Ways To Avoid Procrastination

November 28, 2019
By Syahirah Mokhtazar

It’s quite ironic how most of us deal with procrastination.  We very well know that anxiety lurks around the corner when we put off a task far longer than it should, yet we repeat the same pattern multiple times. Why do we do this?

Could it be laziness? Could it be lack of motivation? Well, according to Psychology Today, it has long been believed that people who procrastinate have a faulty sense of time. This means that they think they have more time than they do to get something done – hence the reason they put off tasks longer.

An article from Forbes explained procrastination in such a way that it’s the habit of putting off important, less pleasurable tasks by doing something that’s easier or more pleasurable. You’re voluntarily delaying tasks that you simply don’t feel like getting done.

Take for instance, laundry. You have a load of laundry to do but you somehow find yourself plonked on the sofa scrolling on your Instagram feed telling yourself “just 10 more minutes..” or “I can always get it done tomorrow.”

It’s easy to put off undesirable tasks until the very last minute, but the consequences to that would be unnecessary stress. Here’s how to avoid procrastination if you’re tired of going through that same cycle.


Often times we tend to procrastinate because we’re not sure of what to do first, especially when you have a million things to do. To avoid feeling overwhelmed or confused, be more organised. Instead of remembering what to do, grab a pen and paper or better yet an organizer, and write down your tasks for the day.

Prioritise tasks that are more urgent and time consuming, and get those done first. That being said, smaller tasks that sit at the bottom of the list shouldn’t be neglected. Make it a habit to get everything done, and set goals for when you actually need to finish it.


Take for instance you are studying for an exam or you’re planning to move out of your home within the next few months. Preparing for big changes or events can be daunting, which is why you should take it one step at a time and start early. Don’t wait to the very last minute to pull an all-nighter for your exam the next day, or don’t wait until 2 days before moving to start packing because that spells disaster. Look at the bigger picture, see what and how you can work around your day to get things done. Be sure to include the smaller tasks too like taking a shower for example, as this takes times too.

Make it less intimidating for yourself. Instead of telling yourself to study three chapters by tonight, settle for one. Instead of telling yourself you need to finish packing three rooms by the end of tomorrow, go for one room. In line with this, you should create a timeline or a schedule. Setting goals that are more reachable instead of a big vague plan is far better than setting unrealistic expectations because this would only lead to procrastination.


The way to move forward is to get rid of potential disruptions before you deal with your tasks. The moment you get sidetracked halfway through your tasks, that’s when things get delayed. If you need to finish an article within the next hour, don’t allow yourself to tap into the social media realm – Instagram, Facebook should be out of the way. If you need a peaceful environment to get your work done, head to a local library or a coffee shop.



Playing tricks on your mind could very well get things moving too. We all love being rewarded. Give yourself incentives no matter how small. For example, if you successfully crossed out your items on the to-do list for the day, reward yourself with a half-hour episode of your favourite TV show later at night.


Source: Forbes, Psychology Today 

Photos: All from Unsplash

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