Table of Contents
Try to recall a time when you delayed getting started on one task despite knowing there would be consequences afterward. While rushing to finish the task, you probably felt panicked, guilty, and helpless, but you’d promise to work better in the future. However, the next time you had to do work, household chores, or other tasks, you most likely found yourself succumbing to procrastination yet again. Even though it’s easy to get stuck in this harmful cycle, procrastinators don’t have to live like this forever.
In this guide, we’ll teach you our best techniques on how to beat procrastination once and for all.
Procrastination is the act of intentionally delaying decisions, tasks, or actions until the very last minute. People who procrastinate know they need to get things done, but because of different reasons, they get started very late—sometimes, so late that completing the task on time becomes impossible.
Now, while some people procrastinate only in certain situations, others can be chronic procrastinators. When this habit becomes prevalent in your daily life, it can interfere with your goals or even your emotional well-being.
The Psychology of Procrastination
We’re all familiar with the act of procrastination. Some more than others. And it’s no secret we have all procrastinated and continue to do so until this day.
It is said that a procrastinator often puts off a task for lack of better time management and enthusiasm or laziness.
But is that all there is to it? What are our motivations for procrastinating? Why do we constantly do it despite knowing the repercussions that come with it?
Procrastination 101: Lessons From Joseph Ferrari, PhD
Joseph Ferrari, Ph.D. is a professor of psychology at DePaul University.
A recognized contributor to the psychology of procrastination, his research and work are greatly credited by the American Psychological Association (APA) as well.
The American Psychological Association is a group of highly qualified professional psychologists, students, educators, consultants, and clinicians based in the United States. The main pupose of APA is to further advance research on psychology. Moreover, APA believes that psychology, more than a science, is a means of elevating well-being and health.
Apart from that, he has released a number of books and articles on procrastination, providing expertise to those who struggle with it. APA reached out to Ferrari in an effort to further understand the psychology behind why people procrastinate.
The exchange dived into underlying disorders, contributions of technology, society’s role, and simple solutions to the problem.
Chronic Procrastinators Versus Non-Procrastinators
It’s no secret we all put off a task every now and then.
However, that does not necessarily define us as procrastinators. In fact, procrastinating every once in a while is considered normal among people.
Feeling relieved? We do too.
But what if not getting things done becomes a way of life?
That’s when chronic procrastination comes in. Once the habit of procrastinating is nurtured by a person, it carries over into all aspects of their life. And this leads to even more loss of motivation, failure to accomplish tasks, and more procrastination.
People who procrastinate often acquire a “maladaptive lifestyle”. Though procrastination is not deemed a serious condition, it does lead to a number of personality changes such as:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Passive-aggressive Tendencies
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
In contrast, what makes a non-procrastinator?
A person who does not procrastinate typically has a strong sense of personal identity. Non-procrastinators do not worry themselves with “social esteem”, a term used by psychologists to describe how other people like us.
This type of person may still put things off once in a while, but unlike a procrastinator, they do not make a habit out of it. These people are very much aware of the tasks that they have, and make the choice of acting on them consistently.
Why Are You Still Procrastinating?
Everyone is somewhat aware of their procrastinating tendencies, and yet, everyone still continues to procrastinate.
As with anything, there is a psychology behind this fact.
Lack of Interest
People often put tasks off when they have no interest in them. It’s rather simple psychology.
A boring task will not instigate motivation for the doer of the task.
Procrastinators would rather do something they enjoy rather than something that bores them. People tend to confuse prioritizing lovable tasks as simply prioritizing what makes them happy.
The underlying fact is that they are disguising their procrastination as such.
It is inevitable for some tasks to bring us stress. Whether it may be related to work or school, the feeling of stress rises when a task feels all too important to mess up. Instead of getting it done to eliminate the stress, procrastinators ALLOW their low self-esteem get the best of them. Ultimately, the task is delayed through a conscious decision to prioritize other things.
One example of this is when students with bad grades feel discouraged to perform tasks well. Their low self-esteem wires their brain into thinking that they are incapable of doing things well, hence the inaction to avoid the responsibility.
Unsurprisingly, technology influences many aspects of our lives, procrastination included. Research shows that technology can help get things done and overcome procrastination. At the same time, technology can be the cause of procrastination when not used properly.
People do not have to mindlessly scroll through the internet for hours on end. But because technology is so accessible, these tendencies occur. There are technological systems we can make use of to prevent such mindless scrolling too, which is why proper usage is essential to avoid procrastination.
