How to Stop Procrastinating: 18 Easy Ways

Why do we love to procrastinate?

watch-do-it-now

It is an undoubted truth, that the less one has to do, the less time one finds to do it in. ~Earl of Chesterfield

First, the obvious: Everyone procrastinates.

I do it, my corporate and entrepreneur friends and the ones in between do it and I know for a fact that super successful gurus do it on occasion too. It’s just a human thing to put off what we could get done now for later. So relax. You’re not alone.

Reminder: You can still grab The Positive Affirmations for Life program with more than 4 hours of audio affirmations for 7 life situations that impact your happiness and success the most.

But the ones who get a lot done in short periods of time and seem untouchable by excuses that plague the rest of us simply have learned how best to manage their procrastination tendencies. You can too. I’ll tell you how.

Procrastination is not in your DNA make-up, it is not inherited from your parents or siblings and it most certainly does not “run” in your family – in fact, removing that phrase altogether from your vocabulary can improve your life drastically.

Procrastination is a bad habit that has formed over the years, and in order to break this habit, you must create enough reason and momentum to build the opposite habit, the habit of getting things done.

Let’s find out why we procrastinate first.

Getting things done is hard work, definitely harder than getting nothing done. Or getting easy things done. Right?

We are creatures of comfort so we resist the notion of hard work, because it translates to discomfort and maybe even pain.

We might have to move our bodies and put in effort and concentrate and focus and even break a sweat. So we resist.

These walls of resistance manifest in the simplest and costliest form in our lives: Procrastination.

But here’s the irony. Procrastinating is actually harder on you over time than overcoming resistance and doing the work.

Why?

Because procrastination can cause fatigue and stress and anxiety. It can leave you feeling empty and dissatisfied with yourself. It makes you feel guilty and nags you like an annoying fly in your bedroom in the middle of the night.

On the other hand, completing a task elevates you to high levels of true happiness, gives you a sense of accomplishment, and makes you more productive for the next task.

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. ~William James

So the question is, which feeling do you want more?

Getting in the flow of getting it done. You know this.

Tell me if this is not true for you. When you actually commit to doing something, you get it done fast and without any fuss. You are focused. Your decision drives you, and you know what needs to happen and you just do it.

Plus the satisfaction that comes from your results generates even more creativity and productivity.

Those are the times you are in the zone. You are on top of it. You are untouchable by delays and excuses. You are doing your best and moving towards your goals and desires.

You love this feeling of completion. You secretly prefer this feeling to stress of procrastinating and yet you manage to procrastinate on a whole lot of things. Why is that?

Because you have a habit of procrastinating. But the good news about habits is that you can break them by interrupting them and replacing them with better, more fruitful habits.

18 ways to learn how to stop procrastinating now.

1. Determine if it’s worth doing.

You might just be procrastinating because you don’t want to do something for a good reason. It may be a job you hate, a procedure you can’t stand, a part of your life that you simply want to escape. That is different from procrastinating on your dreams and real goals.

To this, I would say examine the task at hand before doing it because why do something you hate with so many opportunities to do what we love?

2. Tiptoe in to see what happens.

Pick the thing you are procrastinating right now and just tiptoe in to see what happens. Do a fraction of it. Then decide how you feel about the advice.

Often you overwhelm yourself with the idea of doing it all and then you sit on it because it’s too much. What if you just did 15 minutes or half an hour? What if you got on board for just a wee bit to get a taste and break the waiting cycle?

3. Don’t listen to your moods. They lie.

The strongest reason we procrastinate is because we just “don’t feel like doing it!” You know what happens if you listen to that lousy mood? Nothing happens!

So before you do whatever you need to do, change your mood with a meditation track or check out my popular 10 Minute Invigorator Program that is guaranteed to switch up your mood in 10 minutes or less.

office-tea-clean

4. Clean up the environment.

The environment you surround yourself with can either perpetuate your procrastination or nip it in the bud. Take a look at your desk, your house, your space where you need to do this work. Is it clean or cluttered?

Have courage and clean up the mess, throw away the rubbish you don’t need, and create a peaceful and productive space that is inducive to creativity and positivity.

5. Commit to it loud and clear.

In the first 20 minutes of my 6am Ashtanga yoga practice,  a voice inside me is complaining and fussing “This is way too hard at this crazy hour. Let me go back to bed. Stop! I don’t feel like it!” And I know right then that if I give power to that mental shift, if I don’t commit loudly to the breath and the practice, if I stare at the clock, then I might as well go home.

Commit already. Commit loud. Commit and mean it. Commit to yourself.

6. Share your commitment with one person.

Choose one person, a partner, a spouse, a role model, a good friend, and tell them you committed to something specific, with dates and times. Ask if they please hold you accountable in a friendly but firm way?

The best partner is someone who may need the encouragement too. What is it that they are procrastinating on? Can you keep one another honest? Of course you can! Together, you are twice as strong!

