How To Stop Procrastinating (In Five Steps)

We are all human, and there’s a limit to the amount of willpower we can exercise at any given time. So then, it’s even smarter to make discipline automatic by just organising our lives in a way that makes it easier for us to get the right thing done without having to deliberate whether or not to do it later.

Procastination: The thief of time, yet the friend of man.Procastination can be defined simply as postponing or delaying doing stuff due to laziness, boredom, etc especially if it’s done intentionally or habitually.Everyone procastinates! Okay maybe not everyone, but most people do and I won’t blame them because it is soooo and when I mean so easy to procastinate, that I even procrastinated writing this article for a long time (lol). Nonetheless I’ve written it, which shows you that I’ve finally gotten over the procastination of doing so (yay!). Thus, being the caring person I am 🙂, I’ve decided to share my best and personal tips for overcoming procastination and getting things done, efficiently and on time too.

How to deal with procastination, library, girl, books


Here are my top five tips on dealing with the enemy called Procastination.

Do it as you think it (aka, the 5 seconds rule)

How many times have you remembered or thought of something you had to do, but rather than getting up to do it immediately, you decide to postpone it, only to find out moments later that the motivation to do it has gone?Most if not all of us have experienced this and that is why I am introducing the 5 seconds rule aka, Do it as you think it.

A lot of us might be familiar with the 5 seconds rule as “if you pick up something from the ground before 5 seconds, then it’s not contaminated yet” which is quite silly because we believed it as kids.The five seconds rule I mean this time is simple: once you think of doing something, get up and do it before five seconds is up. If you don’t do it immediately you think of it, you’ll procastinate doing it after or you may forget totally.

Example, if I recall an errand while watching television and I don’t switch off the TV to go get it done as soon as possible, chances that I’ll run that errand later is slim. Even after the I’m done watching television, some other thing may take my attention next, maybe I’ll get a notification on my phone or I’ll remember that I haven’t done the dishes yet.End point; Do it as you think it.

Clock, white background, 5 seconds rule

Photo by favim

To-do-lists are your wing men

Procastination is often as a result of lack of planning. When you don’t know how and when to do what you have to do, you’ll easily put it off for another time. This is when to-do-lists becomes your friend.

They’re tons of free organisational apps now that available for both laptops and mobile phones, still I like to do mine the old fashioned way; by writing them down on a notepad or piece of paper. I can then place this where I’ll easily see it so that I can be reminded frequently and not procastinate doing them.

It’s also very satisfying to check off items on a to-do list at the end of the day, so that’s definitely a plus for you.If you feel like you have a lot of things to do at once, make a to-do list. This will automatically take off some of the burden and make them seem less overwhelming.

Also, try to make your to-do lists as detailed as possible. For instance, rather than writing “read my books” as an item on your list, write in detail what, how and when you want to read i.e “Read my chemistry notes for 30 minutes using my textbook and online resources at 3pm”.Make a to-do list everyday once you wake up. Trust me, it’s a life changer.

To-do list, organizational tips

Photo by favim

Starve the gratification monkey

I got this tip from a Ted talk titled “Inside the mind of a master procastinator” by Tim Urban. In his talk, he described procastination as being a result of what happens when we decide to satisfy the “gratification monkey“, who always insists that we do what pleases us at that moment thus the term “gratification”. This gratification monkey only runs away and leaves us once it is confronted by a giant enemy called “deadline” which explains why most people only remember to do stuff once it’s approaching a deadline.

But what happens if we don’t have a deadline? That means the monkey will continue to thrive in the absence of his sworn enemy OR.. the monkey will leave us when we starve it to the point of death.

How do we starve this monkey then? Easy! Don’t give it what it wants by staying away from instant gratification. If you notice that you’re choosing current pleasure over future success, then stop.

A good example goes to my fellow students. It’s easier to sleep through your study time or stay stuck on your phone when you should be reading because it’s more convenient and sounds better than flipping through boring textbooks, especially if you don’t know how to make yourself want to study.

However, once you recognise that not studying can and will lead to failure in your exams (which damages your future in the long run), you may be convinced to forfeit the current pleasure of scrolling through tiktok for the benefit of your grades.

Again, it’s more pleasurable to fall back into bed early in the morning than to do your daily workout, but you just have to realize that doing that will be choosing your current pleasure over the success of your fitness goals/health and that is instant gratification which is again, what we are working against.Watch “Inside the mind of a master procastinator” by Tim Urban’s here!

Starve the gratification monkey and he will flee from you.

Procastination animation, cartoon

Photo by favim

Make Discipline Automatic

We are all human, and there’s a limit to the amount of willpower we can exercise at any given time. So then, it’s even smarter to make discipline automatic by just organising our lives in a way that makes it easier for us to get the right thing done without having to deliberate whether or not to do it later.

For instance, dressing up to go to work (or school) is a lot easier if the first thing you see on your bed as you wake up is the outfit you picked the night before.

Eating healthier is also a lot less difficult if you don’t have junk food peeping at you from every hole in your kitchen cabinet.

Reading your books is less tedious if they’re so close to get and not piled away messily at the farthest corner of your room.

Working out is easy, if your workout clothes, mat, dumbbells, jump rope, etc are packed together within eye range, daring you to procastinate.

Also check out: How to Enjoy Working Out in 10 simply steps

When you make discipline automatic, there will be absolutely no reason for you to procastinate. In other words, you don’t have to use more will power than necessary thus, making it easier for you to just get stuff done.

Laptop, table, organisation, coffee

Photo by pexels

Attach Rewards to Each Task.

Don’t we all love rewards? More importantly, don’t we love rewards when we feel we’ve earned it?

Maybe it won’t always work, but attaching rewards to completing a task can motivate you to get it done sooner. It definitely works for kids and can certainly work for you if you attach the right reward. It could be a bottle of your favourite drink after getting a chore done or buying yourself something you love once you’ve reached a target or achieved a goal.

Your rewards may not always be tangible. E.g I am very motivated to study is knowing that I will be more knowledgeable and less worried about exams in the future because I’m prepared. Also, that I can probably spend the rest of my day doing other things I love without feeling guilty or unaccomplished gets me doing the important stuff in the morning.

How to deal with procastination, tips and tricks

These are all my steps on how to stop procrastinating. I hope these tips helped. Over to you;

How do you deal with procastination and get stuff done?

Leave me comments down below and don’t forget to subscribe to get new posts by email (subscription is free!)Stay Safe, Stay Happy

2 thoughts on “How To Stop Procrastinating (In Five Steps)”

  1. I thought I was the only one that had this five second rule sorta thing in mind. Honestly after those first few seconds comes procrastination but having schedules, alarms, to-do-lists and that discipline to actually follow them is just EVERYTHING!!!
    This is wonderful!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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