One reason why you can’t seem to stop procrastinating is you have already formed the habit of procrastination. The thing with habits is they develop over time and therefore can be unlearned over time as well.
When you put off one thing after another, tasks only accumulate and give procrastinators even more reason to continue the behavior.
The American Psychological Association (APA) dives further into their exchange with Joseph Ferrari regarding procrastinators.
Ferrari states that procrastinating is like a phenomenon of inaction.
A task is delayed consciously by replacing it with another less meaningful task. In some situations, people may go beyond the resources that are already available to them in an effort to delay.
One Way to Avoid Procrastinating is by Formulating a Reward System for Yourself
Procrastinators will put the gratification first without putting in the effort. Turn this around by using the reward as motivation to get things done. When you do this constantly, it will eventually become a way of life, therefore eliminating chronic procrastination.
It’s typically a mental battle to continue building healthier habits, especially when you have become so accustomed to the bad ones. The prize can be as simple for as long as it gives you a sense of fulfillment and confidence to do more.
One example is maintaining a proper exercise routine. Motivate yourself to not put it off by rewarding yourself with a balanced yet delicious meal after. The result will leave you fulfilled and more confident to take on another workout the next day,
Another Way to Overcome It is by Getting the Help You Need
Feeling stuck is completely normal, but it is an entirely different situation when you feel it constantly and find it difficult to get out of. This is why asking for help is important. No one should ever feel ashamed of it.
Help may be in the form of therapy or simply delegating the action to someone else when you feel incapable. The sooner you are able to address your need for help, the more time you will have for important matters.
Lead a Life of Action
The contributions of APA should serve as an inspiration for people who procrastinate to become more self-aware of the effects it has on their lives. When we view psychology as a means to improve our welfare, we form more conscious efforts to sustain a better life.
The next time you consider delaying a task, think of the consequences it may impose not just on that day but on your life as a whole. For more information on the subject, refer to Dr. Ferrari’s in-depth discussion in the book entitled “Still Procrastinating: The No Regret Guide to Getting It Done”.
Types of Procrastination
Although there are many types of procrastination, most people fall under two broad categories: Active procrastinators and passive procrastinators.
Active procrastinators are those who believe they work best under pressure. These people purposely postpone tasks because they think taking action at the last minute will increase motivation, effort, and quality of work.
However, in the long term, this can actually lead to a lot of added stress and higher instances of illness. When you have limited time on your hands to address potential problems, your work performance also suffers as a result.
On the other hand, passive procrastinators delay tasks because they have trouble getting started.
Whether it’s due to a lack of motivation, a fear of failure, poor time management skills, or something else entirely, what these types of procrastinators need is strong self-discipline to break free from the habit. Although this quality may be hard to internalize, it’s definitely possible if you choose the right tool to address your specific procrastination problem.
Effects of Procrastination
Now, while some procrastinators know they need to change, others may see no reason to do so, especially if this practice is already a big part of their life.
However, procrastination comes with very real consequences. Let’s talk about this thoroughly.
In the short term, procrastination may relieve pressure, but this FADES quickly as your deadline approaches. Consequently, procrastinators usually end up feeling very stressed, guilty, and helpless. Their productivity goes down, which negatively impacts their work performance.
In fact, on average, college students who regularly procrastinate get lower grades, while workers who constantly delay tasks produce lower-quality output.
Ultimately, procrastinators have a much harder time reaching their goals.
With chronic procrastinators, procrastination is often already a big part of their lifestyle. Besides the consequences mentioned above, these people are also more likely to experience a lower quality of life.
Some of these consequences include:
- When you often fail to get things done, you put your personal and professional relationships at risk.
- People who can’t depend on you are less likely to trust you, whether it be at work or at home. Over time, this can negatively impact your emotional and social well-being.
- People who procrastinate are also more prone to more health conditions, sometimes in the form of insomnia or weak immune systems. Because they put so much pressure on their bodies to complete tasks in a short amount of time, their physical well-being can suffer too.
- Lastly, procrastination can affect your mental health. Because procrastinators are caught up in a vicious cycle, they often feel like there is no way out of it.
Feelings of regret and guilt can quickly translate into anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders—factors that only exacerbate the issue at the end of the day.
Causes of Procrastination
Knowing these harms, why do people procrastinate? Is it just a lack of self-control that separates procrastinators from non-procrastinators? Well, as it turns out, it’s not that simple.
Lack of Focus
One possible cause is a lack of focus. People who don’t have specific and well-defined goals are much more likely to procrastinate because it is difficult for them to decide on a course of action.
