7 Surprisingly Effective Strategies For Beating Procrastination


I procrastinated on doing this podcast. I know that it’s a topic that my listeners will love and that my ideas will be valuable to them. However, I couldn’t get started. In my head, it seemed so hard. It was easier to keep watching the Surfing contest from Bells Beach streaming on my laptop than do a podcast. The more I procrastinated the more anxiety I felt. I love doing my podcast, but I felt some psychological barrier preventing me from doing so today.

I started making excuses to myself:

I was afraid that it wouldn’t be a good episode. That recording it would be a waste of time or that my ideas would sound stupid or wouldn’t be useful to my listening. Then, I started feeling guilt and shame about procrastinating. That made me even less motivated to start. You probably have those days too where you don’t feel like it. It’s okay because none of us are machines and there will be times when we just want to chill out and relax.

There’ll be times where you think “What’s the point?” What’s it all mean?

That’s that negative self-talk you have play in your mind when you sit down to work on your passion. Your brain tells you “Who’s listening anyway? What’s the point?”

That doesn’t mean you give up:

Today I didn’t want to do it and I did it anyway. And if I feel like this again tomorrow with all my other tasks and my to do list, I’m going to do exactly the same.

Everyone has good days and bad days. As human beings, there are things about our nature that cannot be controlled, like our genetic composition, chemical balance, and hormone production.

What that means is that one day you may wake up feeling amazing, and the next your feelings will be different and it will have nothing to with you. Some days you just wake up feeling better than others. On those days when sometimes the urge to go out there and get stuff done just doesn’t feel as strikingly necessary as yesterday.


Procrastination and self-doubt are two of the biggest killers of dreams and goals. Have you ever been there? If left unchecked and unresolved in your life, this cycle of procrastination and self-doubt will soon become a habitual downward spiral where you can go for months without having produced any substantial results towards the goals. Eventually you’ll just give up on the entire goal altogether, leaving the hopes and dreams you had associated with that goal to be delayed even longer.Procrastination can be overcome. We can short-circuit our natural impulses to delay tasks, and direct our minds towards being productive and proactive.

Here are my 7 best tips for overcoming this goal-killing self-perpetuating cycle of self-doubt and procrastination:

Implement a few of the strategies below and I assure you that you will find yourself living a life of success and prosperity:


1. Confront self-limiting beliefs and perceptions

Discover Why You Are Procrastinating. Find the root of what is making you procrastinate in the first place. Is it self-sabotage? Is it fear? Once you create an awareness around why you are procrastinating in the first place, that knowledge makes it easier to make changes, and recognise when you’re doing it in the future and bring yourself back into focus. Without this level of self-awareness, you’ll be almost totally powerless to overcome the negative forces of self-doubt and procrastination once they start gaining momentum in your life. Know that you have the awesome creative ability to observe, evaluate, and correct your own thinking patterns and personal habits from this higher perspective.


2. Create a To-Do List with Specific Deadlines

Making a to-do list is simple. You organize everything you need to do in the immediate future in an order that makes sense to you. This will make your workload seem much more manageable. INow, you’ve now have a guide to help you get through the work, pointing toward the light at the end of the tunnel.

But a to-do list filled with tasks is not enough. It’s important to add specific deadlines to your tasks. This will help you build a sense of momentum. When you know that step one needs to be finished by noon, this sense of urgency will help propel you forward. You’ll finish one task after another and learn how you work best.

Identify the first step. Sometimes we’re just daunted by the task we’re avoiding. We might have “Write a Book” on our to-do list, but who can slot that into the average afternoon? The trick here is to break down big, tasks into baby steps that don’t feel as effortful. Even better: identify the very smallest first step, something that’s so easy that even your present-biased brain can see that the benefits outweigh the costs of effort. So instead of “Write Book” you might decide to “Write Chapter headings.” Achieve that small goal, and you’ll feel more motivated to take the next small step than if you’d continued to beat yourself up.


