December 07, 2015Lifestyle & mindset
4 min read

13 Tips For Procrastination Treatment

Monks fighting the sin of idleness by self-flagellation

In the article ‘Procrastination: A Guide To Better Understanding’ we summed up what different authors say about procrastination as a phenomenon. And now let’s overview what they suggest to cope with it:


  1. Solicit external support by telling others about a goal you’re trying to accomplish and asking them to hold you to it. Some experts argue that telling people in your life about a goal can be counterproductive, so this depends on your particular situation. If you’re trying to exercise regularly, tell your friends on social networks you are going to post a selfie from the gym every day, and if someone notices you skip one or two days they will receive a bottle of a good wine from you.

  2. Create a Panic Monster if there’s not already one in place - if you’re trying to finish a mobile app, schedule a presentation for a few months from now, book a space, and send out an invitation to a group of people. If you really want to start a business, quitting your job makes the Panic Monster your new roommate. Leave post-it notes for yourself, reminding you to make good choices.

  3. Set an alarm to remind yourself to start a task, or to remind you of the stakes.

  4. Minimize distractions by all means necessary. If TV’s a huge problem, sell your TV. If social networks are a huge problem, get a second computer or create another user profile for work where social networks are blocked, and turn your phone on Airplane Mode during work sessions. Victor Hugo had his servant strip him naked in his study and not return with his clothes until the appointed hour.

  5. Lock yourself into something - put down a non-refundable deposit for lessons or a membership.

  6. Make up your own rewards. For example, promise yourself a dinner at an expensive restaurant if you've completed a certain task. And make sure you notice how good it feels to finish things!

  7. Identify the unpleasant consequences of NOT doing the task and hold them at the front of your mind. For example, if you are working on a client’s project, find a negative review on the Internet in which a customer is crashing someone for not delivering goods or services in time, print it and hang it in the place where distraction brings you most often.

  8. Work out the cost of your time to your employer. As your employers are paying you to do the things that they think are important, you're not delivering value for money if you're not doing those things. Shame yourself into getting going!

  9. “Eat the frog” first thing, every day, or

  10. Start with some quick, small tasks if you can, even if these aren't the logical first actions. You'll feel that you're achieving things, and so perhaps the whole project won't be so overwhelming after all.
  11. Learn to say “no” or at least “another time” to others.

  12. Implement effective planning by:

  • making a big to-do list ending with rigorous prioritizing and one item that emerges as the winner - the one most important for you to feel great

  • splitting vague and murky items into small, clear, manageable tasks and focusing on one task at a time

  • urgent tasks will have to come first and should be knocked out as quickly as possible in order to make way for the important items (procrastinators love to use unimportant but urgent items as an excuse to forever put off the important ones)

These are most common tips. Some of them will work for you, others won’t. The key advice is to keep experimenting, and one day you’ll find out what best applies to you.

Alternative opinion

Or is procrastination such a disease actually? John Perry, Henry Waldgrave Stuart Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at Stanford University and a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of California, Riverside claims that procrastinating does not mean doing absolutely nothing. He suggests making friends with the phenomenon by structuring it:

“Structured procrastination means shaping the structure of the tasks one has to do in a way that exploits this fact. The list of tasks one has in mind will be ordered by importance. Tasks that seem most urgent and important are on top. But there are also worthwhile tasks to perform lower down on the list. Doing these tasks becomes a way of not doing the things higher up on the list. With this sort of appropriate task structure, the procrastinator becomes a useful citizen. Indeed, the procrastinator can even acquire, as I have, a reputation for getting a lot done”.

Sources:
Procrastination” on Psychology Today
“Overcoming Procrastination” by Mind Tools
“Why Procrastinators Procrastinate” by Tim Urban
“Structured Procrastination: Do Less, Deceive Yourself, And Succeed Long-Term.” by John Perry

Got a ground-breaking website or mobile app idea?

Let's make it real!

Rate this article
Average rating: 5, 11 votes
Similar Articles
November 23, 2015Startup strategies

How To Treat Talented Employees

​One day entrepreneurs becomes employers. The luckiest of them are those who managed to attract the most talented employees. But one day, when they realize what treasure is in their hands, they find out they don’t know what to do with it to make a good use of it and, at the same time, keep it.

