10 Ways to Break Through Procrastination and Get More Done

What’s sitting on the back of your desk for more than 5 days?  Is it a task that needs to be done (like this article), but gets delayed each time a new duty comes up?  Many of us tend to procrastinate, whether it’s planned or not.  In a workshop of 20 people, an average of 3 or 4 are self-identified procrastinators, but most of us have at least one item on the back burner at any time.  Unfortunately, procrastination can lead to missed deadlines, increased stress and result in career derailments.

Let us have a look at what is causing procrastination and some proven solutions.

Managers have identified the following main sources of procrastination for themselves or their staff. 

  • Overwhelmed by the task
  • Don’t know where to start
  • Intimidated by the immensity of the task
  • Avoidance of the task because it might cause conflict
  • Undesirable task
  • Considered to be dull and boring work
  • Just don’t want to do it!

After identifying the reason(s) why we procrastinate, the following are some recommendations to get the task done.

  1. Make the task a priority.  It has to be important to be done.
  2. Write it on the top of your “To-Do” List
  3. Visualize the end result.  What will it look like when it is completed?  John had a desk that was covered in papers since the day he started.  We asked him to visualize the top of his desk neatly organized with only papers involving his current projects.  This also included his computer desk top and Post-It Notes on the computer monitor.
  4. Set a deadline.  Make sure that the deadline is reasonable and achievable.  There is no point in setting a deadline that you will procrastinate around. 
  5. Schedule the task in your day.  Allow sufficient time for planning and interruptions as you work on it.
  6. Strategize your approach.  How are you going to get rid of all those extra files that have been on your desk forever?
  7. Break larger tasks into smaller, manageable chunks.
  8. Identify the first step.  Sometimes the hardest part is figuring out how to start.
  9. Begin and work on it until it is completed.
  10.  Reward yourself!


In conclusion, examine the tasks which are sitting on your desk. If the task has been there for more than 5 days, ask yourself, “Is it important?”  If so, make it a priority item and follow through the process to completion.  You will be glad you did!

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