7. Stop playing the victim card.

Why do we glorify being a victim of circumstance? Why do complainers get so many listening ears? There is nothing sexy or healthy about playing the victim, trust me.

Be your own hero instead. Be a warrior of peace. Be strong and tall and grateful for life. Stop the victim mindset and when it creeps in, just change it by telling yourself that you are in charge.

8. Kill the excuses. Abolish the distractions.

In order to do this, you must first know the definition of an excuse and a distraction. The dictionary definition says an excuse is “a reason put forward to conceal the real reason for an action.

Excuses and distractions build the walls of resistance, but only if you give them focus and attention. Put your focus and attention where it belongs: on the task at hand.

9. Maximize the small chunks of time.

You have got to manage your time well if you want to be a success. One good news is that you don’t need large chunks of time to get things done.

If you can’t dedicate an hour or two a day to something that matters to you, you can start with 15 minutes or 30 minutes a day, but for the long term, think about a fundamental shift in your lifestyle design. For now, use the 10-minute chunks everywhere you can find them.

10. Let the power of mantra guide you.

Mantras are positive affirmations you repeat to yourself over and over. Guided meditation can help you achieve this. You can even synchronize your breathing. In-breath will do the first half of the mantra and out breath the second half.

Some of my favorites are “If they can, so can I” and “I’ll do it now so I can reap the reward later.” Choose your own mantra and repeat it.

11. Turn a deaf ear to your lizard brain.

The inner voice is negative, it is your lizard brain, as Seth would tell us, and if you let it loose, it will destroy your mind with negativity. Stop listening to it by not focusing on it.

Recognize when you may be entering your lizard brain, it’s usually when you doubt your ability to get something done. Even if you don’t believe in yourself at first, keep repeating your positive mantra to quiet the negativity.

12. Visualize the end goal. See it in your mind’s eye.

Visualization is a powerful exercise that helps you focus on the end goal. It is a proven technique that kills procrastination and motivates you to high levels of success.

It takes a lot of focus and attention to seeing the end goal and how it can manifest itself in your life. Start with creating a vision board if you want to give this a full try.

13. Create enough pain to move you to action.

Pain moves you to action. It was pain that led me out of my corporate life and into running my own businesses. If you have enough pain, you will start doing. And if you told me that you wanted out of the corporate world but you are sitting around not taking any action, it’s because you are not in enough pain to take action.

So are you in pain from not doing what needs to be done? Let’s take weight loss. Are you in enough anguish from your weight and health problems to take action yet? If not, then can you creatively create more pain (yes I am asking you to create more pain in your comfortable state)?

14. Harness the fear and win.

Say no to fear. Fear is procrastination’s best ally so it’s bound to show up. Just don’t accept it. Don’t invite it in. Engage it in conversation to calm your nerves, to be in charge, to have control. If you can do this once, you can do it again and soon it becomes a habit.

Who hasn’t had a conversation with oneself? Why not make it a good one? In the privacy of your thoughts, ask yourself why you are procrastinating, what it is, is it fear, is it laziness, is it lack of knowledge? What is at your soft core? Listen to the whispers coming back. Then let your own inner guide help you push past the fear.

15. Cultivate self-discipline.

It’s either the pain of getting self-disciplined now or tasting the bitter pill of regret later. When put in that perspective, it is a quick decision. To translate it to action, create your own small habits that will build up your productivity.

Everyone is different. Cultivate at the pace what works for you, maybe an hour early in the morning, maybe a Sunday night ritual, maybe timing yourself, maybe working in complete isolation. Find that magic habit that works for you. That’s your self-discipline.

16. Make that deadline count.

Setting deadlines is easy to do and hard to keep. Nothing could be easier than putting a date on the calendar so how do you make it count if you hate deadlines? Put some repercussions in place.

Tell yourself that if you are not done by this date, you have to give up on something you really like. For me, the ultimate punishment would be my daily good tea. What do you want to give up if you don’t meet that deadline?

wisdom-perfection

17. Drop the perfectionism.

Perfectionism is not something to be proud of. It is a habit that holds you back from delivery results. Don’t mistake it with high quality. Of course you must delivery your highest work at the best quality, but perfection? Do you think that it even exists?

Have you ever achieved the state of perfectionism and been rewarded to the point that you now hold yourself to it every time? Learn to cure your perfectionism and move yourself to a steady state of taking action.

18. Reward yourself big every time.

We do not reward ourselves nearly enough. When you achieve a goal, any shape or size, especially one you have been procrastinating on for a long time, celebrate it! Buy yourself something wonderful. Give yourself a day off. Do something you rarely do for yourself. Look at your accomplishment with gratitude and joy.

It’s a big deal when you break through the barriers of procrastination. Congratulations are in order! How do you celebrate in style? I book a trip somewhere special and run off to practice more yoga.

We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment. ~ Jim Rohn

What are you procrastinating on? Did you learn more about how to stop procrastinating by stopping here?

