20/06/2017 16:50 BST

9 People Share Tips For Overcoming Chronic Procrastination

'I make a list every morning of things I want to accomplish that day.'

In a world dominated by social media, emails and incessant phone notifications, it can be difficult to concentrate on the task in hand.

To help tackle the problem (which, let’s face it, most of us experience on a weekly basis), Redditors have shared their top tips for dealing with chronic procrastination.

Here’s hoping you’re not reading this instead of doing work...

FS-Stock via Getty Images

”Something that I’ve always kept in the back of my head was to finish whatever is at your feet right now, and then start working your way outward from the hole.

“Get done whatever is important right now and then you’ll be in the groove of things to get more stuff finished. The hardest part about doing stuff in general is literally getting started... once you get going, you’ll remember how easy it was to just do it.

“And when you finally get back on track, stay on top of it. You know you can do it, it’s just the matter of actually DOING IT. Your comfort zone is an awesome place, but just remember that nothing will ever get done there.”



“One big tip I’ve realised over the years is to just tell yourself you’re going to focus for 10 minutes. Get in as much work as you can, uninterrupted, for 10 minutes. If you feel like stopping then, great. Take a half hour, go for a walk, run to the store, watch a few videos or play a game. But more often than not you will be part way through something after 10 minutes of focus and you will want to continue.

“You have to be willing to stop at 10 minutes if you are getting distracted. The goal here is to get you started working.”



“I always try to think about the future when trying to get out of procrastination or how much time I’ve wasted and what I could’ve already done with that time wasted and where I’d be now if I hadn’t procrastinated.” 



“Adjust your thoughts and emotions: 1. Stop punishing yourself for procrastinating. 2. Tackle your most important task for 15 minutes. 3. Give yourself a pep talk for motivation. 4. Aim for done over perfect. 5. Promise yourself you’ll get a reward when it’s done.

“Change your environment: 1. Pick the perfect work space. 2. Download an app to avoid phone distraction. 3. Use a program or browser add-on to avoid internet distraction. 4. Remove your phone from the space if you need to. 5. Listen to music without lyrics.

“Avoiding procrastination in the long term: 1. Make a list of how you procrastinate. 2. Write a to-do list to set goals. 3. Prioritise different goals with set deadlines. 4. Avoid multitasking to focus on one goal at a time. 5. Get a buddy to keep you honest.”



“Whenever you catch yourself distracted, make it a habit to say ‘1, 2, 3’ then you do what you gotta do at three. Keep doing it and it’ll work itself out.”



“I like to envisage the stress-free chill out time after the task is done, and how I could have the rest of the day to just do nothing if I get the task out of the way right now.”



“I make a list every morning of things I want to accomplish that day/week. When I check off something that’s been completed, I feel like I have accomplished a goal and move on to the next thing. When I don’t have a list, I feel like I don’t have any direction and then I piss the day away. Also, if I accomplish everything on the list for the day, the next morning I wake up with a good outlook on the day because I was productive the previous day.”



“Work somewhere that people can watch you. If I’m in a coffee shop, or my family is in the room, I want to be seen as a hard worker so I’ll try harder.”



“I found the root cause of my lack of energy, lack of interest and general lack of participation in my life - my lifestyle. It isn’t the easy answer procrastinators want obviously, but by adding exercise into my daily life and changing my diet to fit what my body needs my energy has risen off the charts.

“I’m organised, I have more self control than I ever thought possible! Rather than think ‘oh I can do it later’ I find myself on my feet before I have the chance to think about how much easier it would be to not move and watch another episode.

“I think having that kind of positive healthy lifestyle gives you real discipline. It takes discipline to get out of bed and go the gym or go on a run. It takes discipline to work out what food you are going to have that day and stick to it. But once you do it, once you break down those mental walls you suddenly gain a new control over yourself and a new energy. That energy gets the job done and allows you to actually put effort into what you are doing, when you want to do it.

“I would recommend it to everyone. It is a kind of control I never thought I could have, I am working harder, exercising harder, feeling better than ever. My anxiety is more in check and this new-found control is really helping me work through personal demons beyond procrastination.”