The Ultimate Guide to Overcoming Procrastination

Manage Time, Stress, and Distractions Effectively

By Marlene Wagner


How often do you wake up ready to take over the world, but something happens, and you quit before you even start?

You still feel sleepy and decide to work on it later. Or a friend calls, and you go out instead of taking the planned action.

You rationalize, after all, you only have one life. While taking a break occasionally is fine, it shouldn’t become a habit.

Procrastination, analysis paralysis, and perfectionism are your worst enemies. Stress can also discourage even the most motivated person.

It’s a universal truth. We all grapple with the same 24 hours daily, and making the most of them is a constant battle.


What Keeps You from Getting Things Done

According to various online reports, 26 percent of people are chronic procrastinators, and up to 95 percent of students have this tendency as well.

Studies indicate that procrastination rates have more than quadrupled in the last three decades.

The tendency to postpone things affects not only one’s job or career but also one’s relationships and your big dreams for the future.

Over 40 percent of those facing this problem have experienced financial loss because of it.

Procrastination can ruin careers and relationships and even wreak havoc on your health.

Different people procrastinate for various reasons. Some blame stress and fatigue, while others feel overwhelmed by work and daily obligations.

Some waste precious time on meaningless things that drain their energy.

Another common cause is analysis paralysis, which occurs when one becomes lost in analyzing things and eventually gives up.

It’s the state of overthinking a situation that keeps you from getting anything done.

Let’s say you’re planning to start a new business. You make a plan, assess your budget, and research the market.

However, you’re never satisfied with the results. You either find flaws in the project or believe you could do things better.

As a result, you make no decision. You keep postponing your project over and over instead of taking action.

It applies to many areas of our lives, such as starting a diet or fitness plan and scheduling essential medical or dental appointments.

Most people are afraid of making a wrong decision. However, some take this fear to a whole new level.

Surprisingly, it often applies to the brightest professional. Intelligent people are particularly prone to analysis paralysis due to the tendency to overthink.

Perfectionism and analysis paralysis are strongly connected. Since there is no such thing as perfection, you’ll never be satisfied with the result.

The fear of failure can hold you back and prevent you from launching a business, returning to college, breaking a bad habit, or making your dreams come true.

One last reason we procrastinate is plain laziness. Sometimes, we don’t feel like working, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Just make sure it doesn’t become a part of your daily routine. Taking a day or two off suits your mind and body.

It can boost your productivity and motivation, spark creativity, and give your brain a well-deserved break.

Ideas pop up when you least expect them. The highest flow of productivity comes when you’re 100% focused on the task.

You might not find your “Why” right now, but this doesn’t mean it’s not there. Find your inner drive, take action, and plan your time wisely.

Ready to stop procrastination and get things done? Try these strategies!


Prioritize the Most Important Tasks

Most researchers agree that our willpower is limited. Think of it as a phone battery. As the day goes by, your willpower decreases.

It’s strongest when you wake up in the morning and gets weaker every hour. Every decision and task drains your “battery.”

That’s why experts recommend starting the day with your most important tasks. Do you have a big project that needs to be ready by 7 p.m.?

Wake up one hour earlier than usual to get things done. This way, you won’t face tight deadlines or feel stressed about everything.

The most successful entrepreneurs are notorious for being early birds.

Jack Dorsey, the original CEO of Twitter, was known to wake up at 5 a.m. Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, rises at 3:45.

These people wake up early in the morning for a reason. That’s when they have the most willpower and are less likely to get distracted.

Plus, it allows them to exercise, meditate, and plan the day without feeling rushed.

For many years, I have been an early riser for the reasons I have written about. These days, I no longer drive to my office but take a few steps into it.

I wake up at 4:30, do a full workout plus a mile on the treadmill, have a light breakfast, and am ready to start my day by 7 a.m.

It sets the pace for the day and enables me to be most creative and productive. I’m grateful that I am always enthusiastic about starting another new day.


Take a Break from Social Media

Time flies when browsing your social newsfeeds or watching the latest YouTube videos.

In 2023, the average person spent 143 minutes daily on social networks. Those who have an office job spend even more time online.

Maybe social networking is part of your job. SEO, digital marketing, advertising, and other occupations rely heavily on social media.

However, it’s one thing to use these platforms for business and another thing to waste hours checking up on your friends and what they are doing.

Set a time limit for your daily social media usage. Nowadays, all sorts of apps block distractions, such as Focus, Cold Turkey, Anti-Social, and Self-Control.

Some will even count your “active” minutes, so you’ll know exactly how long you’ve been working.


Change Your Environment

Most of us have a work calendar full of appointments, zoom meetings, and other responsibilities. Problems arise when you least expect them.

Your child gets sick, a co-worker is late getting their part of the project completed, or you have an unexpected meeting or appointment you must attend.

The worst part is that these things happen when you’re the busiest.

Start taking action on your tasks immediately to counteract the probability that the unexpected will happen.

Don’t wait until you pull an all-nighter to finish the job. This way, you’ll get things done and stick to your schedule no matter what.

Plus, you’ll feel less stressed and have peace of mind, knowing you’re prepared if the unexpected comes.


Fulfill Your Basic Needs

When was the last time you had a good night’s sleep? What about your exercise routine? We get it. Life is busy.

Skipping a workout or a meal isn’t a big deal. But, if it becomes a habit, it can hurt your productivity, mental focus, and motivation.

Sleep deprivation, for instance, has been linked to poor functioning and work performance, difficulty concentrating, and reduced creativity.

It also weakens your immune system, heart function, and mental health, affecting your ability to act on your most important goals.

In a study, subjects who slept less than seven hours per night were three times more likely to develop a cold or get sick.

Poor sleep may also lead to chronic fatigue, hormonal disorders, anxiety, and depression. Plus, it affects your problem-solving and decision-making skills.

No matter how many obligations you have, make health a priority. Exercise every day, even if it’s just for 10-15 minutes.

Get at least seven hours of sleep and take a nap if necessary. Eat well and stay hydrated. Whenever you skip a meal, your blood sugar drops.

That leads to diminished mental focus, tiredness, and lethargy.


Find Your Motivation

Motivation is what keeps you going. If you’re stuck in a rut, set short-term and long-term goals.

For instance, you could tell yourself you’ll book a weekend trip if you finish that challenging project on time. Reward yourself for getting things done.

Look for inspiration around you. Set new goals or start working on a project you’ve postponed for years. Build anticipation and picture yourself succeeding.

Share your goals with others, whether your family, friends, or co-workers. When you commit publicly, you’re more likely to get things done.

After all, you don’t want to look bad in front of others.


Final Thoughts

Now that you know these tricks, it’s time to try them out.

More importantly, celebrate your achievements, big or small, rather than worrying about your mistakes.

Remember, time is your most valuable asset. Use it wisely and stop procrastinating.

Your work will never be perfect. You are not perfect. Nobody is.

Do your best with what you have and make improvements along the way. Having a brilliant idea is not enough. The only way to bring it to life is to take action.


And always feel free to pass on my content to anyone you think would be interested or helped by the information.

If you or someone you know is interested in one-on-one coaching, please share my information.

Until next time, starting today, make yourself a priority and begin living your best life.


But before we go, always remember to

Be true to your magnificent self,
Coach Marlene

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