Get Confident in 21 Easy Steps


  • Rochelle

    Thank you for this Farnoosh. I am a Procrastinator.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Rochelle, you just procrastinate! Don’t label yourself, it’ll stick ;)!
      Thank you so much for coming by!!! So glad this was useful. Please share it with your friends and network. I want this one to spread.

    • Patrick

      Complacence and procrastination has been in me for the pass 4 years. Some call it mid life crisis but most of the time I create a lot of excuses. I really need to get out of this cycle.

      • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

        Patrick, no such thing as mid life crisis. It’s all in our minds. Excuses are a barrier though but again,that’s also mental. But do break the cycle at least once. Tell yourself you will break it once then you can go back to it and then when you do break free, you will realize the power of proof that you have and that will give you guts to break it again and hopefully for good!!!

        • Patrick

          Thank you very much Farnoosh. Mental exhaustion gets in the way too. I need the discipline to get up, break it and place my plans into actions.

          • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

            I do hear you. Let me know if you wanna work with me to get rid of that though. I have a few tricks up my sleeve. Some tough love if you will :)! Good luck, Patrick.

    • Alex

      I felt really down and out about myself and life and these articles have given me a small percent that I’m not so bad and I can live the life I want

  • http://www.jungleoflife.com/ Lance

    Farnoosh,
    This is GREAT! Sometimes I’m there, gettin’ stuff done…and other times…it’s way too easy to put it off. So, this is great for me – and for those moments when I let procrastination creep in…

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Lance, you have no idea how happy this makes me. And I am sure those moments are rare and far and in between for you. Thank you for stopping by, I have missed you. Big hugs!

  • http://www.scandalousbeautyonline.com Erin

    I might have to print this out and have it on my desk. lol Thanks for the list!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dearest Erin, so glad to hear this. While you are at it, would you be a doll and share it with others? I am now on a mission to spread the idea on ending procrastination and I can use your help. A million thanks and here’s to ending it for good!

  • http://www.thecaremovement.com Al Smith

    Thanks Farnoosh. This is great. I will pass it on to others per your suggestion.

    Dare to CARE.

    Al

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Al, thanks for this and for your email. Thank you especially for sharing!!!

  • Jackie

    Farnoosh

    We all have our moments with the mighty procrastination gremlin, I think that you really have to dig under the surface and work out what your particular soft spots are.

    Can’t tell you how attractive the housework looks when I’m facing something I’m not feeling the love for.

    Thanks for sharing the tips :)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Jackie, welcome to PL! So good to see you! And what a unique perspective …. work out our particular soft spots. I hear you.
      Well, my cleaning lady left just now. Let me tell you. I have a few regrets and one is that I didn’t pay for a cleaning lady earlier in my life ;)! So I do hear you but I also think sometimes, #1 above applies the most. And thank you for your comment and love it if you shared this post over all others…

  • Mirza

    This post is very inspiring Farnoosh. It makes me want to start working on my tasks right away.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Mirza (Iranian?), thank you thank you for sharing the inspiration you are feeling. Send this over to a friend or two if you get a chance please, would you?

  • http://www.yourmuseiscalling.com Sue Mitchell

    You’re so right about the downward spiral, Farnoosh. My favorite procrastination-buster is to play a little game with myself. I tell myself, “You’re not really going to write that blog post. You’re just going to open Word,” or “You’re not really going to clean the bathroom. You’re just going to clean the mirror.” It would be okay if that were all I did because at least it would be a small step, but I can’t think of a single time I stopped once I got started. It’s the starting that’s so difficult.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Sue, welcome here and thank you for sharing your thoughts!!! I love your game. Can I steal it away? A bit of sarcasm, a bit of reverse psychology. Hey, whatever works! And very entertaining to boot. A million thanks and feel free to share this one. I want everyone to stop procrastinating those awesome goals!

  • Jeremy Brown

    I like the mantra thing. “If they can do it, so can I.” So often I procrastinate because I look at the big picture and get frustrated because I don’t have it all figured out. I’m realizing that I’ll never have it all figured out. I’m learning to break projects into manageable chunks, and it’s helped me develop something that I’ve never had before…Focus. Thanks for sharing this.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hello dear Jeremy (my brother in law is also a Jeremy – GREAT name!). Yes, the mantras work, I assure you. No, break it down. Small steps make giant progress over time!! And trust me, no one has it all figured out – not even those hot shots. If I can do anything else for you let me know and will you help me spread the word on procrastination by sharing this please? THANK YOU!

  • http://www.grownupnowwhat.com Tammy

    I have found that once I make a decision, the hard work is over. Momentum is on my side. Indecision is actually a slow decision to accept the status quo, filled with angst because other options are still open.

    I am not a procrastinator myself by nature, but when I find that I’m not following through on what I said I would, that is a huge red flag for me that the path might not be right, or there are some emotional hang ups that need to be addressed.