December 29, 2015Devvela insights

What Youth Athletes Have In Common With Boats

​2015 is closing in and we would like to take a look back at it. At Devvela, we have worked on several projects over the year, but two of them are especially close to our hearts.

November 19, 2015Startup strategies

3 Reasons Not to Implement the Strategy of Being the Cheapest

There is a widespread belief that when starting a new business you have to offer goods or services at a lower price than your competitors do if you want to carve out your niche and build up your customer base. This belief does have some basis in truth and might really work in some cases. Yet there are three things to consider before taking this road.

November 19, 2015Lifestyle & mindset

​Why Business Should NOT Be Priority ONE If You Want To Succeed as an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurship is often a struggle and it means going beyond one’s limits and pushing one’s boundaries. This is exactly what makes it similar to the physical exercise, and that's why exercising should be granted place in your list of priorities close to business. Bruce Lee, instructor, philosopher, film director and founder of his own style of martial art once said, ‘If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them’. It’s clear to most of us, but when ardent entrepreneurs have to choose between exercise and work they tend to put the latter forward thinking. Here are some seemingly obvious yet crucial arguments that speak against this decision.

December 07, 2015Lifestyle & mindset

Procrastination: A Guide To Better Understanding

​Caught yourself putting off important tasks in favor of cute kitties pictures on the Internet or scrolling down the newsfeed again? Welcome to the i-will-do-it-later’s club, the place where personal development dies! We surfed the Web to find out if being a procrastinator is actually so bad and if it is, how we can cope with it.

November 26, 2015Lifestyle & mindset

10 Inspirational Quotes About Successful Startups and Business Values

Leading entrepreneurs talking about where amazing ideas come from and values behind successful startups.

November 30, 2015Lifestyle & mindset

What If I Just Lack Talent?

From time to time we all experience this kind of frustration when we’re asking ourselves: do I simply lack ta​lent to get to the next level? If you find yourself in such situation it’s no reason to throw in the towel. Of course, most of us aren’t born geniuses, neither are all people we see as successful. Actually, you don’t have to be ‘the chosen one to succeed.

December 11, 2015Lifestyle & mindset

Fight With The Couch, or How To Stay Productive After Work

Even if you aren’t involved into your own private business after work, you might like being able to spend your so-called free time wisely. We browsed the Web and read through forums to find out what experts suggest and what people actually do to stay productive after work. Here is what we have learned.

December 18, 2015Lifestyle & mindset

Feeling No Progress In Life And Work? Time To Look Around.

Being an entrepreneur means doing things that may seem weird, or at least unworthy to the majority. Even if you’ve found enough courage for the first step you still might end up feeling stuck, low in energy and unable to make any further progress - thanks to these people.

March 25, 2016Lifestyle & mindset

Top Entrepreneurs Share On How They Manage Stress

Every startup founder is put under a lot of pressure daily. Yet top entrepreneurs have found their ways to stay calm and in control at times of stress. Some of them are even sharing their secrets with others gladly. Here’s what they say.

December 03, 2015Lifestyle & mindset

13 Tips To Overcome Fear Of Public Speaking And Develop The King’s Speech

Ever heard of glossophobia? You may not know what the term stands for, but it doesn’t mean you have never experienced the feeling. Glossophobia is a common fear of public speaking a.k.a. “stage fright”. Most studies show that it has its place in the top 5 fears, and 3 out of every 4 people fear public speaking.

December 21, 2015Lifestyle & mindset

How To Deal With People Who Undermine You

Whatever you do there will always be people who will be trying to undermine your self-belief. Here are 6 things that you might like to try to diminish their negative influence.

December 24, 2015Lifestyle & mindset

7 Tips to Cut Fear of Failure

Fear is one of the most common forces that prevent us from success. More specifically, fear of failure has power to immobilize us, to make us feel helpless and useless. But to move forward, one has to learn being able to do things despite it (getting rid of the fear completely is neither required nor helpful).

December 24, 2015Lifestyle & mindset

How To Stay Persistent

How many times have you heard that it’s important to stay persistent if you want to achieve great goals? Indeed, occasional success might bring opportunities, but it won’t bring you millions. Yet keeping on track is often easier said than done. We did a little research on the topic and came to the following tips.

