understanding and motivation to take action.

Step 1: Where are you procrastinating?
Step 2: Why are you procrastinating?
Step 3: What will happen if you don’t get this done?
Step 4: What benefits will you gain once you get this done?
Step 5: How can you motivate yourself?

It may take some effort, but with a bit of reflection, you will be moving forward in no time. Remember, take things one step at a time. And always know that progress is perfection.

If you need help overcoming your chronic procrastination, make sure to Book a Free Discovery Call Here to learn how we can work on this together.

Now, let’s get it done!
Michele x

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