Want to stop procrastinating? Stop doing these 3 things.

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Donovan - Life Coach

Founder and Owner


Procrastination is a common struggle that many people face, often hindering productivity and personal growth. If you want to break free from the cycle of procrastination, it’s crucial to identify and eliminate certain behaviors that contribute to this habit. In this article, we’ll explore three specific things you need to stop doing to overcome procrastination and boost your productivity.

1. Stop Overthinking and Start Taking Action

Overthinking is a significant barrier to productivity. When you spend too much time analyzing and planning, you can become paralyzed by indecision. This phenomenon, often referred to as analysis paralysis, can lead to inaction and procrastination.

One of the key findings in procrastination research is the role of emotional regulation. A study by Sirois and Pychyl found that procrastination is often used as a coping mechanism to deal with negative emotions such as anxiety and fear of failure. By delaying tasks, individuals temporarily avoid these unpleasant feelings, even though it leads to increased stress and poorer performance in the long run .

Here’s how to combat it:

Recognize the Signs of Overthinking

  • Excessive Planning: If you find yourself making elaborate plans without taking any concrete steps, you might be overthinking.
  • Fear of Failure: Worrying excessively about making mistakes can prevent you from starting tasks.
  • Seeking Perfection: Waiting for the perfect moment or condition can delay action indefinitely.

Strategies to Overcome Overthinking

  • Set Time Limits for Planning: Allocate a specific amount of time for planning and decision-making. Once the time is up, start taking action.
  • Break Tasks into Smaller Steps: Dividing tasks into manageable parts can make them seem less overwhelming and easier to begin.
  • Embrace Imperfection: Accept that mistakes are part of the learning process. Taking action, even if it’s imperfect, is better than doing nothing.

2. Stop Multitasking and Focus on One Task at a Time

Multitasking might seem like a good way to get more done, but it often leads to decreased productivity and increased procrastination. When you juggle multiple tasks, your attention is divided, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed and delay important work.

The myth of multitasking as a productivity booster has been debunked by numerous studies. Research by Ophir, Nass, and Wagner revealed that heavy multitaskers perform worse in tasks requiring attention and memory management compared to those who focus on one task at a time. This is because multitasking overloads the brain, making it harder to filter out irrelevant information and switch between tasks effectively .

The Pitfalls of Multitasking

  • Reduced Quality of Work: Shifting your focus between tasks can result in mistakes and lower the quality of your work.
  • Increased Stress: Trying to handle too many things at once can heighten stress levels, making it harder to concentrate.
  • Prolonged Task Completion: Constantly switching between tasks can slow down your overall progress.

How to Focus on Single-Tasking

  • Prioritize Tasks: Identify the most critical task that needs your attention and focus solely on completing it before moving on to the next one.
  • Use Time-Blocking: Allocate specific time blocks for different tasks throughout your day. This approach helps maintain focus and structure.
  • Eliminate Distractions: Create a conducive working environment by minimizing potential distractions. Turn off notifications, and keep your workspace organized.

3. Stop Waiting for Motivation and Build Discipline Instead

Waiting for the perfect wave of motivation can be a significant source of procrastination. Motivation is often fleeting and unreliable, but discipline can help you stay consistent and productive regardless of how you feel.

The debate between motivation and discipline is also well-documented. In a study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Duckworth et al. (2007) highlighted that self-discipline predicts academic performance more robustly than IQ. This suggests that cultivating discipline can lead to consistent productivity, regardless of fluctuating motivation levels .

Why Relying on Motivation Is Problematic

  • Inconsistent: Motivation levels can fluctuate daily, making it an unreliable driver for sustained productivity.
  • Emotion-Driven: It’s easy to procrastinate when you don’t feel motivated, as emotions can heavily influence your actions.

Developing Discipline

  • Set Clear Goals: Having well-defined goals gives you a sense of direction and purpose, making it easier to stay disciplined.
  • Create a Routine: Establishing a daily routine can help build discipline by incorporating productive habits into your regular schedule.
  • Use Accountability: Share your goals with a friend or mentor who can hold you accountable and provide support and encouragement.


Procrastination can significantly impede your progress and productivity, but by stopping these three behaviors—overthinking, multitasking, and waiting for motivation—you can take control of your time and achieve your goals more effectively. Focus on taking action, single-tasking, and building discipline to overcome procrastination and unlock your full potential.

