How to Stop Procrastinating and Get Things Done – 12 Actionable Productivity Hacks

Hands up! who has a to-do list longer than their arm yet can’t find an iota of motivation to do any of it? Or are you wondering how to stop procrastinating and get things done? If you answered yes to both of those, you’re in the right place.

So, let’s put it out there. Procrastination isn’t necessarily a bad thing and pretty much everyone, yes, even the most successful, suffer from procrastination at some point. It’s how they deal with that matters. So, what strategies for overcoming procrastination are they using? What secret productivity hacks do they have?

In this article, I’m going to talk about the strategies to overcome procrastination and some top productivity tips to help you and your business soar.

I’ve also created a FREE productivity chart to help you put into action everything I talk about in this article. You can download your goal setting worksheet here.

Let’s get stuck into these procrastination beating strategies so that you can start being more productive today.

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How to Stop Procrastinating and Get Things Done

What is procrastination?

Essentially, procrastination is the act of putting off something that you know you have to do. Yeah, we’ve all done it (hello mountain of paperwork and unopened mail). This can be anything from an important piece of work through to daily chores.

To my younger self, I would probably have recognised this as day-dreaming. Staring into space, out the window, or just doodling, thinking of anything but the task I should have been doing.

I’ve always been a dreamer, and after 30something years on this planet, that’s never going to change. If you’re reading this article, then you’re probbaly like me. A self-confessed champion procrastinator.

But why do we procrastinate?

You might be thinking, but ‘why do I lack focus?’ Part of knowing how to deal with procrastination is to understand why we get into this state of mind in the first place. 

  • The obvious one is that the job we’re putting off is so damn boring and uninspirational, that even watching paint dry feels like a better use of your time. 
  • It could be that the job is just too big, and you’re overwhelmed at the thought of knowing just where to start.
  • There are too many obstacles in the way, for example, you don’t have the knowledge, time, money to do the thing and as a consequence, it gets put off.
  • Perhaps you just don’t think you have the ability to do it and lack confidence, or that your own standards are so monumentally high that the idea of failure fills you with dread. Hello to my fellow ‘Virgos’ here, I feel your pain with perfectionism!  
Wondering how to stop procrastinating and get things done? Blitz your productivity with these productivity hacks to keep your goals on track.
Time to blitz procrastination | Canva

So tell me how to stop procrastinating and get things done...

So, it’s time to stop procrastinating and get stuff done. Check out these 12 procrastination hacks to see your productivity levels soar.

1. Doing a little of something is better than doing nothing at all

Maybe you already know the big goal you’re putting off. If not, first you need to know exactly what are you trying to achieve? What’s the end goal? When do you want to be there? How are you going to measure your progress? all these questions will help with you blitz procrastination, and boost your productivity. Remember that phrase, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’, things take time. And usually, a lot longer than you expect it to.

Progress is still progress, and every little thing you do towards your goal, no matter how small, will help you achieve it.

Using a chart like this can really help to clarify what your goals are and how to achieve them by breaking it down into manageable tasks.

2. Set yourself achievable goals

One of the top procrastination tips to get in the habit of doing is setting small goals. I’m a huge list writer, I love the idea of crossing things off so I can physically see what I’ve achieved and what I still have to do.

If you have a mind-numbingly dull job that you’re putting off (ahem….like clearing out my email inbox), then setting mini time-restricted goals is a great way to chip away at it. Rather than browse the abyss of Facebook over my morning coffee, my goal is to spend 15 to 20 minutes a day, doing something useful (in my case, my email). It makes the metaphorical pill much easier to swallow.

The Pomodoro technique is great for short bursts of productivity by splitting tasks into 25minute intervals with a short break in between.

3. Don't be afraid to delegate tasks to someone else

One way of dealing with procrastination can be to delegate tasks. Be honest with yourself, are you putting a job off because you just don’t have the confidence or knowledge to do it? Or the thought of doing it is just overwhelming. If so, then delegate.

There’ nothing wrong with getting someone else to do a job you just don’t want to do, and if the task is preventing your motivation in others areas, then get someone else to help, so you can free up your headspace for something you’d much rather be doing.

4. Change up your environment

One method on how to get over procrastination setbacks can be to evaluate your working environment. Where you work from could be playing havoc with your focus and productivity.

Changing up your work setting to eliminate procrastination can work wonders on your motivation. This could be a change of physical location, could you sit in the park to read, or the library to write? Or if you work from home, then how about changing up where you work, do you have a designated desk or room? Does it have good lighting and fresh air?