Let’s try out an example:
Imagine two students. The first one has a goal to graduate first in her class, while the second one wants to set aside an extra hour per day to study for her toughest class.
Which of the two students is more likely to procrastinate?
- Because the first student has a broader goal, he will find it harder to put off tasks related to it, such as studying in advance and submitting homework early.
- On the other hand, the second student has a clear task that’s more understandable and easier to commit to.
Thus, a lack of vision, direction, or purpose can lead to procrastination.
Lack of Motivation
Another reason why people procrastinate is lack of motivation. This might be because:
- They aren’t interested in the task
- They perceive no benefit to doing it
- They simply lack the willpower to get started
Unless you’re extremely self-disciplined, some form of motivation is necessary for you to take action. However, the issue also lies in the main type of motivation you possess. If you’re extrinsically motivated, that is, pushed to complete a task by other people or external factors, you’re more likely to procrastinate compared to someone that’s intrinsically motivated.
After all, if you don’t see meaning in the tasks you do and are driven by societal pressure or the promise of a reward instead, you will definitely find it difficult to work on these tasks immediately and purposefully.
Now, what if your brain and your body simply cannot handle tasks that need to be done? If you feel like you could drop with exhaustion at any point during the day, you’re probably lacking a lot of much-needed rest and shut-eye.
Something busy people sometimes don’t realize is that burnout is very real.
Taking on more than what you can handle can inadvertently make you a procrastinator, as your brain signals YOU NEED TO SLOOOW DOWN.
In this situation, procrastination can be an unconscious defense mechanism against too much physical and mental stress. Unless you fix the root of the problem, though, you’ll never break free from the harmful cycle.
Fear of Failure
Other people succumb to procrastination because they have a fear of failure. Although it’s normal to feel this way sometimes, it can heavily affect your personal growth and development once it hinders you from even starting something.
How does procrastination address this fear, though?
Well, for some people, not trying means never experiencing failure. However, if you never give anything a shot, then there’s no chance at all that you’ll succeed. Clearly, in this case, procrastination leads to a lot of missed opportunities in life.
Something closely related to fear of failure is low self-efficacy. If you have the tendency to self-doubt, it can be hard for you to try out something NEW, scary, or different, especially if it’s for a particularly important task.
Now that social media and online advertisement posts are so prevalent, people are becoming more and more concerned with the idea of perfection. When an advertisement falsely presents an ideal as reality, we get pressured to live up to those impossible standards, which negatively impacts our self-worth.
Because we feel like we’re not enough, we turn to procrastination to avoid dealing with tasks that bring up these issues. Unfortunately, because we have to address them at some point, we never really feel better afterward.
Oftentimes, low self-control also leads to procrastination.
Have you ever delayed working on a task by going through your phone, watching a Netflix show, or browsing social media? Although these distractions are quite tempting, non-procrastinators who have more self-discipline can ignore this until after they’ve completed their tasks.
This self-regulation failure can also exacerbate any of the issues on this list, which makes it doubly difficult to beat procrastination. According to some researchers like Joseph Ferrari of DePaul University, this issue can be linked to poor mood regulation, as people procrastinate when they can’t keep their emotions in check.
People believe that by procrastinating, they’re taking away the pain and negative feelings associated with the task. In reality, though, they’re only postponing the inevitable.
Prioritizing Present Rewards
Similarly, some people also have a tendency to prioritize present rewards and discount far-off ones. This is also known as temporal discounting or delay discounting.
For example, if you were offered $50 now or $100 in 4 months, which would you choose?
People who place higher importance on present rewards (or punishments) would probably choose option one, and this decision-making translates into how they complete tasks too.
Imagine it like this: The ‘reward’ of getting a good grade on your test a week away may pale in comparison to the ‘reward’ of going out with your friends now. However, when your test is only a day away, its value becomes much more important to you.
Now, listen to this:
According to an article written in the Psychological Bulletin by University of Calgary professor Piers Steel, a procrastinator prefers to do activities that provide immediate rewards rather than work on a task that would bring in a significantly larger reward in the long term. Clearly, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of procrastination.
Dissociation From Future Self
Another interesting phenomenon is temporal self-discontinuity or temporal disjunction, which is when people view their future self as separate from their present self.
This is something Fuschia Sirois of Bishop’s University observed while studying procrastination a few years ago. Have you ever put aside a task for your ‘future self’ to deal with?
