7 Ways to Overcome Procrastination and Increase Productivity

Ever wonder why you’ve been a procrastinator your entire life?

Let’s start by saying this:

You’re not alone.

Maybe you’ve convinced yourself that you work better under pressure. Or perhaps you’re easily distracted and have a hard time focusing.

Whatever your excuse, it’s time to break free from procrastinating and increase productivity!

Today we’ll show you a few simple things that you can do to become more productive and alleviate the stress that comes with procrastination. Keep reading for our seven ways to overcome procrastination and increase productivity once and for all!

1. Break Down Big Tasks Into Little Ones

Sometimes we procrastinate because a project or a task seems so overwhelming that we dread getting started. But there’s an easy way to get around that…

Rather than looking at a project as a whole, break it down into smaller parts. Then, do one segment at a time so it won’t feel overwhelming.

For example:

Do you have to write an essay for school or prepare a report for work? Start with a tiny section instead of tackling the whole thing at once.

Write the intro now. Write the body of the report tomorrow. Write the conclusion the next day.

Are you not looking forward to cleaning your closet or rearranging your bedroom? Do it in steps.

Fold and organize the clothing in your drawers today. Tackle your nightstand or bureau tomorrow. Reorganize your closet over the weekend.

If you break big tasks into smaller ones, every project will seem more manageable!

2. Get a Calendar

There’s a reason why organized people (aka people who don’t procrastinate) live by calendars and schedules. It helps them focus and stay on-task.

If you don’t already have one, buy a paper calendar or download a calendar app for your phone. It’s time to start organizing your time!

With solid time management skills, you can stop procrastinating forever.

Start by jotting down the things you need to do and when to have them done. Highlight items that have a specific deadline so you can prioritize those.

Set your deadline a day or two before the due date if necessary. That way, you’ll never have to do anything at the last minute again.

3. Hold Yourself Accountable

Once you’ve created a calendar, tell a friend or coworker that you’re trying to change your procrastinating ways. Then, ask that person to check in to see how much progress you’re making.

Having someone else hold you accountable is a great way to change your behavior. If you set a goal for yourself and don’t achieve it, making excuses is easy. You’ll be more likely to commit to the task by asking a friend to hold you accountable.

Want to hold yourself extra accountable? Share this news with someone who’s highly organized and always early. They’ll make sure that you stick to your new habit!

4. Eliminate Distractions

You don’t have to delete your social media accounts or cancel your Netflix subscription to be more productive. But you have to try to stop wasting time.

You can still check your Twitter feed, watch YouTube videos, and binge-watch your favorite shows — do it within reason. Be conscious of how much time you spend on daily distractions so you know where to cut back.

If necessary, set an alarm on your phone to prevent yourself from getting distracted. That way, you’ll know how much time you’re wasting, and you can get back to work as soon as possible.

5. Stop Trying to Be Perfect

Many procrastinators put things off because they’re waiting for the “perfect time” to do something. Some people are convinced that they do their best work under pressure.

Here’s the reality:

There is no perfect time, and there are no perfect people. If you put projects off because you want to be at your peak when you tackle them, you’ll find yourself pushing things off until the last minute

Rather than striving to be perfect, do it now and do your best.

6. Give Yourself Some Incentives

Everyone likes to be rewarded. So if you need to treat yourself with a small reward when you complete each task, go for it!

After you finish something, reward yourself with a half-hour to watch your favorite TV show. Give yourself 20 minutes free time to check your Twitter feed or post an Instagram story. Reward yourself with a 15-minute break and have a cup of coffee, eat a bowl of ice cream, or meditate.

Make something you love a reward that you only get to enjoy once you’ve finished an important task. This is a great way to put procrastination behind you forever.

7. Start Right Now

The best way to break a bad habit is to start immediately. So as soon as you’re done reading this guide, pick one thing on your to-do list and do it now!

There will never be a perfect time to do a task you’d instead not do. The sooner you realize that, the more productive you’ll be.

If you want to stop procrastinating, now is the time. Decide which task or chore you have to do and start within the next three minutes.

The Bottom Line

To change bad habits, you have to replace them with good ones. And for procrastinators, getting organized is the perfect replacement behavior.

  • Get a calendar and keep track of everything you need to do and when you need to do it.
  • Break big tasks into smaller ones so they don’t seem overwhelming.
  • Hold yourself accountable for your actions by sharing your goals with friends or coworkers.
  • Identify the things that distract you and limit the amount of time you spend on those things.

And last but not least, stop trying to be perfect. Don’t wait for the perfect time to get things done. Give yourself incentives so that the sooner you complete a task, the sooner you’ll be able to enjoy the reward.

Now get started! Pick one thing you’ve been putting off and do it now. You may be surprised at how good it feels to get things done ahead of schedule.