    Thank you for offering so many different suggestions that can be applied to a variety of situations – no procrastinating because the solution didn’t fit!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Tammy, the hard work is over because you have committed. It is just a matter of time and effort after that, yes! Indecision is painful. I do hear you.
      You know, you sound like you are in great sync with yourself and where things need to be. And maybe there is just some fine-tuning (Heck, I have a lot more than fine-tuning on my end!). You are very welcome and will you help me spread the word on procrastination by sharing this please? THANK YOU!

  • Tina

    I have been practicing vinyasa yoga, mostly at home (a lengthy practice nearly every time) regularly for well over 4 years now. For the first time, last night, I did not have that ten-minute period starting out, of feeling all alone doing it—any primarily home exerciser, even one using a video, knows what I’m talking about. I have never really been able to afford yoga classes, but I’d grit my teeth and soldiered on. I now do not only yoga, but ecstatic dance (sometimes I treat myself to an actual 5 Rhythms class).

    That ten-minute period did not show its ugly head.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hello dear Tina, I am crazy about vinyasa yoga, and home practice: I am very impressed. You mean that in 4 years, you only had a lapse last night? Maybe you should be writing posts on procrastination, Tina!
      And your attitude last night? I am still in awe and shock of your perseverance. BRAVO! I do hope you that a fortune befalls you so that you go to any yoga class your heart desires. This is the most touching comment. Thank you, thank you, dear Tina, and please share this post with someone you love.

      • Tina

        Last night—doing vinyasa yoga—I did not have that USUAL ten-minute period starting out [for a lengthy practice nearly every time]. I did 79 minutes of practice with no resistance to starting … THAT’S what I’d hoped to convey.

        • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

          Hi dear Tina, 79 minutes? You are amazing. And thanks for clarifying it. Sounds great. Do you have a blog about your yoga or do you just do it (the latter is far more important of course). All the best and Namaste!

  • Sue

    Hi Farnoosh,

    This is a great post. It’s so true that when we procrastinate on starting or completing a task it eventually takes up more energy than it would have taken to just get the task done, or make the decision to let go of the task/project.

    Regarding suggestion #10 and not listening to your inner voice, I think it depends which inner voice we’re talking about. There is the incessant ego/inner critic chatter that probably does need to be sent on a long walk or told to pipe down. But there is also your Inner Voice–or higher self, soul, whatever you want to call it–and that’s a quiet little voice that you DO want to listen to because it will offer you the wisdom and guidance to identify the important tasks or projects that keep you aligned with your purpose. We often end up taking on projects/activities/tasks that we think we “should” be doing, yet at some level we know they’re not aligned with what we need to be doing, so we procrastinate on those tasks instead of letting them go or delegating them, if that’s an appropriate option.

    By the way, the photo of the orchid you’ve used for this post is just stunning. I love the contrast between the sharp, clear focus of the flower and the softness of the blurry background.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dearest Sue, that photo was taken (by me, believe it or not – I am still in shock :)), courtesy of my own camera because the art comes from that and not me, in a Toronto cafe two weeks ago.
      So, Sue, you are ABSOLUTELY right! I am talking about the first inner voice. I think what you are talking about is what I address in #1 which is to first of all identify if we should even be doing this task, because the core of delaying it may very well be, as you said, because it’s not the right thing for us. Thank you so much for clarifying – believe it or not, I love it when my readers correct me. And would you be kind enough to share this with someone so we can end procrastination together? :)

  • Kareen

    Excellent article Farnoosh, I have shared same with my friends on Facebook, well written..keep up the great work !

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Thank you dear Kareen. Makes me so so happy. And I shall keep it up so long as I have readers like you! :)

  • Rashmie | Mommy Labs

    Dear Farnoosh,
    This is a truly amazing post. You have gotten deep into the mindset and dug out the very hard hitting reasons/psyche behind it.
    # 12, #13, #14 and #15 are absolutely bang on. “Create enough pain” – yes, darling, I totally agree. If you don’t know how much your heart is aching due to your not giving it, you will never get down to doing it.

    I am going to share this everywhere – FB, Twitter and later on – on my blog. :)
    You put so much thought into your articles, my dear. Thank you for being genuinely helpful. Hugs :)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hello dearest Rashmie, so lovely to see you here. I am glad those particular ones resonated with you. Now I know you even better. How lovely for me! You know the feelings that I am describing and that means so much.
      Thank you so much for offering to share it. I know that we can make a difference by driving these messages even in the scale of our little world. Hugs!

  • http://www.thesaleslion.com Marcus Sheridan-The Sales Lion

    Farnoosh, this was amazing. Seriously. I could go on and on about what I loved about it (btw, I’m a HUGE Jim Rohn fan, have listened to everything he ever recorded about 5,439 times ;-) ), but I want to focus on #13 for a second.

    I don’t think most people understand the pain principle that you’ve discussed here, but I know it’s the key for so much of what I’m able to accomplish. The reality is this– Until we relate more pain to staying where we are to the pain of actually attempting something new, we’re going to get nowhere.