Sometimes, we may view tedious things as a future problem, when, in fact, it is still YOU who needs to tackle them later on. In the same way, we may not be able to fully comprehend the impact of future rewards and punishments on our present selves, even if their consequences are very, very real.
We mistakenly believe that a different (perhaps better) version of ourselves will be able to accomplish what we choose not to do right now, even if, realistically speaking, nothing will really change between now and the future.
Sometimes, a procrastinator will have underlying medical issues that require more serious treatment.
People with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, and other psychological disorders may find it difficult to do certain tasks and activities, which is why they procrastinate.
For instance, those with ADHD cannot sit still and concentrate on a single task for a long period of time, and they may keep switching tasks without finishing any of them.
- Procrastination (and other related behaviors) is one of the common symptoms of ADHD.
- On the other hand, those with depression lack interest and motivation in many aspects of daily life.
They usually don’t have the energy to do work or even just simple things around the house, depending on how severe their conditions are. Consequently, they often succumb to procrastination too.
How to Stop Procrastinating
Now that you know the factors that affect procrastination, how do you overcome these issues and get on with life?
Well, depending on your circumstances, there are certain actions you can take to stop being a procrastinator.
If Your Issue Is: Lack of Focus
If you lack focus, it’s vital that you clearly define your goals and use time management techniques. Sometimes, it’s hard to visualize the finish line, so it helps to specify what exactly you want to achieve.
When setting goals, make sure you follow SMART criteria. The word SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
For instance, if you want to work towards improving health and fitness, one goal could look like this:
“I want to get healthier, so on January 1, I will purchase a gym membership and work out three times a week. I aim to lose one pound of fat every two weeks. After two months, I should lose at least four pounds of fat.”
Because all your desired actions and deadlines are outlined above, you’re not as likely to give in to procrastination. It’s also a good idea to employ time management techniques.
There are tons to choose from: The Eisenhower Matrix, Kanban Board, and The Pomodoro Technique, among others. By visualizing and prioritizing the different tasks you have to do in a day, it is much easier to avoid procrastination.
Over time, as you get used to these methods, you may find yourself procrastinating less and less. Once you have settled into a regular routine or habit, productivity will definitely come a lot more naturally!
If Your Issue Is: Fear of Failure or Low Self-Esteem
Now, if you have a fear of failure, it may help to break down your goal into several, smaller subgoals.
Looking at the bigger picture can be an intimidating thing. However, if you focus on ONE SIMPLE TASK first before moving on to the next, you can build up your confidence and prevent procrastination.
Remember to celebrate your small victories too, as there are still great achievements!
Another thing you should do is remind yourself that it’s human to make errors. Try recalling times when you’ve succeeded after multiple failures or when you learned something after making a mistake. These show you can definitely bounce back from the negative things in life.
Remember, self-forgiveness, self-compassion, and acceptance of failure are crucial because they allow you to move forward and beat procrastination.
Doing something is always better than doing nothing at all!
If you’re having trouble controlling your thoughts and emotions, it can be wise to stay off the internet as well. Some online personalities really perpetuate impossible standards of perfection, even though the reality is far from it offline.
If Your Issue Is: Lack of Motivation or Low Self-Control
To address this, it’s vital to do two things: Minimize distractions and find your purpose. Did you know that a meta-analysis by Psychological Bulletin revealed that 80-95% of students regularly procrastinate? This may be due to the presence of multiple distractions in students’ environments as well as their lack of interest in their studies.
To prevent temptation and avoid procrastination, remove all potential distractions from your work area:
- Switch off your phone
- Log out of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
- Lock away your television remote
Once these things are less accessible, you’ll find it easier to focus on the task at hand.
It also helps to identify when you’re most productive during the day. Do you perform better at a task early in the day, during the afternoon, or late at night? If so, then:
- Schedule work during those times and establish a routine so that it’s easier to get into it every day.
- Next, try to reduce the number of decisions you have to make in a day. When you have too many options to choose from, you may experience mental fatigue and give in to procrastination to avoid decision-making.
For instance, if your goal is to exercise at 7 AM every day, consider wearing your workout clothes to bed, filling up your jug of water the night before, and putting your car keys on your bedside table.
Because everything’s well-prepared for the next day, you’re already a few steps further towards your goal.
Are you still lacking motivation?
Maybe you don’t know why you’re doing the task in the first place. To succeed at anything, you must find meaning and purpose in the work you do.
Once you’re intrinsically motivated, you no longer need to depend on external factors to push you forward.
Also, keep in mind that almost anything can be an opportunity to improve on yourself as a person—isn’t that motivation enough?