Implement these strategies today, and watch as your productivity soars and your procrastination habits diminish. Remember, the journey to a more productive life starts with a single step—take that step now and commit to lasting change.

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The Psychology of Procrastination

 Although procrastination allows for a short-term reprieve, it holds us captive to long-term angst, depression, and dissatisfaction. It takes so much more away than what it gives in return. It’s like a wheel of misery that goes round and round. It entrenches itself into our daily routine and hides undercover excuses and denial.

The thing you need to understand about your psychology and physiology is that your mind and body want to create a sense of homeostasis, which means that it wants to exert as little energy as possible to stay safe and away from danger.

It runs in our DNA and is a part of every living creature. It’s an ironic gift. It keeps us safe from the outside world but creates laziness and complacency. We must therefore apply as much effort as possible despite our conditioning to not only survive but to thrive. Anything worth its weight in gold will be an uphill battle. It’s just the way it is. Many people in history have had to break through more barriers, be more ridiculed, put up with more crap and suffer worse conditions to get what they wanted than you may ever have to.

I don’t say this to make you feel bad about yourself. I say this because if they can do that, then you can do what you need to do to create the life you want. We are all created equal. What separates the wheat from the chaff is how willing, eager, motivated, persistent, and consistent the person’s efforts are to get what they want no matter what stands in their way.

There are only 3 things that are standing in your way right now

1. Blaming others and your past

You must allow yourself to stop hiding behind your past as an excuse for not achieving what you want. Unfortunately, there are countless victims in the world. The sad thing though, is that the world doesn’t care. Why should it? I say this with love and respect.

You must be more than your past. Be greater than who you think you are. You must battle your demons and come out victorious. The ultimate battle you will be fighting will be with yourself. It will be your toughest challenge. You will have to beat down your doubts, fears, insecurities, excuses, comfort zones and many more gruelling challenges, but I can assure you that you will come out stronger every time. You do not realise how capable you are until you are faced with the challenge of overcoming life’s obstacles.

No one said that life would be fair or easy. It is our challenges that have within them our greatest gifts. If you find the gift in the challenge, you will realise that you are the person you have always been looking for to solve the problems in your life.

2. Take responsibility for your life

Even though you may have been dealt some rubbish cards in your life, it is time for you to now transcend your old self. Take responsibility for how you see the world, your habits, beliefs, values, and assumptions. The world is how you perceive it to be. It isn’t good, bad, or conspiring against you. It just is.

Acknowledge you may be wrong about everything you think is true about yourself, people and how the world works. Stop denying the part that you have played in this life. Your decisions, choices and actions have got you to this point. You can change your script if you want to. You have the power to create what you want if you are willing to do what it takes to get it done.

3. Not adding the stuff that needs to get done to your routine

This is a game-changing idea. You don’t need to try to do everything at once. Add things that need to get done to your routine and then work your butt off to get it done. It’s like brushing your teeth. You don’t brush half your mouth because you don’t feel like doing the rest. Commit to getting stuff done. Even if you start with one item every day.

Take ownership of it and see it through to completion. Focus your effort on that one thing until it is done. Don’t waste your time with social media and distractions. If your job requires that you respond to emails all day long on top of trying to get stuff done, then answer each email as it comes, see if it must be delegated or ignored and then get back to what you started with. The world, your life and your job are not going to calm down just because you want to focus. You must focus despite all the pressures you face.

Be the person who gets sh#t done! Your brain activates “feel-good” hormones when you get stuff done. These hormones allow you to feel good about yourself. They allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment. They inspire you to do more. They help your creativity to imagine the impossible. They push you to be more than your old self.

You have so much potential inside you if you dare to release it to the world. You must move beyond the person you think you are, and you will achieve great success. You can be mentored and guided by others, but you have to walk the path. No one can do it for you. This is your journey. May it provide you with valuable lessons and gifts along the way.

☕Thanks for reading my blog post! Your Rock!😉
🌟I help people to discover, develop and use their resources to empower themselves & create change in their lives. 🌟 Need my help? Simply follow this link, send me a message and I’ll get back to you asap.

Donovan – Life Coach – 078 952 0328

Donovan - Life Coach

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