Wondering how to stop procrastinating and get things done? Blitz your productivity with these productivity hacks to keep your goals on track.
No time like the present | Canva

5. There's never a perfect time

How many times have you put something off because it’s not the right time? You’ll think to yourself, I’ll do it at the weekend, I’ll do it when…..blah blah blah [insert any excuse here]. One of the easiest procrastination hacks is to just start doing whatever it is you want to do, but just start now!

Often, it’s never going to be the ‘perfect time’. Before you know it, weeks or months have passed and you’ve not started yet. A year, from now you’ll regret you never started now. Just do it, get the ball rolling.

6. Surround yourself with productive people

…we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with‘ – Jim Rohn 

Nothing helps beat procrastination than surrounding yourself with positive influences. If you’re wondering how to be motivated towards your goal, then find people to network with who have similar goals and aspirations to yours. 

But where do you find people to motivate and spur you on? Easy! Join a club, attend a conference or talk or search out Facebook groups. This is exactly what I did when I started blogging. Everything was so overwhelming, I found myself thinking but not actually doing. Seeing other peoples achievements and networking with them really gave me the motivational boost I needed. 

7. Remove distractions

One of the most obvious productivity tips that most people don’t even think about, is removing anything that might be a distraction. If you’re struggling with procrastination, it can be so easy to skim through Facebook / Twitter/ Instagram/TickTock ‘just for a few minutes’.

Before you know it, half-hour or more has passed and you’ve achieved nothing (well maybe you’ve seen a few funny cat memes), but you’ve not achieved anything towards your goal. Be strict with yourself, set yourself some ‘browsing’ time as a reward for staying focused for a certain time, or completing a task.

8. Success isn't linear

It’s natural to have good days and bad days, these are the natural peaks and troughs of life, and the same goes for your motivation. You’ll have days when you blitz everything like the superhero you are and other days where you move at the speed of a sea slug.

Some days, it might even feel like you’re going backwards and achieving nothing. On these days, try to think of something you have learnt from the mishaps. In the grand scheme, a year from now, is whatever pulled you down really going to matter? probably not. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

9. Eat that frog!

I’m a veggie, so this metaphor always makes me gag a little. The theory behind ‘eat that frog’ is that you do the ‘ugliest’ task first and just get it out the way before tacking anything else.

Completing the task that you really don’t want to do early in the day gives you the motivation to keep going.

For more about eating metaphorical frogs 😉 Check out the international bestseller ‘Eat that Frog’: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy

10. Use accountability partners

It doesn’t matter who it is, but share your goals. Choose someone who is going to be honest with you but also someone that wants you to succeed. They’ll be there to give you constructive feedback, perhaps offer a different viewpoint but also because you’ve told someone a goal, psychologically, you feel like you’ve let them down if you don’t achieve it.

This was one of the best tips to stop procrastinating I learnt as a newbie blogger. In the beginning, I had an accountability partner, another newbie blogger. We would check in with each other once a week, tell each other what we struggled with as well as celebrating our mini-wins together.

A lady wondering how to stop procrastinating and get things done. Blitz your productivity with these productivity hacks to keep your goals on track.
Don't be afraid to take time off | Canva

11. Practice self-care

Sometimes, it can be easy to mix up procrastination with burn out. If you have been full-on overdoing it for weeks on end, not eating or sleeping properly you probably will sit there staring blankly into space knowing you have a ton of things to do, but finding zilch motivation to do it. Your body is burnt out.

Wondering how to stay motivated in times of burn out? Listen to your body! Be honest, have you been eating properly, are you getting enough sleep? There’s nothing wrong with taking some time off to recharge.

12. Celebrate the small wins

A great procrastination hack is to set yourself a little reward for hitting a goal.
Typically, this is something I am awful at, I’ll see a goal as more of a hurdle to get over before I start tackling the next with no break in between. I’m getting better though and today my treat for completing this article was a delicious pastel de nata!

After working so hard to achieve a goal, reward yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Sit back and relish your achievements for a while before moving onto the next task.

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So have you worked out how to stop procrastinating and get things done?

I hope you found some useful productivity tips in this article. So go write that list, go set a timer, it’s time to blitz procrastination and hit those productivity goals. I’d love to hear about your procrastination hacks and productivity tips, let me know in the section below.

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Don’t forget you can also download your FREE productivity chart and tracker here

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