Who Doesn’t Love Procrastination Quotes?
Many people struggle with putting off tasks until the very last minute. For some it’s snoozing their alarm 10 times, leaving them with just a few minutes to get ready. For others, it’s having three weeks to work on a project, only to start it the night before it’s due. Can you relate? How do you procrastinate?
On that note, here are some funny procrastination quotes as well as some anti-procrastination quotes. Hopefully, these will help get the ball rolling for you (or maybe, allow you another excuse to procrastinate even longer):
“One of these days I’m going to get help for my procrastination problem.” ~Anonymous
“The sooner I fall behind, the more time I have to catch up.” ~Anonymous
“If it weren’t for the last minute, I wouldn’t get anything done.” ~Anonymous
“Hard work pays off later. Laziness pays off now. I’ve always been one for being in the moment.” ~Anonymous
“Procrastination always gives you something to look forward to.”~Joan Konner
“Procrastination is like a credit card; it’s a lot fun until you get the bill.” ~Christopher Parker
“I like work. It fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.” ~Anonymous
“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.” ~Mark Twain
“The best part about procrastination is that you are never bored because you have all kinds of things that you should be doing.” ~Anonymous
“Warning: dates on this calendar are closer than they appear.” ~Anonymous
“Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.” ~Robert Benchley
“Tomorrow is often the busiest day of the week.” ~Spanish Proverb
“When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that in itself is a choice.” ~William James
“If you want to make an easy job seem mighty hard, just keep putting off doing it.” ~Olin Miller
“How soon ‘not now’ becomes ‘never.’” ~Martin Luther
“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” ~Stephen King
“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” ~Karen Lam
“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” ~Pablo Picasso
“Your mind is for having ideas, not holding them.” ~David Allen
“Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.” ~Napoleon Hill
“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” ~William James
“You may delay, but time will not.” ~Benjamin Franklin
“To think too long about doing a thing often becomes its undoing.” ~Eva Young
“Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.” ~Victor Kiam
What quotes about procrastination would you create? Have these procrastination quotes sparked some inspiration in you? Perhaps you have realized that procrastination, while seemingly harmless, has been what’s holding you back from the very thing you want all along.
Here are 13 ways to beat procrastination:
1. Reduce Stress
Is it worth the stress you create for yourself? Who else is affected when you procrastinate? Often you are not the only one affected by your procrastination. Maybe looking at who else is affected by the stress you create can cause a shift in the way you look at this behavior.
2. Create a New Identity
Don’t define yourself as a procrastinator – this will keep you caught in that procrastination trap. Decide this is not who you really are and connect to a different way of defining yourself. This in itself can create a huge shift.
3. Challenge Your Excuses
Listen to the crazy excuses in your procrastination quotes and challenge them as BS. Excuses don’t get results. Decide that you won’t accept the excuses anymore. Focus on the anti procrastination quotes and find a way. Where there is a will there is a way. You will get more creative when you don’t take no for an answer.
4. Try “Temptation Bundling”
Temptation bundling is a great strategy to get rid of the procrastination bug. We hear a lot of talk about creating rewards to look forward to after a task is completed, but with this system, you make it so that you are getting something you don’t enjoy paired with something you deeply enjoy, and that in turn makes you want to do the annoying task more. An example of this would be to listen to something that interests you, like your favorite musical album or your favorite podcast, while you go for a jog. You may hate jogging, but you love podcasts or music and listening makes jogging more desirable.
Another great thing to do would be to go to your favorite coffee shop when you are doing a difficult work task that is monotonous and not very enjoyable. This allows you to sip on your favorite coffee drink and enjoy the atmosphere of the shop while doing something you don’t love. You can bundle pretty much anything. In my work, when I have to do stuff with websites that are pretty monotonous and do not require a lot of thinking, I will sometimes watch my favorite show while I do it. This makes the time go by very fast and it makes me look forward to the task because I’m able to do something I like along with my not so favorite work task.
5. Set Yourself up for Consequences
I know, I know, you’re used to hearing about setting yourself up for success. But setting yourself up for consequences in the near future if you do not complete the task in a timely manner can deeply motivate you to get it done! This is kind of the same method as exercising with a partner. If you don’t show up, you risk upsetting your friend and partner. Because of this, and you will probably end up coming because you had already sent the plans in stone with another person. If you exercise alone and you skip workouts, the only person who suffers is you.
For me in my life, a good place for this is with my writing. I write both professionally and personally, but I have noticed that my personal writing can go through phases where I don’t publish stuff for huge lengths of time. I may fail to publish a blog post as often as I said I would or I won’t post articles on my website as often as I told myself I could. If I do this, no one suffers but me. These are my goals and if I don’t hit them, I am not held accountable to another.
In order to combat this, what I have begun to do is write articles for the sites of others or guests posts for the blogs of others. This holds me accountable to them. This way, if I don’t write the piece in a timely manner and send it in, I lose an account that was worth a lot and I make myself look unprofessional to the world in which I work. This change helps me to really sit down and get it done, even when I don’t want to. It then spills over into motivating me in my own work.
