How to Stop Procrastinating When Feeling Unmotivated

If you want to stop putting things off, you’re going to have to restructure your life

Usually, you have enough motivation to help you push through long days at work or school. You don’t know where this extra push comes from, it’s just there, sometimes at the right moment and sometimes not.

Don’t you wish you could have that extra push whenever you’re feeling lazy?

Why do we procrastinate?

It’s simple, we just don’t feel like doing that specific thing at that specific moment. Would there be such a thing as procrastination even if there were no deadlines? These deadlines are what make these tasks so important, it’s the reason why we always have that due date in the back of our heads.

It’s so much easier to put things off at the moment. If you have a few more days before the deadline occurs, then you usually tell yourself that you’ll do it tomorrow or the next day after that.

Who can blame you for being a procrastinator? If you have more time to do your work later, why not do it later?

Your such a busy human as it is, you sometimes deserve a break from doing things that you don't feel like doing.

One of the unfortunate defects that come with the thought of procrastination is feeling guilty. This usually comes during the same day that you have to turn in an assignment for school or a project for work. You start to have a back and forth interview with yourself in your head that goes like “Why did I wait till the last minute?” or “How did I let myself procrastinate again?” This argument that you have with yourself doesn’t help you at the moment, but when thinking about times like this in the future you’ll usually stop yourself from procrastinating.

This is the so-called “motivation” you wish you had all of the time. This is not motivation, this is the power of regret. Let’s look into a few ways to stop yourself from putting things off in the long run.

Using an organized planner/calendar

For some reason, we think that we are able to memorize everything in our heads, especially when it comes to deadlines. The person that gave you the deadline made it clear and just because they raised their voice when saying it, you magically are able to have it locked into your bran.

Stop relying on your internal to remember these important dates, no matter how organized a person you think you are, it doesn't hurt to use a planner.

Using a planner will help you to have less stress when it comes to trying to memorize things. What’s most important about a planner is that you are able to put any upcoming projects or assignments in order from most important to least important.

Don’t you hate having moments where you’re trying to remember something that’s important but your mind goes blank?

These are the times where you can open up your planner and look at all the things you have to do for the week. This also goes for the times where you feel like something isn’t right. Being able to see these deadlines will help you remember them better.

Having a calendar is just as important and is different due to the fact that it’s up for you to see at all times. When you wake up or come home from work, your calendar is there for you to read. I like having a whiteboard calendar up in my room for when I wake up in the morning or when I feel like I have nothing to do. I also like to put some assignments down for school in my phone calendar for when I’m out and about and don't have access to my physical planner or calendar.

Being organized and up to date like this keeps you motivated. You’ll always be ready to attack any upcoming tasks and figure out ways to prevent yourself from procrastinating.

Set reminders everywhere

Yes, you will forget things whether you like it or not. There’s so much going on in your life that it’s expected for you to forget things. One way to help you lessen the load a bit is to set reminders.

Isn’t it convenient when someone reminds you of something you have to do out of the blue?

Without being reminded of certain things, you probably would’ve forgotten to get a lot of stuff done. When seeing a reminder, you'll instantly pause what you were doing. Something goes off in your head that allows you to have a unique realization.

I like to have my reminders set on my phone or on sticky notes. Everyone is constantly on their phones or usually has them close to them at all times. Setting reminders through a device like this will alarm you instantly. Instead of expecting a text from one of your friends, you’ll be hit with a reminder to get groceries. These reminders on your phone will go off anywhere at any time, it could go off while you’re at work or while you’re out getting something to eat.

Using sticky notes is more of a personal preference but it allows me to not be hooked onto my phone 24/7. When writing these miniature notes, I like to write a memo to myself that usually ends with an exclamation point, so that I can remember how urgent the matter is when reading it. I put these sticky notes all over my room, it’s your choice of putting them where you want to put them.

If you’re somebody who does a lot of work on their laptop then your best bet may be to put one or two stick notes right below your keyboard. That way when you open your laptop the next day, you'll be surprised and reminded that something has to get done before a certain time.

Using a few techniques like these will help you to eliminate procrastination when it comes to major assignments.

If you don’t feel like doing the task, give yourself incentives

Some tasks that we procrastinate on can be very challenging and tiring. Sometimes we’re so afraid to do these tasks because we know the amount of energy we have to put into them.

Try giving yourself some incentives when it comes to challenging objectives. Incentives will help you push through whatever laziness you’re dealing with. You can probably think of some fun things to do right now, use these ideas to fuel your tank the next time you’re dealing with procrastination.

When it comes to my schoolwork, I like to tell myself that I can do anything I want after I finish a certain assignment. Whether it’s going for a walk or having a quick snack, these things help me fight through my unproductivity. Make a list of some of the things you like to do when you have free time on your hands, keep that list for the next time you’re fighting inactivity.

You can even take breaks during these tasks and use those as incentives. If you spent 30 minutes straight on working on a project for work, give yourself 5 minutes to go on your phone or have a short conversation with a friend. The point of these incentives is to help you keep going even when you want to give up.

This is just one tool of many that you can use to get rid of procrastination. Hold yourself accountable for the assignment that you don’t feel like doing. Tell yourself that you can’t do anything else until your assignment is complete. Even just writing a few words for an essay that is due in a few weeks is a great way to get a head start.

If you have a lot of time to complete the task, try to work on it every day in small increments and remind yourself of the incentives that are waiting for you when you’re done.

Procrastination is a mind game at the end of the day, it’s up to you to figure out how you can beat that game every single time. You can only forgive yourself so many times when it comes to putting something off.

I’ll leave you with a simple quote from Benjamin Franklin that says

“You may delay, but time will not.”

A young adult who’s writing is geared towards self-improvement and self care. “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

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