Breaking the Cycle of Procrastination: Tips for Getting Things Done

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By awarenessofsuccess

Procrastination is the delay or irrational delay of tasks, impacting jobs, grades, and life. It can be a self-regulation failure, causing unnecessary distractions. Procrastination is a common tendency, often due to false security and the belief that projects won’t take as long as they seem. Waiting for the right moment can hinder task completion. Approximately 20-25% of adults are chronic procrastinators.

Non-procrastinators focus on assigned tasks, have a stronger personal identity, and are high in conscientiousness. Chronic procrastination can have serious impacts on mental health and social, professional, and financial well-being. This can lead to increased stress, burden on social relationships, and resentment. This blog elaborates on why one procrastinates and how to overcome procrastination.

Why does one Procrastinate?

There are several reasons why a person ends up procrastinating. We have collected the most common ones among the audiences given below: 

  • Procrastination, a human behavior, has been observed throughout history due to distractions and technology, but its prevalence has increased in recent years.
  • Perfectionism can lead to procrastination. Individuals delay tasks they fear they won’t perform well or fail, despite inspiration often occurring immediately after starting a task.
  • Fear of failure can lead to procrastination, causing increased stress, physical health risks, and social anxiety, causing delays in tasks and projects.
  • Low self-efficacy can hinder task completion and progress, as it lacks faith in one’s abilities and is essential for functioning effectively.
  • Perceiving an activity as boring or unpleasant increases the likelihood of postponing it until later.

Tips to Overcome Procrastination

Procrastination reinforces negative attitudes towards tasks, preventing participation and skill acquisition. Active participation in activities gives a positive attitude, while inactivity leads to unfavorable attitudes. Taking charge of one’s life leads to increased personal freedom, strength, and purpose.

1. Draw a Map of Your Goals

Goals provide direction and focus in daily life, helping to avoid distractions. Mind mapping helps divide goals into smaller, easily accessible parts, allowing for daily planning and monitoring progress. Setting goals increases motivation by providing a target and a sense of responsibility. 

Setting small goals allows for progress tracking, keeping motivation, and on track toward larger goals. To set goals effectively, follow smart criteria, which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. 

2. Set Your Priorities

Setting priorities is a key skill for achieving success in life, as it helps you identify which tasks are most important and focus your time and energy. To set priorities, evaluate tasks, determine top priorities, and determine the best methods for carrying out specific tasks. Before starting, create a mental picture of your ideal future and consider the steps needed to achieve it. 

By clarifying values and vision, determining top priorities, creating a plan and schedule, and being flexible, you can achieve your goals and live a fulfilling life. Regularly re-evaluate your priorities and adjust your plan and schedule when necessary. Also, learn to say no when something doesn’t align with your values and vision.

3. Break Big Jobs into Smaller Tasks

Big tasks can cause stress and hinder focus, as the human brain has limitations in handling information overload. Breaking down large projects into smaller tasks can help connect them to larger goals and make it easier to start. It can also help avoid distractions. 

Focusing on one small task at a time without distractions can make it easier to complete. The Pomodoro Technique can be used to enforce this pattern, allowing for constant accomplishment and better tracking of progress. This approach helps maintain control over work and reduces stress by ensuring constant accomplishment.

4. Make a To-Do List

A to-do list is a strategy that helps individuals focus on their daily tasks and goals. It helps acknowledge, prioritize, block out distractions, relieve anxiety, organize unrelated tasks, and break down large tasks into smaller ones. Writing a to-do list reduces stress, increases productivity, and helps stay accountable by practicing good time management. 

It also serves as a memory aid, helping to remember tasks and avoid procrastination. Completing tasks boosts morale and confidence, giving a sense of accomplishment. A to-do list makes tasks and goals achievable by providing a constant reminder for tasks and keeping the mind active by checking the list for any uncompleted tasks.

5. Fix Deadlines

Clear deadlines are essential for completing tasks on time and achieving long and short-term goals. They help prioritize tasks, motivate completion, and allow for creative solutions. Setting realistic deadlines helps determine time for tasks and avoids over-analyzing. They also help maintain high standards and a balance between quality and timely delivery. 

Meeting deadlines requires discipline and determination, but it is essential for achieving goals and maintaining high standards. Having a clear timeline for outstanding tasks can increase confidence and self-esteem, as well as boost morale and team morale. 

6. Learn to Manage Your Time

Time management strategies can help reduce multitasking and improve productivity. The Getting Things Done (GTD) method, pomodoro technique, time blocking, timeboxing, and the 2-minute rule are some effective methods. These strategies help organize and prioritize tasks, reduce unnecessary work, and establish boundaries between work and personal time. This reduces stress, improves productivity, and breaks bad habits. 

By focusing on the most important tasks, establishing boundaries, and prioritizing tasks, individuals can feel more focused and accomplished in less time. 

Read Also: Wisdom and Motivation: Top Inspirational Quotes


Procrastination is often due to the human brain’s tendency to value immediate rewards more than long-term rewards. It can be a self-protection strategy for students, as it allows them to avoid feeling judged and feel “smarter” if they succeed. To overcome procrastination, one must first understand the reasons for procrastination and its function in their life.

Motivation is crucial for overcoming procrastination. Identifying and setting productive reasons for engaging in tasks can help motivate individuals to stay motivated. By seeking out interesting and relevant content, setting personal goals, and asking questions about what they are learning, individuals can overcome procrastination and improve their overall academic performance.


How do I stop procrastinating and get things done?

Procrastination hinders participation and skill acquisition. To combat it, set goals, prioritize tasks, break down large projects, create a to-do list, set realistic deadlines, and learn time management strategies. Mind mapping, the Pomodoro Technique, and realistic deadlines reduce multitasking, improve productivity, and break bad habits.

How do you break out of the procrastination cycle?

To break out of the procrastination cycle, shift your “shoulds” to “wants” and take responsibility for completing tasks. Examine excuses rationally, use self-motivating statements, create a to-do list, rank tasks, break them down into manageable steps, manage stress, and start with small steps. Reward yourself for accomplishments and celebrate accomplishments with specific rewards.

Why do I procrastinate so badly?

Procrastination is a self-defeating behavior with short-term benefits and long-term costs, affecting well-being and negatively impacting mental health, with 20-25% of adults being chronic procrastinators, leading to depression, anxiety, and physical illness.