7 Ways to Overcome Procrastination at Work

We’ve all been guilty of procrastination during our careers. Sometimes, we don’t even notice we’re doing it until someone else points it out or we face consequences for it.

stop procrastination

While procrastination might not directly lead to a project’s failure, it can create significant issues. For example, poor or no planning can result in incomplete projects, last-minute work may be harmful to your health, and it could lead to team issues.

Procrastination is a delay that causes many problems, leading to a loss of trust from others. Why face a prowling tiger when you can cage it, or better yet, tame it?

In this article, we’ll explore 7 strategies to conquer procrastination at work.

1. The Pomodoro Technique

The human brain tends to lose interest when working long periods without rewards. This concept is used in video games, where reaching a checkpoint gives you a bonus, encouraging continued play. In work, you can apply a similar approach.

pomodoro technique

The Pomodoro technique involves working for set periods and then taking a break as a reward. Look for Pomodoro apps for your desktop or smartphone to help with this.

2. Understanding the Impact of Procrastination


Reflecting on the negative outcomes of procrastination can be motivating. It can lead to job loss, financial setbacks, and missed opportunities. Keeping these consequences in mind can help curb the urge to procrastinate. Setting work milestones can also help manage tasks incrementally, avoiding the stress of completing everything at once.

3. Celebrate Your Achievements

Achieving goals feels great, and there’s no harm in enjoying these moments in small doses. Create a task list with deadlines and enjoy the satisfaction of crossing off completed items. Celebrate these small victories!

celebrate small achievements

Utilize productivity tools like Monday.com (desktop) or Syncplicity (mobile) to keep track of your deadlines. These tools can help you become more efficient, work smarter, and achieve better results.

4. Tackle Small Tasks Immediately

Often, we prioritize large tasks and postpone smaller ones, leading to a buildup of uncompleted work. These small tasks, if done promptly, often can be finished quickly.

Neglecting them because they seem insignificant can cause them to accumulate and become unmanageable. It’s best to handle these tasks immediately, regardless of their perceived importance.

5. Avoid Working Until Exhaustion

Psychology shows that when we’re exhausted with nothing urgent on our minds, our focus easily drifts away from the task at hand. When tired, you’re more prone to distractions. Listen to your body’s signals and start tasks when you’re fresh.

take small breaks

Taking short breaks for relaxing activities, like reading or listening to music with a cup of coffee, can greatly re-energize you.

6. Harness the Power of Motivation

Forgetting the fundamental purpose of our work can lead to procrastination. Remember, your work has significance. Aligning your personal goals with your tasks can be a powerful motivator. If you struggle to start your day or your tasks, it might indicate a deeper issue, such as lacking enthusiasm for your work. This may require introspection or even changes in your role, project, or management to rejuvenate your engagement and prevent procrastination.

7. Avoid Distractions

Distractions are major obstacles to productivity. Everyone has their temptations, whether it’s TV, social media, games, or phone calls. Recognizing and distancing yourself from these distractions is key to overcoming procrastination.

distractions at work

Consider disconnecting from the internet or finding a quiet space to minimize interruptions. Ultimately, it’s your determination to resist the ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ mindset that counts.