Procrastination:Easy ways to avoid delaying (2019 Update)

If you have opened this page and opened another tab and delaying to read or avoid reading this article.There you have procrastinated reading this article.If you always delay or avoid doing things you are procrastinating tasks.This is one soft skill it is better you don't have .If you have it well,it is time to get rid of it.Hope you don't delay the task of getting rid of the habit of delaying.

  1. Procrastination does not mean anything
  2. Ways to avoid procrastination
  3. Prioritize
  4. Set your Goals
  5. Believe in your choices
  6. Picking the tasks
  7. Assessment of tasks
  8. Criticality
  9. Obeying Orders
  10. Effect of Procrastination
  11. Ways to prevent Procrastination
what is procrastination

One sets to write on procrastination…………….wow…….. “yes, yes – I should start today and complete this and give it to my colleagues for their opinion ”. This decision has been made by the writer. He even allocates a time frame – say between 3 pm and 7 pm – no disturbance – should write non-stop and go to other assignments.

I have come this far in decision making. Suddenly I realize that I have to take care of other trivial issues – check on whatsapp – send mail to my brother about a possible plan to go to native place which is for six months down the line agenda – call up a friend who was incommunicado for say 5 years. Writing about procrastination – yes it will start – I know I know I have committed myself to write this today.

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Next thing you know, it’s 8 pm and procrastination has not even started and “ procrastination ” has started showing its face! It is not that simple to explain why this malice picks me up – where has it come from? Is it in genes or I have learnt from my seniors or colleagues. Or even from those idols who I fathom and wish to follow. Then the genesis of procrastination in me….how?

Some examples will make it crystal clear:
  • To clean up my desk and do some 5S
  • To book a railway ticket for journey two months hence
  • Go to bank and update my passbook
  • Pay EB bill
  • Pay net connection charges
  • Put money in Fixed Deposit
Please bear in mind the following – if somebody says you are procrastinating –

Procrastination does not mean anything

  • you are less intelligent

  • you are less hard working

  • you are unplanned

  • you are not a good leader

  • you do not know what to do

It is more the “ less heat ” situation, the more “ less confident ” situation, the more “ less alternatives ” situation.

You are capable, intelligent and a fit person for the assignment on hand. Look at ways and means of bringing that “heat”, “confidence” and ”alternative” in your work-style – you have overcome one of the most feared so called “weakness” in a person’s psyche. More so, since it is not measurable and we cannot predict where and when it will hit you.

Reasons for these indecisive situations are still researched and even a good sample size has not thrown any concrete reasoning nor a solution to this inaction. Let us get into analysing or surmising the background that probably triggers this phenomenon in individuals.

Ways to avoid procrastination

Procrastination is basically lack of motivation to do something.The problem we have is that most of the things we do not have hard timelines.The consequence is that we keep pushing everything to the last minute to be sorted out.


Come what may ,this act will be performed by me , even though it may not be a life or death situation .Even though it may not be a deadline or last date for a certain activity . Even though it does not affect me directly.Even if it involves requirement of lots of money .Even though it may be completed by involving a lot of people.

In our professional life,we are always going to have multiple tasks at hand.In most cases,it is not that we do not want to take up a specific or procrastinate,the problem is that we end up taking so many tasks that we are not able to handle at the same time.The best ways to complete tasks is to list down the tasks at hand.Once the tasks are listed,we will should be able to sort the tasks based on the priority.The task with the highest priority will have the highest impact on the organization,hence should be completed at the earliest.This way we make sure that we do not end up procrastinating the critical or high priority tasks.

Set your Goals

We should always set personal goals.The professional goals are usually set by our manager or organization.The long term goals of an organization are usually used as the benchmark to give smaller goals to the employees in the organization.Keeping goals and tracking them regularly helps in making sure that we are not procrastinating.The tracking of goals also helps in making sure that we are not disproportionately allocating time.The simple task of setting goals and trying to achieve them can be very effective.

Believe in your choices

Am I convinced that my doing this act, I will be benefited - “x” will be benefited – may not create problem to some associates or relatives or even the Institution that I work for. Procrastination will not show up in my psyche if my conviction is stronger.

In some cases, we are usually forced to pick a task or an activity.We should make sure that we are making the choice based on the criticality of the task at hand.We should always be aware of the various things at hand to make a an educated guess.

Picking the tasks

I am doing the right thing that is legal and within frame work of accepted behavior .Let the task be in family or friends or even organizational circles. This will not expose or weaken my stance or family’s stance or organization’s stance and will certainly insulate us all from any external forces acting against welfare of all concerned. My belief in my judgment will not allow the malice to get into me.