    So that’s what I do. I make staying where I am painful. I want it to hurt. And then I want it to kick me in the butt, just like it does you at 5:45am every morning.

    Ahhh yes, powerful stuff my friend. Love what you write and the way you think Farnoosh. I just hope those that need this article the most are able to enjoy it as much as I have.

    Marcus

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hello dear Marcus, fancy seeing you here, dear friend! I should have used a quote from you instead of Jim Rohn, you are an incredible role model and your schedule of treadmill or elliptical at night BEFORE you get to work is phenomenal. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on my favorite aspect of this: Creating ENOUGH pain. It’s really hard to convey but when people find themselves in that position, it’s a complete no-brainer. It’s time to exit and hopefully if you have a strategy, then you can fly rather than fall !
      To have your words of approval here seals the deal. I am just thrilled to write stuff that gets a nod from you, Marcus. Take good care and keep shining ever so brightly. Thanks for your comment.

  • http://www.speakingoflove.net Sally Brown

    Hi,

    I love #9 since I use affirmations often. I will make up an affirmation ans begin to utilize it daily. Thank you so much for your article. Sally

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Thank you dear, dear Sally. I am with you on that. Tell me how things go with those affirmations. Incidentally, my co-host and I are doing podcasts on those topics, if you are interested: SOF.

  • http://betweenthetemples.com Chris Harris

    Hi Farnoosh,

    Great post!

    My biggest hangups are self-discipline, boredom, and burn out.

    Self discipline I am working on through cultivation of good habits.

    Tasks that are mind numbing and boring are hard for me to start or get past.. Burnout is self- explanatory… I have to use a lot of pain for those last two.

    I even procrastinate about going to bed… there is too many interesting things to be doing.

    Speaking of which… Time for bed!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Chris, thank you so much. Oh those are big problems but I think they go hand in hand. So you get bored with what you WANT to do or what you think you HAVE to do? I think it’s hard to get bored with the first one. Why not do something about those mind-numbing tasks….. I know I may be simplifying it too much but it’s just a nudge in the right direction. Thanks again for being here.

      • http://betweenthetemples.com Chris Harris

        Good morning Farnoosh,

        The boredom and burnout go hand in hand for sure. A lot of my burnout and mind numbing tasks is centered around IT work… part of the reason I have moved into blogging. I am really pushing myself to go another direction.

        Nonetheless- it still exposes issues that I need to correct in the procrastination department. If I had the money, I would get myself a talented PA to do everything I hate doing… then again doing things you don’t like could be considered part of personal development…. .

        Anyways- keep the articles coming. But not too many… otherwise I might keep reading and put off doing other things….

        Did I just say that out loud?

        ;)

        • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

          Oh the IT world bored me out of my mind. That’s NOT a procrastination issue. That is a “doing what you don’t love” issue. It cost me a 6-figure salary, and I left a ton of things on the table but I refused to be that bored out of my mind anymore. It’s a tough choice but it’s not about procrastination, Chris. I *know* you will find the right solution for you soon. Thanks for the taking my intensity in the right spirit :)!

          • http://betweenthetemples.com Chris Harris

            You have to expect intensity with anyone who has gone after a CCIE cert ;)

  • Patrick

    Wonderful, inspiring stuff as always Farnoosh, I have previously enjoyed reading this on procrastination, and wanted to share it with you and your readers if you haven’t seen it yet;
    Healthy & Wellbeing

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Patrick, thank you so much. And I’ll check out the reference right now.

  • Tom Sorhannus

    Hi Farnoosh, I´m procrastinating right now by reading your post instead of writing my own :-) But it is worth it!

    Fear and lack of passion (another way to say lack of pain) are the two greatest obstacles for getting things done. At least for me.

    Thank you for the inspiring text!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Tom, I hope you got to that post or else I have to stop writing altogether so you get your work done ;)!
      Too funny but thanks so so much for sharing your thoughts.

      • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

        PS: Tom, I got a linkback to a post you wrote but it was in German and it linked to this post. Can I just say THANK YOU and Danke :)!

  • http://www.poweredbyintuition.com Angela Artemis/Poweredbyintuition

    Farnoosh,
    This is an excellent post. I’m drawn to #1. The peace I feel when I do complete a task is wonderful. You don’t realize the stress you’re under when a task goes uncompleted until you feel the difference afterward. What a revelation! I was experiencing this plus a great deal of frustration over not being able to upload my book to Kindle. Once I accepted the fact that I needed help (thanks to you!) I was calm again. What a relief. Procrastination in my case is usually due to fear. Face your fear and do it anyway and get the damn thing done!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Angela, how lovely lovely to see you here. Yes, #1 was a huge one and the peace is exactly what should propel us forward and kill our procrastination. And we can’t wait to help you on that project, Angela. You will shine in the Kindle store! Thanks for stopping by. Please share this one post because I am determined to end procrastination as the #1 thing people struggle with.

