Procrastination can be bested … and my latest book is released!

May 15, 2023

I’m still on the road—having just delivered a breakout session at the Association of Legal Administrators annual conference … to a standing-room-only crowd!

Not surprisingly, the topic of procrastination was very popular.

So if you find yourself constantly putting off important tasks until the last minute, or struggling to stay focused and productive throughout the day, you're clearly not alone.

Procrastination affects millions of people, but the good news is that there are simple strategies you can use to overcome it. We’ll look at them in reverse order:

1. Break tasks into small steps

One of the main reasons we procrastinate is because a task seems overwhelming. Breaking it down into smaller, more manageable steps makes it feel less daunting and more achievable. Set specific, realistic goals for each step, and track your progress as you go. By focusing on one small step at a time, you'll be more likely to make steady progress and avoid getting bogged down in feelings of overwhelm.

2. Create a clear plan of action

Identify the specific steps you need to take to complete a task, and then schedule each step on your calendar. Set deadlines for each step, and hold yourself accountable for meeting them. By breaking down your tasks and creating a clear plan of action, you'll be able to stay on track and avoid getting sidetracked by distractions.

3. Eliminate distractions

To eliminate distractions as much as possible, turn off your phone, close unnecessary tabs on your computer, and put yourself in a quiet, distraction-free workspace. By minimizing distractions, you'll be able to focus on your work and avoid getting sidetracked by outside noise.

4. Practice self-compassion

Be kind to yourself when you're struggling with procrastination. Remember that everyone procrastinates from time to time, and it doesn't make you a bad person. Treat yourself with kindness and understanding, and remember that it's never too late to start fresh and get back on track.

5. Eat the frog

The quickest, although not always the easiest way to beat procrastination is to "eat the frog." 

Mark Twain famously said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

By tackling your most difficult or unpleasant task first thing in the morning, rather than putting it off until later in the day, you'll free up mental energy and avoid the stress and anxiety that comes with procrastination.

Plus, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment that can boost your motivation and productivity throughout the rest of the day.

Just remember, eating the frog isn't about punishing yourself or forcing yourself to do something you hate. It's about recognizing that sometimes, the most important tasks are also the most difficult.

Try these strategies to beat procrastination and achieve your goals—with these tools in your toolbox, you'll be unstoppable!

Here’s to more love, more time, and less stuff!


Declutter Your Life Podcast by Andrew Mellen. Available on iTunes!