Conquering Procrastination


    Procrastination is something I'm constantly fighting. Well, me and a million other people ( I take some odd comfort in that, the fact that I'm not suffering from it, or fighting it alone). Let's face it people, everyone has something they like to put off to that last minute. 

    Rita Mae Brown once said " If it weren't for the past minute, nothing would get done", and boy, does that ring a bell. Whether it be work, studying, assignments or even eating, we all procrastinate on something. Some people have a tendency to procrastinate more than others though, sometimes on purpose and other times we may do it unconsciously. We tend to find as many excuses as could be possible to push off work or a certain task until it absolutely has to be done. 


    To be honest, I'm really not as bad as I used to be. I have learned the art of controlling it (I am still learning, by the way), and how to set up my to-do list so I won't feel the need or have the chance to procrastinate. But somehow, I always still make up excuses for myself as to why i could do that thing "later", "someday", "not now", "in time", or whatever word/phase I decide to use in my head to justify not doing it at that particular time. Talk about a die hard procrastinator. 

    If you are anything like me at all, I'm sure you have surfed or at least TRIED to surf the internet just to figure how to  deal with this thing. Because, let's face it. Being a procrastinator can be so annoying. You are not a pain to anyone else's butt but yours. I go through periods of time where I'm probably the most productive person in the universe, but it really doesn't last. Then I spend a couple of days trying to find that perfect balance and go back to my routine, but that conversation  is for another day folks!

    According to oxfordlearning the major causes of procrastination include; 

    - Poor organization skills (which is probably my main issue) 

    - Fear of failure

    - Lack of motivation

    - Lack of understanding

    - Trouble concentrating

    - Low energy levels

    - Low self-confidence

    - Perfectionism

    There are a number of others, if you took the time out to read on this surprisingly extensive topic. Procrastinators are also called AVOIDANCE ARCHETYPES (What a stuffy looking name for us, I must admit), and they say there are 4 main types;

    - The performer

    - The self-deprecator

    - The overbooked

    - The novelty seeker.

    I have realised that figuring out which group you are in can help break out of your procrastination patterns and you can even begin to get your tasks done early and on time for once. Check out this article on BUSINESS INSIDER AFRICA which I stumbled on to help you at least identify and start breaking out of this bad habit! 

    Procrastination is such a bad habit that can be pretty hard to tame. There's a pattern behind your procrastination, so once your learn the "why", every other thing gets easier. 

    So, where are my die hard procrastinators? * Raises hand *. How about we delve into some productivity tips that have helped yours truly? Here they are;


    For me, this is key and probably the #1 productivity tip for all die-hard procrastinators. I usually plan my day based on what my priorities are, and tasks that will take me very little time. It's like this; the most important task is the thing I do first in the morning, after that, I do whatever will take just a few minutes. When I'm done with that, I try to do something where, maybe, I have to be creative, which would typically take me longer. It all depends on your schedule, basically. And your priorities. Planning your day the night before may(or SHOULD, in my opinion) include you writing these plans down, no matter how silly you may feel doing so. The goal is to increase productivity, not to look cool, isn't it? 


    A planner is basically just a book where you schedule your day and your plans for it from A-Z. I use a simple notebook. I don't have a fancy looking planner yet. I learned this recently, and if I must say, it has been working amazingly for me. I know someone who got a pretty fancy looking planner that would let her organize her side hustle, blog and basically whatever else she needed. She got a few stickers to make everything look pretty.

    She says it motivated her to get things done. Just a few weeks after using it, she realised that once she wrote something down on the planner, she would push herself to do it AND finish it. Call her crazy, but it does help her get things done when she's supposed to. Plus, she doesn't want to ruin the planner by cancelling so much, so she sticks to whatever she set, for the sake of keeping it pretty so she can just tick off tasks instead. Talk about commitments. 


    For me, when I wake up is when I have the motivation to do a lot  of things. Oh, of course you could say "I'm not a morning person". But what if you don't have to be? Being a morning person is basically about just getting up and getting started. One of the major barriers to completing any task is simply the act of STARTING. 

    But in the morning, we are just STARTING the day so we may have the energy to deal with those tasks we dread the most. Just in case this doesn't happen for you in the morning though, set up these tasks for when you feel the most motivated and upbeat. Set up a playlist that will boost your mood, (I recommend some "Lizzo", If you know me well you'd know I always do) and just get everything done.


    As procrastinators, we definitely need breaks to avoid getting bored or even overwhelmed with the different tasks we are currently engaged in. It's so easy to start doing something else when you're not feeling what you are doing at the moment, thereby leaving the previous task unfinished and then you just end up becoming super inconsistent. The most important thing is to just take short breaks basically in between every assignment. If it helps (as it helps me), make a list of those things you would want to do on your break e.g spend some time on social media, eat a snack, exercise your legs a bit, e.t.c. Another way you can do this is by using an effective hack I discovered which was created by Merlin Mann. It's called (10+2)*5 . In summary, it means; you work for 10 minutes, then you take a 2 minute break doing WHATEVER YOU WANT. The "5" means you are to repeat this 4 more times, making it a total of 5 times and one hour of working AND breaking. 


    I recently started a business. So when I have to post on my Instagram page, or even run adverts, it's not only about posting. I need to create/edit graphics on Canva, craft my captions/ write-ups, add links and even edit. And I have to do all these things beforehand. 

    So, if i write on my planner "Post on instagram" or "Run ads today", I would just drive myself crazy because I know it implies so much more. Instead, I write down everything that will come up with these tasks. By doing this, I get the pleasure of crossing out all those little tasks. It keeps me motivated to keep going and makes me happier that I'm one step closer to completing the task at hand. 

    Remember, procrastination is a habit. If you get to understand how it shows up for you, you can replace it with a way better habit. All these are just tips that I hope will be helpful. But, the most important thing is as the Nike tagline says; JUST DO IT!!! And do it NOW. Not "later", not "in future" or "some other time". Do it NOW. Start from somewhere. You'd be glad you did. 

    Now tell me, do you usually procrastinate? Or do you know someone who does? What are some of your major productivity tips? Let me know in the comments!!!

    Fun fact; I have been procrastinating writing about this since December. All hail the queen of Procrastination!

    Writer: Abiayi Angel .N

    Post a Comment


    1. I got this ''One of the major barriers to completing any task is simply the act of STARTING."

    2. Hmmmmmm

      This one touch me, I'm one of those million procrastinators...And I have been able to get some facts that will help me get out of the situation I have found myself in.

      Thanks for sharing this.

    3. I procrastinate a whole lot! I'm definitely going to try out the tips you gave. Really hoping to stop this habit.

      Great article!

    4. Nice article
      Definitely trying the tips
      I also battle with procrastination

    5. Procrastination can also be a symptom of depression. Nice write-up