Ways to avoid procrastinating

“Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.”  ~Robert Benchley

Procrastination is often not a problem of doing too little work.  It is an organizational issue.  It is a matter of learning to do the right job, at the right time.  There are some simple tools that can help us get a handle on the organization and the rest often takes care of itself. It makes getting those hard things done a little easier.


Make a short list

It should not take longer than five minutes to make a to-do list.; It is better to complete a list quickly and have to produce a new list, than to spend all the day making the list. The list should be no longer than seven items.   It should be seven items that can be accomplished in a day. If it gets done much sooner than that, celebrate and make another shorter list for the rest of the day.


Do the hardest job first

Start with the task that is dreaded the most. This won’t be the same for everyone.  It may even be completely different each day. ; If one is dreading the huge pile of laundry, get it done first. If the term paper weighs heavy on the brain, sit down and crank it out.

But tackling the hardest job first, it makes the rest of the list seem like a breeze. It like taking a heavy load off the shoulders.



If there is something on the list that simply cannot be accomplished by you, delegate. It is not a sign of weakness, it is a good habit of great leaders. If someone in the office or home is better equipped to do the job, delegate it out to them.


Reward good behavior

It doesn’t matter if it is a brisk walk, a few minutes with a good book or putting a star by the job when the task is completed.  Do something that feels good and recognizes that the habit of procrastination is a thing of the past, a fleeting memory.

Keep good records

Don’t throw those lists away.  Keep good records so when someone said what did you do last week, you have the answer. Keep them for a week or two and celebrate progress, then recycle.

 Anything done or not done continuously  21 days is a habit

It takes 21 days of behavior to create a habit. So, if you don’t exercise for 21 days, you have created a habit of not exercising.  So think about the habits that need to be cultivated and put them on the short to-do list 21 days in a row. Then they are a habit and just a normal part of the routine. There is some controversy about this theory, but it seems fairly accurate.

No one truly wants to procrastinate their life away. So do the hardest thing on the list, right now.


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