6. Try “Commitment Devices”
There is a term used in psychology called “commitment devices”. What this means is setting things in place now that will help you in the future. Setting your future self up for success is a huge deal and is greatly necessary if you want to be successful at all. An example of this would be to recognize that your social media time is taking over your life. Instead of resolving in your mind that you will not use it at all and then going right back to it when you get bored, you would delete the apps altogether. Keeping them out of sight keeps them out of mind as well.
The same thing goes for food. Health specialists or anyone who has tried to eat healthily will tell you that the way to eat healthily is by not purchasing unhealthy foods. When it is late at night and you want a snack, it is easy to reach for the nearest junk food, but if you keep healthy snacks in the cupboard, you will only be able to eat healthy snacks. It makes it harder to eat the bad stuff.
Of course, with this type of method, you are still able to break the rules you have set. You are an adult and you are fully capable of reinstalling social media apps or eating the bad snacks by just going to a drive-through. But the point is that it makes it much harder to do this and therefore you have more time to really think about if this is something you should be doing, instead of just running to it easily because it’s second nature.
7. Break the Task Up
This next suggestion is truly the best possible option for beating procrastination. Breaking the task up into small, manageable chunks gives you a sense of success every time you complete one. The main reason people find it hard to get started on a task is usually that they have trouble just getting started. That’s why it’s important to make it as easy as possible to simply start.
Tell yourself that you will clean the room that is so messy for five minutes straight. Set a timer and stick to it. You’ll be amazed how much you get done in that five minutes when you’re motivated by the small gap of time. I know people who say that they can clean the entire house in 10 minutes but it will sit around with it messy for days when they think about how overwhelming it is to clean over long periods of time. Guests coming over will motivate them to do it quickly, and that chunk of time is their lifesaver.
Writers break their work up into small increments as well very commonly. For me, I will set a 25-minute timer and write 250 to 500 words depending on the topic in that period of time. A task that looks so overwhelming and as it would take me all day can get done in two or three hours (depending on my word count) if I use this method. Different people call it different things. Some call it time blocking, others call it the Promenade Effect.
The amount of time you set is really up to you because different tasks require different lengths of time. But when you start implementing breaking up hard tasks into small chunks, you will see how effective it is to set a small amount of time for a task that you dread and swore would take a long amount of time. You can get so much done in a small period of time when you’re motivated by time!
Many entrepreneurs, influencers, work from home professionals, freelancers and contracted workers, as well as high-level executives, break their work up into days. They schedule a full day for let’s say writing, another for podcasting, another for editing, and another for checking emails and creating schedules and routines. This allows them to do whatever job it is well instead of trying to cram everything into each day. This helps to keep up consistency and it brings a lot of motivation.
Another example would be to create a cleaning schedule. Bathrooms on Monday, laundry on Tuesday, so on and so forth. No matter what work you are trying to get done, you can accomplish it if you set sustainable goals.
8. Know Your Limits
Knowing what your limits are will keep you from burning out or getting to a point of exhaustion. Set schedules and time limits for the taxing task. A lot of the reason for procrastination is because we have gone overboard in the past and are scared that we will get to that point again in the future. Don’t overwork yourself or overwork a task, just know your limits and make sure that you set them well.
9. Don’t Multitask- It’s a Trap
Multitasking is a killer. Isn’t it crazy that we did not always know the effects it had on our work and life? Decades ago, multitasking was all the rage. Every expert and amateur in the business would suggest multitasking. It used to be taught that with multitasking, we get more done in less time. People used to believe that it would make you extremely productive. But as time has gone on and we have gotten smarter as a culture, we have learned that multitasking is actually not as great as we think it is.
It can actually be a great step back in getting stuff done, especially when you struggle with procrastination. Multitasking adds on a lot of pressure to do a lot of things but not to do any single one well. Instead of multitasking like you may have been taught, focus on one task at a time so that you are not overwhelmed. Once you are done, move onto the next. Single-tasking is a system that will make you productive. Doing it all at once can lead to a lot of mistakes as well as having a hard time starting, because of how overwhelming doing too many things at once is.
10. Use Routines as Triggers
When we hear the word trigger, we often don’t think of anything very good. I know for me, a trigger has a lot to do with mental health and past trauma when I hear it because I have spent a lot of time in the psychology world. But triggers can also be really good things depending on what they are.
For instance, I read 30 minutes before bed every single night. Even if I’m not tired at all, reading triggers me to get drowsy and it tells my body that it’s bedtime. It allows the melatonin to flow, keeps me away from being on my phone, it reminds me that I’m about to fall asleep in a few minutes. This has been very helpful to someone who has struggled to sleep all her life until she implemented this.
Another way to trigger yourself is to work in the same place every single day. Whether that’s an office, the kitchen table, one specific coffee shop, or wherever else you decide to work, working in the same place every day makes it so that when you sit down in your chair in that location, you are mentally and physically ready to get started. A common trigger that you may know well is coffee.
