15 Tips to Stop Procrastination in Its Tracks

We all put off things that we don’t want to do, and I feel like procrastination spikes during the holidays when we’re stressed about travel, gifts, cooking, and work. Here are 15 tips for how to stop procrastinating and get more done. Even during the holiday rush.

Related: 5-Minute Yoga Poses to Beat Holiday Stress

Confession: I am really good at procrastinating. If you need an excuse for putting something off, I’m your gal. Over the years, I’ve found some tricks that help me stop procrastinating, and some of those are in the graphic below along with some that I definitely haven’t thought of. Before we get to the graphic, I thought I’d share the tips that have definitely worked for me, and I’d love to hear your tips for how to stop procrastinating in the comments. Share away!

  • Make detailed lists – Sometimes I think that list-making can be a form of procrastination, but it can also really help put big tasks in perspective. Breaking things down into manageable chunks helps prevent that overwhelming feeling that causes you to just walk away from a task.
  • Embrace calendars. I use iCal for everything, but any calendar that syncs across devices would work just as well. I’m not talking about just entering events like birthday parties or plans with friends. My calendar is my boss. Every task that has a deadline is in there, whether it’s for work, my son’s school, or just for fun. You can’t make excuses to an alert popping up on your phone or computer.
  • Quit multitasking. Working on several things at once can feel productive, but I’ve found that multitasking often becomes a form of procrastination. I work on lots of little things to avoid the big thing that really needs doing. There’s even evidence that multitasking makes our brains work less effectively.

Related: How Stress Shrinks Your Brain (+ how to stop it!)

My little list is a bit different from the 15 tips in the graphic, and there were a few things on here that I hadn’t thought of. I especially like the idea of enlisting help from friends and family. Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?

How to Stop Procrastinating via Entrepreneur


Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla3 years ago

Thank you

Sheila S.
Sheila S4 years ago

I spend so much time posting comments, sending stars and signing petitions that I just got around to reading this! You can guess what obstacles get in my way!

Debra G.
Debra G4 years ago

Just got around to reading this. Seriously. Listing tasks is great, but then listing their smaller components gives more frequent sense of accomplishment. And start list with "Make today's list." That gets checked off quickly. Well, it's almost noon, time to write today's list.

Shannon M.
Shannon M4 years ago

This guide contradicts itself a few times. For example it says to arrange for small punishments if you fail, then later it alternately adds, to not be hard on yourself for slip ups and to forgive yourself for mistakes. It also suggests changing your perspective to think positively about what you must do, but then warns you not to fantasize because apparently imagination is enemy of motivation. WHAT?! I think this article is a bunch of nonsense.

Life is not as complicated as everyone wants to make it! Whether your reasons for procrastination are deeply seeded fears and feelings of inadequacy or just downright laziness, it boils down to you just don't want to do something. But tough, that's life. You don't only get to do pleasant or fun things. Just keep in mind this Taoist proverb, "In nature nothing is in a hurry and yet everything is accomplished." Relax and keep moving forward at a comfortable pace.

Diane Wayne
Past Member 4 years ago

I always take the hardest thing first.

Mary B.
Mary B4 years ago

This kind of thinking might work for predominately 'mentle' types, but navagating physical reality is very different. There, a bit of procrastanation means stop and wait for clearer impulses, because you may have to redo this thing you're planning to do, or you may not need to do it at all. And serial multi-tasking is sometimes the way to go if several things need to come together slowly, then all at once.

Ron Clifton
Past Member 4 years ago

Thank you.

Quanta Kiran
Quanta Kiran4 years ago


delilah st louis
delilah st louis4 years ago

i'll write a comment later , thanks for the info : )

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgen4 years ago

Thank you