If Your Issue Is: Prioritizing Present Rewards or Dissociation From Future Self
To prevent procrastination, it’s best to create a detailed action plan with multiple checkpoints, to-do lists, and small rewards after completing them.
While some can focus on the big reward at the end of a long journey, others need SMALLER SUBTASKS to feel accomplished and energized. You can break up tasks any way you want to—the form doesn’t matter, as long as it leads up to the same end goal.
An outline of the action plan can also help solidify future tasks and bring them into your present consciousness. It’s harder to pass these off as ‘future problems’ when they’re all laid out on an urgent to-do list, so try tricking your mind into thinking they need to be done right away.
Now, don’t forget to insert breaks and little rewards in between too, as these motivate you to keep grinding!
When you finish a task, relax and do something fun so that you’re not mentally drained when it’s time to start working again. In fact, self-care can be a very useful weapon against procrastination. Don’t expect your habits to change overnight, but remember, every little thing counts!
If Your Issue Is: Low Energy or Medical Conditions
Because these procrastination issues are related to health and psychological science, it’s important to take care of yourself and seek professional help if necessary.
If your energy is low due to fatigue, stress, and lack of sleep, then focus on your physical health:
- Get at least 6-8 hours of sleep
- Start an exercise routine
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet to build up your immunity
Don’t forget to take breaks too—operating on low fuel will make you less efficient, more prone to error, and it could cause more serious medical issues later on.
With that said, only take on a reasonable amount of work that you can handle. Trust us, your client will thank you for it.
However, if you can no longer manage your health issues on your own, then it may be time to consult a doctor or a medical professional for expert advice.
He may be able to prescribe appropriate medication, start therapy, or recommend other courses of action to help you stop procrastination entirely.
The Best Procrastination Quotes to Help You Stop Procrastinating
Are you a chronic procrastinator? Do you find it difficult to stay on top of things that need to be done by a certain deadline? Are you lacking the drive and willpower to move forward?
Sometimes, all you need is a bit of inspiration to get the ball rolling—in this case, inspiring, motivating, and humorous procrastination quotes!
In this list, we’ve compiled the best procrastination quotes from authors, professionals, and politicians, among others, to help you stop procrastinating today (not tomorrow). Enjoy!
Short Procrastination Quotes
Looking for a quick fix to your procrastination problems? Get encouragement from these short quotes about procrastination and break your bad habit.
Inspiring Procrastination Quotes
- “Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work in hand. The sun’s rays do not burn until brought to a focus.” — Alexander Graham Bell
- “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” — Anne Frank
- “Doing just a little bit during the time we have available puts you that much further ahead than if you took no action at all.” — Byron Pulsifer
- “Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” — David Allen
- “I’d be more frightened by not using whatever abilities I’d been given. I’d be more frightened by procrastination and laziness.” — Denzel Washington
- “Neither a wise nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower
- “Time wasted is existence; used is life.” — Edward Young
- “Getting an idea should be like sitting on a pin; it should make you jump up and do something.”— E. L. Simpson
- “Begin to weave and God will give you the thread.” — German Proverb
- “Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can do today because if you enjoy it today, you can do it again tomorrow.”— James A. Michener
- “Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced.” — James Baldwin
- “Procrastination is not Laziness”, I tell him. “It is fear. Call it by its right name, and forgive yourself.” — Julia Cameron
- “A year from now you may wish you had started today.” — Karen Lamb
- “Yesterday is a cancelled check. Tomorrow is a promissory note. Today is the only cash you have, so spend it wisely.” — Kim Lyons.
