essential previous learningIntroduction to Time Management

How To Avoid Procrastination

Learn how you can avoid one of the biggest time management mistakes

Key learning outcomes:

  • Acknowledge the disadvantages of procrastination, including reduced productivity and increased stress levels.
  • Differentiate between procrastination due to lack of motivation and due to lack of skills.
  • Apply a range of preventative tools such as minimising distractions and rewarding yourself for completed tasks.
  • Recognise the benefits of signing up an accountability buddy.


Procrastination is the act of putting off until tomorrow what should be done today. It is without doubt one of the greatest killers of good time management and high productivity. There will be few people reading this that have not at some time or another allowed procrastination to get in the way of successfully completing a task or project, or who have been left in a stressful position because they have procrastinated for too long.

At times we have written a newsletter or article under pressure because we either let other things get in the way or we lacked the motivation to get down to the task. The following are some proven tips and tools that we have used and we recommend you use to ensure that procrastination is not something that holds you back from success.

1. Adopt a worst first mentality

One of the things that leads to procrastination is avoiding a task or activity for some reason. It might be making a difficult phone call, having a meeting with someone that you do not particularly like or writing a report that you find boring. Whatever it is, the first step is to identify that you are putting the task off, not because you do not have the time but because you do not want to do it.

The solution is to adopt a worst first mentality. Make the task or activity the very first thing you complete for the day. It may not be the most pleasant thing you do for the day, but the sooner you do it, the sooner it will be over and you can move on. There is no better feeling than crossing something off your list that you have been dreading or avoiding!

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