  • Snadra Ellzey

    Thanks. I too am a procrastinator. So bad so that I was procrastinating reading this. I was thinking you should have (online) boards. Then we could share our progress with other reader and be held accountable! Thanks for all your inspiration. Now I have to get started on something!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Sandra (or is it really Snadra?).
      You are funny and I’d like to have online boards but what are they? Do you mean forums? Well, I do have something similar: You can join my LinkedIn Group and we do have discussions and talk about topics and inspire one another:LinkedIn Group: Smart Habits for Body, Mind and Heart. Love to have you!

      • Sandra Ellzey

        Yup that’s exactly what I was referring to. I don’t exactly know why we call them boards down here. Anyways, thanks! I’ll be sure to join…and maybe spell-check next time.

        • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

          Don’t even worry – they used to be many different names over the life of the internet. Where’s “down here”? If it’s Australia, I am delighted to say I am heading over there soon, and nice to meet you, Sandra. Thanks for commenting.

          • Sandra Ellzey

            Australia? Not even close to any place that glamorous. I’m in Miami. :-D Thanks for the warm welcome.

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  • Christina

    Wow. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on procrastination, because it’s a huge problem for me, and this is the most useful information I’ve seen so far.

    6 & 7 resonated the most. I have asthma and I’ve been playing the victim, as if that’s making my life too difficult to do what I really want to do. It’s become an excuse that has no merit because the reality is, it’s just an inconvenience- not a real obstacle.

    This is my first visit to your wonderful blog. I’m subscribing right now!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Christina, welcome here. I am so glad you feel that way and would you be willing to share this with your friends and peers? I wrote this and then went on a mission to stop procrastination. I am still shocked it’s the number one thing people struggle with and I really want to spread the ideas here.
      I do feel for you in regards to your asthma but yes, do not let it stop you. Usually, people with any kind of personal struggle capitalize on all the benefits – like increased motivation to succeed – and I am sure you will make things work in your favor. Thanks for your comment and for joining us here.

  • http://www.personalpower4me.wordpress.com David Stevens

    Hi Farnoosh,
    Excellent tips, bookmarked for future reference. Procrastination is not your friend, don’t invite him to join the party.
    be good to yourself
    David

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Thank you for stopping by here, David. I am not inviting it to the party anymore. :) That’s for sure! In fact, I want it to get banned from every party, so help me spread the word please.

  • http://www.2knowmyself.com farouk

    very nice one farnoosh
    procrastination is such a bad trait , thanks for giving us advice on now to deal with it

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Farouk, long time since I have seen you. Thank you so much and please share this one post (I am selective when I ask and this one is a big one) so we stop procrastination altogether :)!

  • Alison Moore Smith

    As in, be in pain from not doing it…

    This is one of my favorites and one I teach in my convention speeches. While I try to dwell on the positive aspects of goal setting, it can be very helpful for people to explicitly note the downside of choosing not to follow through with a goal.

    Good stuff, as usual. :)

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Alison, so nice to see you here. And it’s always lovely when my readers pick out my own favorite parts of the post. Yes, the positive side should rule but sometimes, a bit of reality is a good thing to inject. Thanks for stopping by to share this.

  • http://www.kaizenvision.com Aileen | Kaizen Vision

    Exposing the truth of procrastination! Typically if I’m procrastinating on something it’s out of fear – so I have my bag of mind tricks that I play on myself to get beyond it. Over the years it used to surprise me how great I felt after doing the thing I was putting off – or the thing I feared (usually the same thing). So sometimes I take one m&m as my courage pill or a shot glass of cold water – mixed in self talk and that usually does it. Some things require more the bag of silly mind tricks – but all that matters is that nothing looms. Procrastination does exhaust and fatigue us. Get more done, get more energy and feel better by getting it off the plate!

    Loved this post!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Aileen, “bag of mind tricks” – love it. And yes, it is shocking and surprising just how amazing and empowered we feel AFTER we do the stuff we procrastinate on. Thank you for the powerful talk here, I cannot be happier that you and I picked each other for co-hosting our podcast. With this attitude, I hope we can spread these ideas far and fast. Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://patrickhitches.com Patrick Hitches

    It’s all about Motivation Baby!!! :) Another wonderful post Farnoosh.

    You Are Awesome!

    Patrick

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      You are back! The community is complete now, Patrick. And thank you for being my partner in crime when it comes to motivation!

      • http://patrickhitches.com Patrick Hitches

        :) Love it!!!

  • http://communityofchange.blogspot.com Nancy Christie

    Great tips! Re #2, if I really really REALLY hate what I have to do, I set a timer for 15 minutes. Knowing that’s all the longer I need to do it makes it bearable–and I usually end up continuing even when the buzzer goes off!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Nancy, thank you and welcome here. Why do what you really really hate in the first place though? I’d not advocate it. Is there anyway to get out of it? Or delegate it to someone else? Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      • http://communityofchange.blogspot.com Nancy Christie

        Right now I am the only person who can do it. It’s not really so bad, actually, just time-consuming and boring. But I have to admit I feel better when it’s done, so that makes it worthwhile.

        • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

          Hi dear Nancy, actually did you see the latest post I wrote? I think your comment got me thinking!!! Thanks for coming back and sharing more and see you soon again hopefully.

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  • http://www.zensationalliving.com/blog sheila

    All great tips! Love the one on moods the best! :) have a wonderful night!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Fantastic to hear it. Makes me very happy! :) Thank you dear Sheila!

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  • http://excelassist.com ExcelAssist

    Farnoosh, great job on this list. I don’t think I’ve ever come across this type of detail and wisdom when battling procrastination.

    I especially enjoyed Jim Rohn’s quote, “We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret and disappointment.” Nice touch.

    Gives me much to ponder. Thank you.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Then, dear, I insist that you share it :)! Seriously, I am really trying to spread this particular post because my goodness, procrastination drives me crazy and if we can reduce it in ourselves and others, we can get SO MUCH accomplished together. So glad you enjoyed it. So so glad! Thanks for your comment.

  • http://marketingunfolded.com Jesus Ramirez

    Hey Farnoosh,

    I think #5 is extremely important!

    Accountability is essential on killing procrastination.

    Sharing our goals with our loved ones and people we cannot let down will gives us that extra push to accomplish anything we set out to do!

    Love your site!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Jesus, thank you so much for commenting. Accountability is one of my favorites, and one of the general least favorites. So glad you enjoyed the post and the site – thank you for telling me! And hope this was useful info!

  • http://www.blogstash.com Satrap

    Hi Farnosh,

    I just came over from reading your guest post on BasicBlogTips. The first thing that caught my eye was your beautiful Persian name, then of course your fantastic article pulled me in. I am glad I did click on your link. What a great site!

    I struggle with procrastination every second of my life, and that’s not because I am lazy or don’t want to work. I have 2 full time offline jobs and I run a few small businesses online as well. My problem is my deep and very sever depression caused by years of drug abuse (have been clean for 5 years now). Sometimes I feel like I just can’t go any further. I lose motivation, interest and everything becomes meaningless.

    Thankfully, my addictive personality comes to my rescue (at least for once in my life it does something positive) most of the time. Yes, I am a workaholic and a neat freak, so I can’t stand having unfinished tasks for long.

    Thanks for such great tips. I love your tips about creating mantras. I am a firm believer of positive thinking and that makes total sense to me.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Satrap, thank you so so much for all the kindness you give me here… and for being so open in your comment. I don’t think you are lazy at all. I am just glad you are no longer doing substance abuse and have come out of it. Motivation: I struggled with it for years until I found my way out and wrote my book and try to live by those principles every day – one is having a mantra and being positive, attitude is everything, dear! Stay positive and thank you for your comment; so glad you enjoyed this post.

  • http://www.fromdreamstolifestyle.com/how-to-develop-good-habits/ patrick

    Such a great post and I love the quotes. Procrastination is such a devious little activity that has a way of wasting so many great opportunities in our lives and causes us to mull over the things we should have done deteriorating our sense of fulfillment.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi Patrick, thank you – be sure to share it – I want this one to reach everyone who procrastinates… a devious little activity, huh? I think of it more as a prevention to any useful activity we might want to have but I think I see what you mean. Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://www.nakedbearbandb.ca Michael Garvey

    One of the most practical and useful ways of coping with procrastination I’ve seen.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      So glad you think so, Michael, and feel free to spread it around and put them to use if need be. Thank you!

  • http://pioneeroutfitters.com/AlaskaChickBlog/ Amber-Lee Dibble

    Farnoosh
    I’m home again!!
    Wow.
    I read it, then I sent it to the two most insane procrastinators I know (and I have to say- I was startled when I read my name!!) THEN, I read it again. This is a great post and fantastic list. Thank you for sharing this. (This will also help me stay motivated on playing “catch up” after being in the field for 50 Days!)
    ~Amber-Lee
    @girlygrizzly

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Amber-Lee, so nice to read your reply here, nice to see you. Ok you have to help me, as I am confused: What do you mean, you read your name?? ;) As in, you are the most insane procrastinator you know? Oh come on! I am sure you are not that bad and the fact that you are reading this post and going to do something about it is in itself FANTASTIC! Lovely to see you here.

      • http://pioneeroutfitters.com/AlaskaChickBlog/ Amber-Lee Dibble

        (snort-snicker) No, I do not consider myself a terrible procrastinator…. but I have been surrounded for years and habits ARE contagious! The email, subscription, thing I get when you write a new post!! Towards the end, it said, “My one request from you, Amber-lee: Send this to at least one
        friend or one family member that can benefit from ending procrastination
        in their life. ” ~I about chocked! (cute) I might have zoned a bit without the name! ~Amber-Lee

        • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

          Oh the email!! I see, yes, yes Amber, I know your name in the email and I was talking to you, so I am thrilled that it worked. Thank you, thank you for telling me and for sharing, and for being a reader. Come back anytime!!!