- “Great acts are made up of small deeds.” — Lao Tzu
- “Until you value yourself, you will not value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.” — M. Scott Peck
- “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” — Marthe Troly-Curtin
- “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “There are so many things that we wish we had done yesterday, so few that we feel like doing today.” — Mignon McLaughlin
- “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” — Napoleon Hill
- “Action will destroy your procrastination” — Og Mandino
- “Nothing is less productive than to make more efficient what should not be done at all.” — Peter Drucker
- “Think of many things; do one.” — Portuguese Proverb
- “I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument, while the song I came to sing remains unsung.” — Rabindranath Tagore
- “If I am not for myself, who is for me? When I am for myself, what am I? If not now, when?” — Rabbi Hillel
- “How to stop procrastinating starts with believing you can overcome procrastination.” ― Robert Moment
- “Procrastination is one of the most common and deadliest of diseases and its toll on success and happiness is heavy.” —Wayne Gretzky
Humorous Procrastination Quotes
- “Procrastination is, hands down, our favorite form of self-sabotage.”— Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby
- “A perfect method for adding drama to life is to wait until the deadline looms large.”— Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby
- “I do my work at the same time each day — the last minute.” — Author Unknown
- “Procrastinator? No. I save all my homework until the last minute because then I’ll be older, and therefore wiser.” — Author Unknown
- “The two rules of procrastination: 1) Do it today. 2) Tomorrow will be today tomorrow.”— Author Unknown
- “You can’t just turn on creativity like a faucet. You have to be in the right mood. What mood is that? Last-minute panic.”— Bill Watterson
- “Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill.” — Christopher Parker
- “Work is the greatest thing in the world, so we should always save some of it for tomorrow!” — Don Herold
- “I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” — Douglas Adams
- “Do you know what happens when you give a procrastinator a good idea? Nothing!” — Donald Gardner
- “How does a project get to be a year behind schedule? One day at a time.”— Fred Brooks
- “I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.”— Jerome K. Jerome
- “My mother always told me I wouldn’t amount to anything because I procrastinate. I said, ‘just wait.’” — Judy Tenuta
- “If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.” — Rita Mae Brown
- “Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.” — Robert Benchley
- “I’m going to stop putting things off, starting tomorrow!” — Sam Levenson
- “The scholar’s greatest weakness: calling procrastination research.” — Stephen King
- “I think of myself as something of a connoisseur of procrastination, creative and dogged in my approach to not getting things done.” — Susan Orlean
- “One of the greatest labor-saving inventions of today is tomorrow.” — Vincent T. Foss
- “The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favor of holding meetings.” — Thomas Sowell
Procrastination Quotes to Get You Moving
- “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” ― Abraham Lincoln
- “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” — Abraham Lincoln
- “By what right do I, who have wasted this day, make claims on tomorrow?” ― Alain-Fournier
- “The only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action.”— Alexander Graham Bell
- “The best way to get something done is to begin.” — Author Unknown
- “When there is a hill to climb, don’t think that waiting will make it smaller.” — Author Unknown
- “Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.”— Author Unknown
- “You may delay, but time will not.” — Benjamin Franklin
- “A day can really slip by when you’re deliberately avoiding what you’re supposed to do.” — Bill Watterson
- “My advice is to never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.”— Charles Dickens
- “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work” ― Chuck Close
- “Do first what you don’t want to do most.” ― Clifford Cohen
- “The man who waits to know everything is the man who never does anything.” ― Craig D. Lounsbrough
- “There is nothing so fatal to character as half finished tasks.” — David Lloyd George
- “You may not be punished for your procrastination, but for sure you will be punished by your procrastination.”― Debasish Mridha
- “Procrastination is the thief of time.” — Edward Young
- “Don’t wait for someone to take you under their wing. Find a good wing and climb up underneath it.”— Frank C. Bucaro
- “If you take too long in deciding what to do with your life, you’ll find you’ve done it.” ― George Bernard Shaw
- “Putting off an easy thing makes it hard, and putting off a hard one makes it impossible.”— George H. Lorimer
- “Following-through is the only thing that separates dreamers from people that accomplish great things.”— Gene Hayden
- “Often greater risk is involved in postponement than in making a wrong decision.”— Harry A. Hopf
- “Someday is not a day of the week.” ― Janet Dailey
- “Never put things off…you will wake up and find them gone.” ― James Jones
- “If you want to get ahead in life, I’ve found that perhaps the most useless word in the world is “tomorrow.” ― José N. Harris
- “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”— Jim Rohn
- “A year from now you may wish you had started today.” ― Karen Lamb
- “It is easier to resist at the beginning than at the end.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
- “Stop talking. Start walking.” — L.M. Heroux
- “Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.” ― Mark Twain
- “How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never’.” — Martin Luther
- “Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”— Michael Landon
- “Take time to deliberate; but when the time for action arrives, stop thinking and go in.”— Napoleon Bonaparte
- “Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” — Napoleon Hill
- “Procrastination is the lazy cousin of fear. When we feel anxiety around an activity, we postpone it.” — Noelle Hancock
- “If you put off everything till you’re sure of it, you’ll never get anything done.” — Norman Vincent Peale
- “If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.” — Olin Miller
- “Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone” ― Pablo Picasso
- “Do something instead of killing time. Because time is killing you.” ― Paulo Coelho
- “I don’t wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” — Pearl S. Buck
- “If you procrastinate when faced with a big difficult problem… break the problem into parts, and handle one part at a time.”— Robert Collier
- “Procrastination has robbed us of too many opportunities.” — Sarah Ban Breathnach
- “What is deferred is not avoided.” ― Thomas More
- “If you have goals and procrastination you have nothing. If you have goals and you take action, you will have anything you want.”— Thomas J. Vilord
- “Procrastination is opportunity’s natural assassin.”— Victor Kiam
- “Begin while others are procrastinating. Work while others are wishing.”— William Arthur Ward
Long Procrastination Quotes
If you need something more, check out these longer quotes to help you beat procrastination. These quotes will definitely inspire and motivate you to stop thinking and start doing!
