How to avoid procrastination

How to avoid procrastination

Oh the irony!

“People are gonna ask why we didn’t act earlier” – Jonah Hill’s character Jason Orlean in, Don’t Look Up

If we told you that this blog was planned to be written 12 months ago but for various reasons we decided to postpone it to this April, we hope you would be as bemused by the situation as we are – a blog on procrastination being published later than planned – it’s ironic, right!

But then again, we didn’t have to admit this to you. We could have published this blog, and you would be none the wiser. Hopefully some of you reading this would find it useful; take some nuggets away that you could apply to your everyday life, and we could all feel refreshed, invigorated, and encouraged to do something different about how we manage our lives.

But we decided instead to be transparent. We wanted to share with you that if we, as a global brand, sometimes experience things that affect our plans, then things will also happen to you which means you have to reprioritise. And that is just how life is!

However, delaying because you don’t have a purpose or a plan or because you are distracted by less important things, can be a problem. It can result in your time not being used efficiently, and the consequences of this can have a wider impact on not just yourself, but others around you.


Finish what you start

“It’s the job that’s never started as takes longest to finish.” – J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

If asked to name the world’s greatest artist, many would answer Leonardo da Vinci. Because of his varied talents he is often viewed as the personification of the term “Renaissance man.” Considering his elevated status, you may be surprised to learn that da Vinci struggled with procrastination. He consistently imagined and started projects only to abandon them, leaving a series of unfinished paintings, sculptures and building designs in his wake.

The Mona Lisa was 15 years in the making. Worse than this, The Virgin of the Rocks, a painting commissioned with a seven-month deadline, took 25 years to complete. Shockingly, although da Vinci lived to 67 years old, he finished only 15 paintings and a handful of architectural designs in his lifetime.

The realisation that even geniuses like da Vinci are susceptible to procrastination indicates how widespread a condition it is.


To do or not to do. That is the question.

Some of you will be entering exam season shortly and if you’ve not started revising yet, then now is the time. Others of you will have work ventures, research tasks or projects at home that you are delaying for whatever reason (or no reason at all!).

Having a plan for tackling workload minimises stress and anxiety which is obviously better for our wellbeing (and better for those we live and work with!)

Here are our hacks for overcoming procrastination:

  • Get organised. You are more likely to procrastinate if you don’t have a set plan or idea for completing your work.
  • Eliminate distractions. Put that phone away!
  • Prioritise. Separate the necessary from the nice-to-do.
  • Set goals.

“A dream written down with a date becomes a goal. A goal broken down into steps becomes a plan. A plan backed by action makes your dreams come true.” — Greg S. Reid

  • Set deadlines. And make them realistic.
  • Take a break. You’ll be more effective when you are refreshed.
  • Reward yourself. This helps with motivation.
  • Hold yourself accountable. Keeping a journal or tracker helps with this.

Get into the habit of following these steps and you’ll have a reliable process which you can apply both to studies and working life.


But what if…?

And even if the consequences of procrastination aren’t as severe as Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence’s characters experience in the satirical science-fiction comedy film, “Don’t Look Up” [spoiler – it doesn’t end well]; you can be sure that the consequences of not procrastinating are far better.

As Martin Luther King once said: “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”