8 Powerful Ways to Avoid Procrastination and Get Things Done | By Jennifer Britton

Coach at desk looking at laptop getting work done with pen and notepad. They are not procrastinating!

For business owners, "getting things done" can be a key to success—especially if you're a solopreneur and the only one working in your business. And procrastination is a challenge for many professionals.

But the chances are, there are one or two tasks on your list that you really, really don't want to do. So rather than fighting these tasks, why not learn to leverage some of the ways you're naturally wired to help you beat procrastination?

Let's take a look at some science-based strategies to get you going on your most important tasks and moving toward your goals.

1.  Reconnect with your vision

Procrastination can stem from many sources—not only from fear of failure but also from fear of success. Behavioural scientists have found that procrastination also happens due to a phenomenon called "time inconsistency," which in layperson's terms means that we value immediate rewards over future rewards. Think of the famous marshmallow experiment 1.

Reconnecting with your vision is a way to short-circuit some of the natural tendency to focus on the immediate and refocus on the larger landscape of where we're going. As a professional and/or business owner, you've probably already done some work around your vision and where you want to be—by the end of the year, in two years, or even at the end of the decade. Reconnecting with your vision can breathe new energy into getting going, getting you over the hump of procrastination.

There is even more science behind the value of vision, including the importance of keeping it visible or top of mind! And over the last several years as a Draw Your Future® Certified Facilitator, I've seen time and time again how vision pulls us forward.

Reconnecting with your vision is likely to help you connect in with your "why" as well (which is our 8th and final tip).

Questions to consider:

  • What's my vision?
  • What am I doing to keep my vision visible for moments when I get stuck?
  • What's my "why"?

2. Set a timer for 15 minutes and just get going

It can be hard to get in flow with tasks. And sometimes just getting started is half the battle. So just like in moving through writer's block, setting a timer and getting into action for 15 minutes may be the start of creating some momentum and movement around a task.

That 15 minutes of 'time urgency' and super-focus is one possible way to get through the wall of procrastination.

Questions to consider:

  • What's one thing I could start taking action on in a 15-minute block?
  • Where's my timer so I can get started?

3. Create accountability partners

When we publicly commit to completing a task, it can 'up the ante' on getting things done. Group coaching and mastermind groups are often popular for this reason.

Question to consider:

  • Who can you partner with to do the task, cheer you on or hold your feet to the fire?
  • Is there (or could I start) a group coaching or mastermind group to help me?

4. Chunk things down

Sometimes we put off tasks when they feel too big or overwhelming. Chunking things down into smaller pieces can help to make things feel more manageable. This can be done in tandem with the 15-minute action sprint.

Questions to consider:

  • What is the first step?
  • What are the building blocks or smaller chunks of this task?
  • What could I start with or get done in a 15-minute window today?

5. Tackle it first in the day (or whenever you're at your best)

Many of us have times of day when we're more productive, clearer and more focused.

It can be useful to consider tackling our most difficult tasks at the times when we're at our best. You might like to explore the topic of circadian rhythms to learn more about this.

Questions to consider:

  • What's the time of day when I'm at my best?
  • What is the one thing that I'd most like to get off my plate?

6. Clear the clutter so what's important has space

Many people assert that clearing clutter frees up new energy. Whether it's physical clutter in your office or desktop, visual clutter on your screen, or mental clutter in your mind!

Apply the 15-minute rule, tackling one area at a time.

Questions to consider:

  • What clutter could you remove to help this task or project stand out more?
  • What area could you clear in a 15-minute window?
  • What space would that provide?

7. Schedule it

As an old adage says, "What doesn't get scheduled, doesn't get done." Approaches like time-blocking are valuable for corralling tasks and putting a focus on what's important.

This can go hand in hand with Parkinson's law: "Tasks expand to fill the time you give them." Scheduling important tasks that we tend to procrastinate on provides us with a window for completion.

Questions to consider:

  • Exactly how much time will this task actually take?
  • Are you spending more time avoiding it than it would actually take to get done?
  • When can you schedule this in? Write it in right now!

8. Focus on your personal "why"

Our "why," or reason for being, is connected to what we aspire toward. Reconnecting with our future self—and WHY we do what we do—is another useful way to get unstuck and out of the grip of procrastination.

Our "why" is also connected with our motivation. It's our internal motivation that really dictates whether we will get things done or not. Take a look at my CLAIMS Model™ for Motivation.

So connect with why this task is important to you. How does completing this task motivate you? Then focus on that instead, rather than on whatever reason you have for not doing it.

Question to consider:

  • What's so important about getting this done?
  • What needs does it fulfill for you?
  • Will it close a loop? Help you move to something else? What else?


To overcome procrastination, it helps to leverage science and the way we're naturally wired. Pick one strategy to experiment with first—and get started!

Action: Which tips resonate most with you? What action will you take after reading this?

Finally, what tips do you have for getting things done when you're procrastinating? Share in the comments below!


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Jennifer Britton

Contributing Author:

Jennifer Britton, MES, CHRP, CPT, PCC, is the author of seven books and has influenced a generation of coaches in the realms of team and group coaching. You may have read her writing, including Effective Group Coaching (Wiley, 2010), the first book in the world to be published on the topic of group coaching; From One to Many: Best Practices for Team and Group Coaching; or her latest, Reconnecting Workspaces: Pathways to Thrive in the Virtual, Remote and Hybrid World (2021).

Since 2006, Jennifer's Group Coaching Essentials and Advanced Group and Team Coaching Practicum programs have become known as the must-do training in the area of group coaching. Focused on providing coaches with best practices in designing, marketing and implementing group coaching, these programs have helped thousands of coaches launch their own group and team coaching programs in a wide variety of settings (public, corporate, non-profit). Together both courses are approved for 18.75 ICF CCEUs. These are the first two of 10 course pathways leading to certificates in Group and Team Coaching.

Potentials Realized's ICF-CCE programs are geared for aspiring group and team coaches, especially those wanting to work toward the New Advanced Credential in Team Coaching (ACTC) with the ICF.

Also check out our neuroscience course for group and team coaches (NLE-A), Team Coaching Essentials  and ACTIVATE Your Team and Group Coaching Superpowers. Prefer podcasts? Listen in to the Remote Pathways podcast, which explores the many different pathways to remote work, business and leadership.

Learn more about Jennifer & see all their articles here >>

Image of Coach with laptop who is not procrastinating and getting stuff done with notepad and pen! by Vadym Pastukh via Shutterstock

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