Inspiring Procrastination Quotes
- “We shall never have more time. We have, and have always had, all the time there is. No object is served in waiting until next week or even until tomorrow. Keep going day in and day out. Concentrate on something useful. Having decided to achieve a task, achieve it at all costs.” — Arnold Bennett
- “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Author Unknown
- “Nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost legendary. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Perseverance and determination alone are omnipotent.” — Calvin Coolidge
- “The habit of always putting off an experience until you can afford it, or until the time is right, or until you know how to do it is one of the greatest burglars of joy. Be deliberate, but once you’ve made up your mind -jump in.” — Charles R. Swindoll
- “One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon – instead of enjoying the roses blooming outside our windows today.”— Dale Carnegie
- “Indecisiveness and procrastination are the chosen ways of life for most people. They follow the course of least resistance, which is to do nothing. This provides a security blanket of never being wrong, never making mistakes, never being disappointed and never failing. But they will also never succeed.” — David Peoples
- “Time is an equal opportunity employer. Each human being has exactly the same number of hours and minutes every day. Rich people can’t buy more hours. Scientists can’t invent new minutes. And you can’t save time to spend it on another day. Even so, time is amazingly fair and forgiving. No matter how much time you’ve wasted in the past, you still have an entire tomorrow.” ― Denis Waitley
- “This is as true in everyday life as it is in battle: we are given one life and the decision is ours whether to wait for circumstances to make up our mind, or whether to act, and in acting, to live.” — General Omar Bradley
- “Lack of confidence, sometimes alternating with unrealistic dreams of heroic success, often leads to procrastination, and many studies suggest that procrastinators are self-handicappers: rather than risk failure, they prefer to create conditions that make success impossible, a reflex that of course creates a vicious cycle.” — James Surowiecki
- “Somebody should tell us, right at the start of our lives, that we are dying. Then we might live life to the limit, every minute of every day. Do it! I say. Whatever you want to do, do it now! There are only so many tomorrows.”— Michael Landon
- “Delaying gratification is a process of scheduling the pain and pleasure of life in such a way as to enhance the pleasure by meeting and experiencing the pain first and getting it over with. It is the only decent way to live.” — M. Scott Peck
- “The really happy people are those who have broken the chains of procrastination, those who find satisfaction in doing the job at hand. They’re full of eagerness, zest, productivity. You can be, too.”— Norman Vincent Peale
- “It was my fear of failure that first kept me from attempting the master work. Now, I’m beginning what I could have started ten years ago. But I’m happy at least that I didn’t wait twenty years.” — Paulo Coelho
- “By thinking of procrastination as the result of a human tendency to live too much in the moment, we can devise better strategies for overcoming it. If the problem is weighing present versus future costs and benefits, we need to find a way to either bring future benefits closer to the present or to magnify the costs of delayed action.” — Ray Fisman
- “Your Life Is Happening Right Now: Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Be brave and take risks. Your life is happening right now.” — Roy T. Bennett
- “The certainty that life cannot be long, and the probability that it will be much shorter than nature allows, ought to awaken every man to the active prosecution of whatever he is desirous to perform. It is true, that no diligence can ascertain success; death may intercept the swiftest career; but he who is cut off in the execution of an honest undertaking has at least the honour of falling in his rank, and has fought the battle, though he missed the victory.” — Samuel Johnson
- “If we accept and internalize the fact of our own mortality, then, by definition, we have to deal with the essential questions of how we live and spend our allotted time. We have to stop procrastinating, pretending that we have forever to do what we want to do and be what we long to be.” — Surya Das
- “To do anything in this world worth doing, we must not stand back shivering and thinking of the cold and danger, but jump in and scramble through as well as we can.”— Syndey Smith
- “Perhaps the most valuable result of an education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not.”— Thomas Huxley
- “He who every morning plans the transactions of that day and follows that plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life.”— Victor Hugo
Procrastination Quotes to Inspire & Motivate You
- “Don’t procrastinate. Putting off an unpleasant task until tomorrow simply gives you more time for your imagination to make a mountain out a possible molehill. More time for anxiety to sap your self-confidence. Do it now, brother, do it now.” — Author Unknown