3.Your Best Time Of Day

The deadline is looming. You know that you have a list of things you need to tackle, but you can’t seem to find the mental energy. Or, perhaps you settle in to work on a project, only to find a myriad of distractions keeping you from getting anywhere.
Knowing how and when you work best can eliminate the problem of procrastination and lack of focus. Determine what time of day you do your best thinking or are most creative. Avoid booking meetings during those hours if possible, so that you can maximise your productivity and focus. Staying in your flow will increase performance and productivity.
There really is such a thing as being either a morning, afternoon, or evening person. Find the hour that makes you feel at your very best, at your most optimal mode of functioning, and set aside the time to do your most urgent and demanding tasks then.



I think I’ll just check the news, or my Instagram feed for a bit. That brief lapse and redirection of your attention could very well stretch out into another full hour of non-productivity. Our devices offer a myriad of distractions, whether it’s email, social media, or texting with friends and family. This is especially difficult as our work becomes more ambiguous and unstructured (two triggers of procrastination).
When you notice yourself using your device to procrastinate, disconnect. Sometimes when I’m writing, I go as far as to put my phone in another room, and shut off the WiFi on my computer.
This may sound drastic, and it is. Disabling digital distractions ahead of time gives you no choice but to work on what’s really important.
Your brain will look for reasons to pull away from that important and demanding task; don’t give it an opportunity to do so.


5. Reward yourself

Celebrate small victories for having completed your tasks. The reward may be a short conversation with a colleague, a stroll to a nearby café for a coffee pick-me-up, or maybe a larger reward such as treating yourself to a movie after work. Let your brain know that you will reward it for focusing and being attentive.


6. Don’t punish yourself

We will still end up procrastinating on occasion. It happens to the best of us. Don’t punish yourself when you do. Re-evaluate your goals, do a bit of self-reflection on the times in which you work your best, and try again. Cut yourself a little slack.


7. Don’t try to be perfect

Perfectionism is the partner-in-crime to procrastination. “I won’t start because it won’t be perfect.” Wanting to do a good job is great, but striving for perfection rarely helps.
Paralysis by analysis occurs when we absolutely must have every single instance of information before making decisions.

How much has procrastination and self-doubt affected you?  Leave a comment and let me know!

There’ll be times where you think “What’s the point?” What’s it all mean?

That’s that negative self-talk you have play in your mind when you sit down to work on your passion. Your brain tells you “Who’s listening anyway? What’s the point?”

That doesn’t mean you give up…


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How To Get Stuff Done – Even When You’re Completely Overwhelmed…

Hot Productivity Tips & Trips To Get You Back On Track

Google AdWords with HotClicks Pay Per Click Online Marketing Sydney Web Psychology

Today’s post is all about the struggles of an internet marketer. Why we do what we do…. And how to maintain those productivity levels. When we become dissatisfied change has to happen.

Listen to my Podcast Episode #20 on how to improve your productivity: How To Get Sh*t Done

Luckily, I never miss the days I used to work in the office. I had great times with my colleagues, but those days feel well behind me, and I feel perfectly comfortable working alone now. There are a few things I’m glad I no longer have to be part of. As a full-time online marketer, I spend most of the day communicating with others by email or on online chat. I barely speak to anyone on the phone or face to face that I might forget my own voice one of these days…

But not everyone is like me. Those who are extroverts often crave for hangouts, and a lot of my fellow online entrepreneurs deliberately make time to meet up with friends for lunch to keep their sanity. And I do agree. You need to have real conversations daily (not necessarily verbally), to ensure you’re not turning into a weirdo. 

I love working out – without my beach running surfing and gym exercise, I would definitely go crazy. If you don’t normally move around much, just getting out of the house to walk for 15 minutes should help circulate more oxygen in your blood stream, and release serotonin to motivate yourself. Serotonin is something that your body naturally produces. They help you motivate big time, too.

Working from home means you can work whatever way you want. You can work in pyjamas, or on your bed with your laptop without creating a work environment. Sounds good, right? But there’s no motivation factor in that kind of “no boundary” working lifestyle.

Patience is the key to success particularly in online business. Being patient does not mean you have to be agitated or frustrated. Everyone has to fail at some point to be successful, and has to learn from mistakes.