February 20, 2016Lifestyle & mindset

Mastering These 6 Arts Will Help You to Become a More Influential Person

If influential people decide to launch a tech startup, Web and mobile development companies are ready to build their apps for equity, media rush to them hungry for details, and investors and funding crowd react like ‘shut up and take my money’. There’s certainly some kind of natural magic behind them.

December 21, 2015Startup strategies

Startups That Failed In 2015

​90% of all startups fail. In 2015, we’ve seen the end of seemingly very promising online businesses. Let’s take another look at them and try to understand why they failed.

December 29, 2015Startup strategies

4 Awesome Books on Entrepreneurship and Startups

There is always something to learn. And sometimes reading articles on the Internet is just not enough.

March 18, 2016Startup strategies

13 Signs Of A Failing Startup

If your startup lasts longer than it should, it's burning a big deal of time, money, skill and talent which could certainly be more useful when working on a real big thing. These 13 signs will help you to determine whether to stay persistent or put your business to bed.

March 29, 2018Devvela insights

Hacking Instagram Algorithm with Post Scheduling

The Instagram algorithm can seem annoying but businesses have to learn to be friends with it. Scheduling posts can help achieve consistency, which is important if you want to boost engagement and grow your following. Let’s take a look at some scheduling tools that will help you hack the Instagram algorithm.

November 19, 2015Startup strategies

10 Reasons Why Online Businesses Still Rock

​Private breweries and yoga studios growing popularity is no threat to online businesses. Due to rapidly developing technologies and other crucial reasons they keep booming. Both new eCommerce and mCommerce startups come and go before our very eyes. What makes online business so attractive? These 10 reasons are the most obvious ones:

January 29, 2016Startup strategies

5 Tips On Finding The Right Development Company

Finding the right development team is one of the key challenges when building a web/mobile based startup. Our tips are based on 8 years experience as a web and mobile development company and meant to make the challenge easier for you.

February 12, 2016Startup strategies

Building A Successful Early Stage Startup vs. Creating A Disaster

Successful tech startup stories are inspiring. And even though most startups fail, the reward of starting a business still attracts many. Learn how to reduce risk of early failure and secure success.

March 04, 2016Tech behind startups

2 Free Ways to Build a Tech Startup for Non-Tech Founders

Starting tech business with no money, no technical background and no tech co-founder? Sounds crazy! And yet it can work out.

April 12, 2016Tech behind startups

4 Athletic Injury Management Platforms and Their Founders

About 70% of children in the US participate in organized and team sports. More than 3.5 million kids ages 14 and younger get hurt in the process. Given these numbers, it comes as no surprise that entrepreneurs come up with web & mobile startups for monitoring athletic injuries.v

May 17, 2016Devvela insights

Flashback: Devvela Goes Agile

We haven’t been Agile from the beginning. One day something went wrong, the whole system got broken, and it was the turning point. Here's the story.

February 02, 2017Startup strategies

8 Steps To Validate Your App Idea

Most startups fail, and they fail because the ideas behind them haven't been properly validated against the market. As a technology services provider, what can WE do to prevent our clients from failure? This post sums up what we've learned from our experience checked against what successful founders say to help you validate your app idea like a pro.

February 10, 2017Startup strategies

Tools & Sources That Help Validate Your App Idea - Part I

As you validate your app idea, plenty of tools & sources come into play. Even though they might be easy to use, it still takes precious time to learn what exactly to do. That's why we came up with the idea of creating an ultimate guide on using these sources and tools to validate an app idea.

July 26, 2017Devvela insights

Devvela landed in Chicago's Top Mobile Developers of the Year

Clutch, a research company in Washington, DC, placed Devvela high in the top rank of mobile developers.

January 24, 2018Tech behind startups

Creating a Chatbot for Your Business: Why and How

Unsure if you should create a chatbot for your business or not? This guide on chatbots sums up all you need to know before you start building your own bot

February 21, 2018Tech behind startups

Blockchain Technology Explained In Simple Language

Blockchain technology, smart contracts, cryptocurrency, other blockchain use cases... does this sound intimidating to you? If your answer is yes, you’re in the right place. Here’s the blockchain explanation you’ve been looking for — simple and clear. No kidding — see for yourself.

Enough wasting your time, let’s
Get in touch