- “Much of the stress that people feel doesn’t come from having too much to do. It comes from not finishing what they started.” — David Allen
- “Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the ‘someday I’ll’ philosophy.”— Denis Waitley
- “Procrastination is the thief of time: Year after year it steals, till all are fled, and to the mercies of a moment leaves the vast concerns of an eternal scene.” — Edward Young
- “Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand—and melting like a snowflake.”— Francis Bacon
- “If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem. But don’t make telephone calls or go to a party; if you do, other people’s words will pour in where your lost words should be. Open a gap for them, create a space. Be patient.” ― Hilary Mantel
- “Procrastination usually results in sorrowful regret. Today’s duties put off until tomorrow give us a double burden to bear; the best way is to do them in their proper time.” — Ida Scott Taylor
- “Success is not obtained overnight. It comes in installments; you get a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow until the whole package is given out. The day you procrastinate, you lose that day’s success.” ― Israelmore Ayivor
- “So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.” — Lee Iacocca
- “It is only by working the rituals, that any significant degree of understanding can develop. If you wait until you are positive you understand all aspects of the ceremony before beginning to work, you will never begin to work.” ― Lon Milo DuQuette
- “If you believe you can accomplish everything by “cramming” at the eleventh hour, by all means, don’t lift a finger now. But you may think twice about beginning to build your ark once it has already started raining.” — Max Brooks
- “A primary reason people don’t do new things is because they want to do them perfectly – first time. It’s completely irrational, impractical, not workable – and yet, it’s how most people run their lives. It’s called The Perfection Syndrome.”— Peter McWlliams and John-Roger
- “Procrastination is a way for us to be satisfied with second-rate results; we can always tell ourselves we’d have done a better job if only we’d had more time. If you’re good at rationalizing, you can keep yourself feeling rather satisfied this way, but it’s a cheap happy. You’re whittling your expectations of yourself down lower and lower.” — Richard O’Conner
- “Waiting is a trap. There will always be reasons to wait – The truth is, there are only two things in life, reasons and results, and reasons simply don’t count.”— Robert Anthony
- “If you always do what is easy and choose the path of least resistance, you never step outside your comfort zone. Great things don’t come from comfort zones.” ― Roy Bennett
- “Your ideas have legs and just as they run through your head, they could be running through someone else’s head and it’s just a matter of who gets to the finish line first. Nothing is new under the sun so act on your ideas.”― Sanjo Jendayi
- “How often do you find yourself saying, “In a minute”, “I’ll get to it” or “Tomorrow’s good enough” and every other possible excuse in the book? Compare it with how often you decide it’s got to be done, so let’s get on and do it! That should tell you just how serious your procrastinating problem really is.” ― Stephen Richards
- “In a moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing to do, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing.”— Theodore Roosevelt
Our Final Piece of Advice re. quotes
It can be hard to stop procrastinating, especially when things start piling up on your plate. However, with the right mindset and enough effort, you can definitely get out of that slump!
We hope the quotes above inspired you to beat procrastination once and for all. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments down below, and don’t forget to share this article if you enjoyed it!
To Sum It Up
Although procrastination is a difficult habit to break, it’s definitely possible to overcome it entirely and boost your productivity!
Just make sure to follow these steps:
- Understand why you procrastinate. Figure out what’s hindering you from making progress. Is it your mood/emotions, your physical health, a lack of direction, or something else entirely?
- Know when you procrastinate. Are you more likely to procrastinate at a certain time of day or under specific circumstances? Understanding the scope of the problem will help you formulate a more effective solution.
- Create an action plan. Now that you know the issue, respond accordingly. Use any of the productivity techniques above that are most suitable for your needs. Remember that this can be adjusted and improved throughout the whole process.
- Eliminate roadblocks. Do your best to reduce any and all distractions in your surroundings. This will help you focus on your goal 100%.
- Celebrate your victories. Don’t forget to reward yourself for doing a good job! Changing a habit isn’t easy, so be proud of your progress—no matter how small. Being flexible and forgiving to yourself will make this journey a sustainable one.
Now that you have all the information you need to succeed, go ahead and apply these techniques in your daily life. We hope this guide helped you understand how to overcome procrastination and finally reach your goals. Good luck!