How To Beat Procrastination: Why You Procrastinate & How To Get Started Working

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This is a guest post by Ellen Delap.

Is procrastination getting the better of you? Do you put off tasks for later? Do you feel paralyzed?

how to beat procrastination

[TWEETABLE] "Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week." -Anonymous via @life_on_track @texasorganizer

No matter how much self discipline you have, procrastination can be a problem. Here are 4 common causes of procrastination and how to bust through it.

Check out my latest book and bust through that procrastination! Available as a paperback, an audiobook and an ebook on Kindle but NO KINDLE NECESSARY. Enjoy!

4 Common Causes Of Procrastination &
How To Break Through The Paralysis

How To Beat Procrastination
The Task Is Too Difficult

The more difficult we perceive a task to be, the more we procrastinate. We want to do what’s easy and fast to knock it off our list. The difficulty can be not enough information about the task, a technical challenge or something we have never been good at doing.

  • Make the task easier by taking one BABY step forward. 
  • Decide what the easiest part of the task is and just do that one step.
  • Ask for help from a trusted colleague to learn more about the task or have them do the first step with you to learn about the task.

How To Beat Procrastination
The Task Is Too Time-Consuming

The more time we perceive a task to take, the more we procrastinate. It’s a matter of how tedious and lengthy the task is. It can also be about how much time we think we need to do a good job on the task. 

  • Set a timer and do just 15 minutes of the task. More than likely you will keep moving forward on it.
  • Set up a series of one hour increments to work on the task. Between each work period, use percolation time to get a new perspective.
  • Write the task on your calendar, set a date to begin and set a deadline to complete it.

How To Beat Procrastination
Perfectionism Takes Over

The more perfectly we want to do a task, the less we want to start it. It’s an unrealistic expectation of the outcome that prevents us from getting started.

  • Talk through with a trusted colleague what a “good” outcome looks like. In this way you are creating a goal that you can accomplish.
  • Don’t wait for the rest of your environment to be perfect to get started. A clear desk, a blank open document and you are ready to go.
  • Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

How To Beat Procrastination
You Have Fears About The Task

Fear is of the most understated reasons for procrastination and probably the most common. We don’t want to appear unskilled, vulnerable or (gasp!) stupid in front of others. 

  • Examine the obstacles in the task. What’s the worst thing that can happen if you make a mistake? Make a list and check in on your emotions.
  • Learn as much as you can about the task before you start. With knowledge there is power to move forward.
  • Create a step by step list to accomplish the task. With this list, add one step at a time to your daily list of tasks. 


While procrastination makes you feel inefficient and helpless, taking charge and moving forward will make you feel strong, competent, and capable. Take just one of these tips and get into action.

For over 15 years, Certified Professional Organizer and Certified Family Manager Coach, Ellen Delap has helped her clients make time and space for what’s important to them by organizing their homes, offices and their daily living.

Ellen, owner of, works one on one with her clients in their homes and offices streamlining their environment, creating effective strategies for an organized lifestyle and prioritizing organization in their daily routine. She specializes in working with ADD and ADHD families, adults and students.  

Ellen has been featured on Stretch Your Dollar on ABC13 Houston, in articles in the Houston Chronicle, a guest speaker on radio KLOVE, and is a national expert on The Clutter Diet, an online organizing website.

She is a Golden Circle member of the National Association of Professional Organizers and a specialist in chronic disorganization and ADHD with the Institute of Challenging Disorganization.

Learn more about her and her business at, Twitter @TexasOrganizer, Facebook business page EllenDelapProfessionalOrganizer and Pinterest Ellen Delap.

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