10 Tips For When Procrastination Hits

which direction do you choose?

Procrastination can happen to the best of us. No matter whether it is your Cert IV TAE or a Diploma of VET or even Leadership & Management, it can get us all.

When the procrastination bug strikes, suddenly clipping your big toe nail is the most pressing thing on your to-do list. Or perhaps you suddenly have the undeniable urge to investigate Shania Twain’s wikipedia page.

Or maybe NOW is the only time to clean out the pantry?

You may know the feeling.

Here are ten helpful tips on how to beat procrastination when it hits, and finally finish that qualification that you have been meaning to finish for too long already.

Step 1. Make a decision

Just do something! Procrastination often comes from the fear of making a decision. Whether it’s left or right, blue or red, portrait or landscape; just make a choice. If you find out later down the track it was the wrong decision, you can say you learnt something and change it.


Write down your feelings on the matterStep 2. Write it out

Take some time to reflect on your self-sabotaging behavior. Write down what you do when you procrastinate, then on a separate piece of paper write down the exact opposite behavior with “I am so happy and grateful that…” at the beginning. It may get your mind thinking about how good it will feel to finally finish that Dual Diploma of Business and Diploma of Business Administration, for example.


Woman karate chopping her responsibilitiesStep 3. Chop it up

Sometimes we procrastinate because we don’t know where to begin. Break large projects into milestones, and then into small, actionable steps. It’s just one unit at a time.


the silhouette of a couple meditating on the beach watching a stunning sunrise and contemplating their choice to procrastinateStep 4. Quiet your mind

This one might surprise you, but meditation is one of the most effective ways to get rid of self-sabotaging behavior, including procrastination.


Man lying on the couch, sobbing uncontrollably with scrunched up tissues on his chest which gives you the feeling he has been crying for approximately 20-30 minutes straight. He wears a blue flannelette shirt and has blonde streaks in his hair which makes you wonder how someone with sunkissed hair could ever be this unhappy.Step 5. Stop trying to be perfect

Perfectionism is an illusion that slows you down and prevents you from reaching your goal. Act quickly, doing the best you can.


Two cowboys are blazing through the dust with their lasso's at the ready, no job is too big or too small for these boys from the bush who sometimes take the time to be back in townStep 6. Partner up

Find someone who is seeking the same outcome as you, or even a group of people that you can meet up with regularly. Is there someone at work who is completing an online course? Do you have a friend who has university study to do? Make a pact to take the time to study together, this will help to hold yourself accountable for the tasks and goals you are trying to achieve.


A young girl looks through gigantic binoculars. Her arms can barely hold them up they appear to be almost comically big, it would be best if her parents invested in much smaller binoculars.Step 7. Take a closer look

What is it that you really want? Think about why you have this thing on your list. Will it get you closer to your goals? Is it actually someone else’s idea of what you should achieve and that’s why you can’t find the motivation for it?


A young girl sticks half her body out of a car window and has her thumb up which indicates everything is all good. unless this young lady puts her seatbelt on soon I can assure you things will not be all good, road safety is key.Step 8. Put it on your gratitude list

Write down a list of things you are grateful for, and include how grateful you are that you started your course at Fortress Learning and how well it is going. Again, this will change the negative emotions you are feeling towards the project and start creating positive ones.


A woman with her hair in rollers wearing a kimono style robe takes a sip from an elegant crystal flute with what appears to be champagne inside. Step 9. Reward yourself for taking action

Make a deal with yourself that once you have accomplished a unit or even a small part of a unit, you get to give yourself a reward. This may be sitting down to have a coffee, watching a movie or having a relaxing bath whilst listening to Shania Twain. Do whatever you can to feel good about overcoming the procrastination.


A bored woman stares at her computer screen. Perhaps she is thinking that this life was not all she thought it would be. Perhaps she is wondering if Steve will ever text back. Who knows really.Step 10. Adjust your attitude

Procrastination can put your life on pause. Stop being so hard on yourself and fearing failure or thinking that you won’t do it right. Get a can-do attitude and back yourself more. Whether you succeed or fail, remember it is all a learning experience.


This article was published on the Proctor Gallagher Institute by Sandy Gallagher and has been modified.

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