We are suppose to be very careful about the choices that we make.There are always going to be trade offs in taking the

Assessment of tasks

Have scrupulous time schedule on my table . By doing this act,we will not miss out on any other as critical or more critical aspect with all built up cushions will be able to accomplish within time frame.If time is of the essence it will not disturb any other associate’s time or energy or even their work or their personal space.My time management / work load analysis has to be stronger that it does not allow the weaknesses in any from to crop up.

We have the tendency to take up all tasks as they reach our table.The best approach for any of these tasks to be handled is to assess the tasks with the best of our abilities.The standard procedure we should follow while taking up any of the tasks is to estimate the time it would take to complete the task.Once we have a rough estimate,we would have to look at the already listed and lined tasks.We should then compare the duration of tasks existing and listed tasks that we are going to take up.We should see if we actually have the time or not to accomplish the tasks.If we have the time,next thing to look at is priority of various tasks.

  • Criticality

    I like it – so I am doing it – irrespective of whether I have more critical or important assignments lined up for me. Here you will lag in perseverance and hence in the mid-way procrastination will take over.

    If we look at the pattern of doing things,we would always do the tasks that we like first.We will never procrastinate a task that we like.We usually enjoy these tasks,so why would we procrastinate it.Procrastination will mostly occur with tasks that are monotonous and mundane.We cannot have all tasks that are interesting,so we have to strike a balance between both of these.The best way to do it is to assess each task independently and then come with a criticality of each of these tasks.We should complete the tasks in order of criticality to avoid any effects on the organization.

    Criticality Index

    We can use metrics like criticality index to categorize the various tasks.This way we can make sure that all the tasks are handled based on their importance.

    Obeying Orders

    I want it done today and I do not care whether you have any other critical work or assignment to be completed. I have time and urge you to drop all other work allotted and join me. My team members will obey me as “ boss ” but their psyche will be under the influence of procrastination since it is done for you and not for their satisfaction.

    In most organizations,the problem arises when we do not have a linear reporting structure or multiple cross functional teams.The problem with too many people working together is that everyone keeps handing over tasks to everyone.We may have scenarios where one of our bosses handed over a task to us,whereas we have already committed a task completion to the adjoining team.In this case,we will have a tremendous dilemma on what to do.The last thing to do is to accept all the tasks that come our way.We should make sure that we only take up tasks that we can complete.We should never accepts tasks just because people tell us to.We can always politely tell our boss or other team members about other deadlines that we have to meet.Believe me,it is better to tell people,rather than committing and failing to deliver.

    Effect of Procrastination

    Fear Anxiety Less confident Unplanned Unsure of success Health issues Beneficiary – self or others… Knowledge of previous experiments I can stop procrastinating!

    Procrastination creates a tremendous amount of pressure on us.Procrastination is going to lead us to disproportionately allocate time to tasks.When we do this,we are going to complete tasks for the sake of it.We will not be able to give it our best shot.We will focus on getting things done,because we would have already wasted the time on something else.We would do a mediocre job.This will effect the quality of the deliverables that we provide to the vendors and customers.In turn,our reputation at work will get tarnished for delivering sub optimal work.

    Ways to prevent Procrastination

    1. Micro manage your goals into short term benefits.

      Visible benefit makes it more interesting for your psyche that you would like to taste success early and there goes procrastination.
    2. Make your micro goals also measurable.

      Quantum of success and satisfaction gives you a feeling of “achievement” and drives away the procrastination.
    3. As far as possible

      Allow a review mechanism in all your assignments.

      Course corrections indicator will remove this feeling of delaying and will allow you to continually work towards your measurable goal – even though it is intermediate.
    4. As far as possible,

      try and envisage environments that give you peace, solace

      – viz, physical needs and arrangements. Even we can go to the extent of dressing – colour and the fabric that gave you motivation and success earlier.
    5. Have a good break mechanism

      built in – it gives you the urge to reach even the break time by pushing yourselves into the task.
    6. Critically analyze those scenes that allowed you to ruminate

      – that allowed your focus to go astray – that made you feel tired – that made you lose the steam in your work / thinking process.
    • List them out – see whether there is a possibility any of these cropping up in the new assignment you undertake. Give them prominence only to avoid them totally in your scheme of things.
    • In case any of these issues do crop up, have an alternative worked out.
    • If I get fatigue – then by listening to good music or watching comedy serials – I am back on my feet.
    • If I get distracted – then get into the meditation mood or talk to my mentor / well wisher who takes me back to the task on hand.
    • Have always “plan B” , “plan C” even for any sure-shot exercise also. Failure or slowing down at times make you lose stream. Confident that alternatives are already in place, you will proceed without major mental let downs.
    • What? What is procrastination? I know how to handle myself without this hindering my path.
  • Happy achievements!