Procrastination happens to the best of us. Whether you work for a company or you’re a freelancer, sometimes we get overwhelmed with tasks or the project we have to do is too big to fathom finishing so we become paralyzed! Here are three things I do anytime I begin procrastinating. Only spend 15 minutes on this! Sometimes working on your procrastination can be procrastination so set a time limit! 

First, the biggest misconception about procrastination: Procrastination isn’t a time management issue. It’s an emotional management issue. There isn’t a fancy app, hardcover calendar or detailed planner that could save you from this. This is all internal! 

  • Step back, Identify

Take a breath, step back from trying to figure this out and identify why you are procrastinating. Is it because you are afraid to fail at the task? Are there too many things to keep up with? Is the project too big? What emotions do you feel from this? Scared? Worried? 

  • Start!

Once you’ve figured out what the emotion is, start working on the task! The goal is not to finish the task, your only goal is to start! Set a timer for 10 minutes. Work for 10 minutes. The most difficult part is starting. But practicing this when you start feeling like procrastinating is key. 

  • Forgive

Forgive yourself. You’re not going to stop procrastinating because you do these things. It’s a practice and you most likely will fail at this in a few hours or even in a few minutes. It’s human! Forgive yourself and start again with a 10-minute timer. 

Common Pitfalls: 

  • Organizing or creating a task list first. 

Something I would do to procrastinate is to create a task list or organize my tasks on Asana, my project management tool. All I was doing was creating the illusion that I was accomplishing something. Don’t fall into organizing and reorganizing over again. 

  • Trying to Fight Through it. 

Don’t try to fight through it. This is probably the easiest one to fall into because people think they could just have more “willpower” without a system. The more you try to fight through the work, the more frustrated and the more you will internalize the problem and start blaming it on yourself. Step back, forgive, and start again!