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  • Jym | Blog Tips

    Awesome stuff Farnoosh!

    Procrastination can seem like such a huge mountain to climb, but conquering it means a very different life…

    Love number 13 – Pain is the greatest motivator and really grasping the long term implications of succumbing to procrastination on our lives and the lives of those around us can often give us the wake-up call we need to move forward…

    That and having one kind of accountability partner are definitely top steps on my path. Thanks for sharing all these.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Jym,
      Oh I love how you put it, how it means a very different life. I love that phrase. Welcome here and thank you for sharing your thoughts. I am so glad you enjoyed the tips and thoughts here. I’ve never had too many accountability partners, but my husband is always happy to have a reason to yell at me if I give him one :)! Just kidding – he quietly nudges me!! Hope to see you again and please share this with another friend that might enjoy it too.

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  • Duddy

    This is one of the best articles on overcoming procrastination that I’ve seen yet.
    I really agree with your emphasis on will power. But for the kind of clinical-procrastination that negatively impacts the life quality of 15-20% of our population there needs to be a greater emphasis on motivational science.

    Too many people just don’t see how important that “reward” of the procrastination busting equation is in overcoming truly life-interfering procrastination.

    The best neuro-behavioral science says we need positive reinforcement, optimally delivered, to effect the kind of behavior change that replaces serious procrastination with sustained and thus motivated action.

    There’s no such thing as good vs bad or “constructive procrastination”. Real procrastinators don’t get that work or school assignment done. Their lives are devastated as a result. Will power takes practice for serious procrastinators and that practiced will power must be reinforced.

    Thought provoking article! – Thank you.

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Thank you so so much, Duddy, for your insights here, and for sharing additional thoughts that are very useful to know in terms of procrastination. I am very happy you found the information here useful. I agree that sometimes, it’s just procrastination – and it affects us negatively because of the constraints on what we need to do. Perhaps, there is room for some procrastination to allow creativity flow. I think overall though, we need to stay on top of it. :)

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  • http://www.philippawrites.com Philippa Willitts

    Very late to the party, but this is an awesome and wonderful post. So helpful, and given me a kick to just get started, with some really helpful tactics and techniques. Thank you!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      You have arrived at precisely the right time, Philippa, and I am so glad you found it useful. :)

      • http://www.philippawrites.com Philippa Willitts

        That’s a beautiful way of looking at it. Yes, it *was* just the right time.

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  • Kalaya

    Funny you were writing this when I was procrastinating the most! But, alas I have only recently found you and this one hits home. I have been slowly coming out of “procrastination land” and into new territory… thank you for helping that along! Definitely will share!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Hi dear Kalaya, so glad that the timing worked so well. Come out and go into that new territory …. So so glad you enjoyed this, thanks so much for sharing with me.

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  • H.j.

    Thank you thank you thank

    Great site, I am printing this and putting it on my wall!

    I have so much work to do it’s overwhelming, I have to do something, I am at the ” losing motivation” part. Phew thank goodness I found you, a breath of fresh air!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      H.J., so wonderful to hear this was inspiring for you – you are very welcome and you can totally change your ways. Time to flow with motivation :)!

  • Jide Ojo

    Hello, Farnoosh. I am only 15, but with all the school work I have and regular cravings for rests. I felt that I was in dire need of help, and that is exactly what this update has just provided me with.

    Thank you. I will never be able to exude my gratitude enough.
    Jide

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      Dear Jide, so happy to hear it. Stay positive, and come back to this blog anytime you like.

      • Jide Ojo

        Thanks Farnoosh, I will.

        Jide

  • Diana

    Hello Farnoosh!

    I think I would have succeeded more in life, had I not been a procrastinator. Today I have thought of seeking help on how to get rid of this bad habit and I found your article. It will be a great help. Thank you!

    • http://www.ProlificLiving.com Farnoosh

      You can start today, Diana. You can start succeeding this minute…. thanks for your honest comment.

  • Saneea

    I have one. “If you’re going through hell, keep going” I find that motivating. I like your article by the way. It’s very reassuring :)

    • http://www.prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      Yes, that I have heard and enjoy it every time, @Saneea!

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  • http://becomingsuperfluid.com Alison

    I so agree that procrastination is fatiguing, especially is you are guilt prone. What I have found is that getting things done is a skill that can be developed and the more success you have, the more you build confidence in your own capability. So often that is the what is underlying procrastination, lack of trust in ourselves and our own capabilities.

    • http://www.prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

      @disqus_j5yiAd0pli:disqus, guilt and procrastination go hand in hand usually! :) And I love that you mentioned trust. Trusting ourselves helps clarify what needs to get done and more importantly, why. Then the excuses fall away!

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