For many people, when they wake up, they immediately drink coffee to start the day. Coffee wakes them up and gets them motivated. It’s a task-driven trigger, even if we don’t realize it, for many of us. Set up some triggers. Maybe you can think of a few, but you call them routines or habits. Whatever you decide to label it, setting up things in your day that remind you of the next thing you need to do is a great way to get your body into a rhythm.
11. Check It Off
Keeping schedules, to-do lists, and task lists are huge motivators for many people. Some people are not motivated at all by these and will easily skip over them. But those who are, usually Type A people, are greatly helped by keeping tasks in list form in order to check them off. You can use so many different tools in this day and age. Not only to set a list, but also to track your progress.
For me, keeping a calendar on my phone that has a list of things I need to do on that day that I can swipe to check off is useful. So is a good old to-do list that is handwritten. I even use a list to check progress for things like reading. I set a reading goal at the beginning of every year, and I have a system to log each book I read, keeping track of every single book and making sure that I hit the goal.
It feels so good when you’re able to check something off of the list every single time you finish it. It gives a great sense of satisfaction, even for small or mundane tasks. The reason for this is because a visual cue allows the human brain to feel as if it is being highly productive. Productivity that you can see is a great motivator!
12. Find and Take Advantage of Peak Hours
A great method that helps me to be productive is to remind myself of my peak hours. For me, working on the hardest and most mentally taxing tasks before noon is always best. Once I hit about 1 pm, I get into a slump of sorts and just want to do the easier stuff. After 3 PM, my motivation is almost completely gone. Because I know that I do my best work before lunchtime, I get right to it the second that I get into my office space.
As a writer, the hardest thing that I do is writing and editing. There are millions of other small tasks that go into it. Sending emails and responding to them, learning how to operate blogs and websites, using social media and creating social content, all of these things are involved. But it is much easier for me to send an email than it is to write and edit. So I start with writing and editing and I try to get that chunk of work done in the hours before noon.
I also know that if I start earlier than 8 AM I will be drowsy and unproductive. That gives me five hours (8-1) to do the hard stuff and then the rest of my workday is spent doing the other tasks. After lunch, I take care of the details and the stuff that keeps my business running.
But not everyone is like me. I have friends and loved ones whose peak hours are late at night and I say more power to them! My husband is a songwriter and he does his best work late at night and no time before 5 or 6 pm. One friend of mine works from home, but she does not keep a normal schedule. She saves her entire day for hiking and other outdoor activities and works from 11pm-3am! We are all on different biological clocks and is important that we know exactly how ours works!
When are your peak hours? What schedule is your biological clock on? When are you most productive in the day and when are you least productive? Once you figure this out, you will be well on your way to daily success!
13. Get Good Accountability
Accountability is important for every area of life. No matter if it is in your work, parenting, marriage, or keeping up with your exercise goals. Having a friend or a mentor to report back to is one of the best ways to make sure that you stay on track. Whatever area you want to be more productive in, you can do this well if you have good accountability.
Find someone who you trust and who knows you well. Someone who knows your flaws and the areas where your week in getting it done. Then ask them to check in with you and make sure you’ve done it. This will help to push you to make whatever task you are pushing off till a later date one that you want to get done on time.
Accountability can be something as simple as you reporting to another person, but I can also be checking in with an app or with a record-keeping system. There are ways to be held you accountable without involving another human. But it is usually best to get accountability from another person who understands your areas of procrastination and your Achilles heel in doing the hard tasks.
14. Learn to Take Breaks
Sometimes all you need is to learn how to take a rejuvenating break. Learn a thing or multiple things that get you back into a good headspace to continue. For me, making sure that I take a lunch break, drink tons of water, and eat snacks throughout the workday helps me to stay focused. If I get hungry or thirsty, I tend to get unmotivated, which leads to procrastination and low productivity.
I make sure that my lunch break is at least half an hour to an hour. When you work from home or even in an office, it can be very easy to skip a lunch break in the name of being productive. But taking this time is not in vain. You can use it to rejuvenate you. Some people go for a short walk, listen to a podcast, call a friend, or do something else that really gets them motivated to complete the workday.
Taking breaks is not just something you should do in a work setting. It is also something that can help you when you were cleaning or cooking or helping your kids with homework. Learning when to take a break means that you do not get yourself to a point where you cannot focus and in turn procrastinate.
Learning how to break and rest is a skill that can be hard for some. Especially if you are a workaholic or really invested in whatever you do, it can be hard to learn to take days off or vacation or take a lunch break. But it is the best way to break the procrastination issue, because you will not have an excuse to procrastinate. Learn to take regular breaks.
Final Thoughts on Procrastination Quotes
You can read through the procrastination quotes all day long and learn every single one of the tips that the best in the business give. But if you are not following through, you will stay in a stuck space of procrastinating your life away. Don’t fall into this trap!
Once you get the hard stuff done, you’ll feel so much better and be able to move on with your day and your life. Get into a habit of breaking your procrastination habits and working towards your goals every single day. We hope this article helps you to learn something new, and more importantly, we hope you begin implementing all that you learned into your life.
“The worst form of procrastination is reading a procrastination quote, feeling the guilt and not doing anything about it.” ~Anonymous
Go forth and be productive.