Be patient and stay focused on your goals – that’s the way to motivate yourself for business.

How to avoid becoming paralyzed by too many ideas

If you are a creative, you most likely the type that has so many ideas.

While it may seem like a blessing, it often feels like a curse and that you aren’t actually moving or taking action. You feel scattered, confused and overwhelmed.

I am no stranger to the overwhelming sensation that too many ideas can bring.

I have loved this journey of starting my business so far, however sometimes I feel paralyzed and pulled too many directions. While it is an exciting place to be, it is best to develop a process to help tame those ideas, and avoid becoming paralyzed.

Keep a running list. Your notes are just for you, so don’t allow negativity to creep in! Be bold in your future goals. If I get really invested in an idea up front, I like to get as specific as I can in the brainstorming phase. You can also reference these notes anytime you have a sudden hit of inspiration.

Don’t act too fast!

Though your new idea to open up a shop, start an e-course, or offer a new service seems great up front, I encourage you to take a bit of time to meditate on your new idea.

You want to give yourself enough time to do the research and develop a strategy to implement your new idea.

During this time, you can really hone in on the details of this project, as well as develop a marketing plan for it. This doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it helps to be strategic in building excitement over your new product/service/idea!

If you run your own business, chances are, you’re completely overwhelmed pretty much all the time. I know I am. 

Because no matter much you get done, it seems like your to-do list just grows longer and longer. There are blog posts to write, emails to respond to, social media posts to schedule, products to create. You need to be organized, not overwhelmed.

Most overwhelm comes from feeling like you have so much to do that you can’t do it all. When your to-do list is swirling around in your head, it can feel like everything you need to get done gets bigger and more urgent by the minute.

The solution? Get your to-do list out of your head and onto paper.

Action, not anxiety!

Have you ever had one of those days where you feel super busy and stressed, but when you look back over your day, you don’t even know what you got done? I get so caught up in feeling stressed about everything I have to do that I don’t actually do any of it. I’ll have a project to start that feels so big and overwhelming that I never start it. And then, like something out of a horror movie, the more I put off the project, the bigger and more overwhelming it becomes.

It’s a vicious cycle that only has one solution: action. Just the simple act of starting- something, anything- helps you build the inertia you need to keep going. So when you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed out, look at the list you made and just start. Progress, not perfection.

I struggle with this one every damn day and I know I’m not alone here. As creative entrepreneurs, we put our souls into our work, so of course everything we do should be perfect, right? Wrong. Sometimes (ok, most of the time) perfection isn’t about quality work, it’s about ego. At least it is for me. I want my work to be perfect because I want to be perfect. Which is obviously impossible (not to mention insane.)

And when we get like that, when we obsess over formatting, or reread the same email seven times, or strain our eyes making sure our blog graphic is centered – it keeps us from doing the real, important work that we’re meant to do.

Choose progress, not perfection.

The next time you’re stuck in that obsessive cycle of making sure it’s absolutely perfect, ask yourself: Does this actually need to be perfect? Or does it just need to be done?

Some things do need to be perfect. When I’m proofreading a document before it goes to print for a client, then yes, it needs to be perfect. But if I’m honest with myself, the majority of my work doesn’t require that level of flawlessness, and I doubt much of yours does either.

So yes, it’s important that we care, deeply, about putting out quality work. But it’s worth the reminder: just because it’s not perfect, doesn’t mean it’s not good enough. 

And as I said last week: Progress = Happiness

What are your best productivity Tips and Tricks? What works for you? 

I really hope this helped. Hey, have I missed anything here though? Drop me a note in the comments section below and let me know your thoughts.

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Or drop me a note in the comments section over at PhilAdair.com and let me know your thoughts.

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Suite 12, 5th Floor, Dymocks Building

428 George Street, Sydney 2000, NSW, Australia

I’m a huge fan of connecting on social media. If you’re on these social networks, then let’s follow each other:





About Phil

Phil Adair is the host of one of the most downloaded online marketing podcasts on the internet. (Go here to subscribe and listen to The Online Marketing Strategies Show.)

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