12 Ways to Manage Your Procrastination Problem (Because Yes, You Definitely Have One)


by Meg Dowell


Why do you keep doing this.

1. Instead of setting just a deadline, also set a start date.

2. Do the hard/least desirable parts first. If the whole thing is going to suck, try to do it in small pieces.

3. Break a big scary task into tiny little monster tasks. Defeat them one by one.

4. Don’t prioritize. Instead, alternate between something you’re dreading and something you’ll enjoy. (Note: only applies when it’s not 10pm and you have two things due at 11:59, you did it again, why do you keep doing this, what is wrong with you).

5. Note things that CAN wait: checking your email, calling your mom, petting the dog, eating chips.

6. Minimize distractions. You’re still allowed to have fun and be comfortable … but not too much.

7. Stop looking for inspiration. Start generating ideas, even if they’re bad ones, to inspire creativity.

8. Never move a task from one day to another. Assign a day and stick to it.

9. Repeat after me: “There is no such thing as a good first draft.” That’s why they call it rough.

10. Don’t try to do it perfectly. Mistakes are how we learn. No one who’s worth your time expects you to do everything right all the time.

11. Acknowledge that your fear/anxiety is real, even though it isn’t rational. It’s OK to “not want to.”

12. Remember that a little procrastination is good for you. Just don’t let it destroy your life.




Guest post contributed by Meg Dowell. Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and a nine-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

18 thoughts on “12 Ways to Manage Your Procrastination Problem (Because Yes, You Definitely Have One)

  1. Love you, # 4. You greatly help!
    But excuse me, # 5. Why is it that calling your mum CAN wait. It cannot. If you procrastinate that phone call, as many people do, file it under # 4. Whether it’s something to dread or enjoy, keep that to yourself.


  2. 5 and 6 seem contraindicated. 😛 I can only minimize distractions when my inbox has no unread messages and contains fewer than 15 non-archived emails.

    And the puppy is pretty sure petting HER should be your top priority. She might only be a part of your life, but you’re HER whole life.


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