How to Stop Procrastinating? [VIDEO]

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Do you sometimes procrastinate on tasks that are important to you?

You are not alone!

Most people do!

Tim Urban knows that procrastination doesn’t make sense, but he’s never been able to shake his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done. In this hilarious and insightful talk, Urban takes us on a journey through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes, and bouts of staring out the window — and encourages us to think harder about what we’re really procrastinating on before we run out of time.


Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task that needs to be done. Often, procrastination takes place until the “last minute” before a deadline. Procrastination can take hold on any aspect of your life. Putting off cleaning the stove, repairing a leaky roof, seeing a doctor or dentist, submitting your job report or academic assignment or broaching a stressful issue with your partner. Procrastination leads to feelings of guilt, inadequacy, depression, and self-doubt. Procrastination can hinder productivity.

Why you should watch this video. Tim became one of the Internet’s most popular writers. With wry stick-figure illustrations and occasionally epic prose on everything from procrastination to artificial intelligence, Urban’s blog, Wait But Why, has garnered millions of unique page views, thousands of patrons and famous fans like Elon Musk.

Confessions of an ex procrastinator

Beat procrastination course Beat procrastination with the latest scientific findings in habits, self-control, willpower and temptation. Whether you procrastinate occasionally, or do it hardcore, this course helps you get better results.

Take a look at how you can stop procrastinating

How to Stop Procrastinating


Get your procrastination worksheet at

Do you procrastinate? Are you forever putting things off till tomorrow, missing deadlines and pulling all-nighters to get projects done last minute? We’ve got the solution. We’re going to help you beat that slipper monster called procrastination once and for all with our 3-step method! Let us know if these tips worked for you above.

Coping responses of procrastinators

procrastination quote

Anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment – Robert Benchley

Avoiding the task

Avoiding the location or situation where the task takes place. For example, a graduate student avoiding driving into the university or finding things you need to do in the location where you can’t do the task you have to. Instead of writing an article you go shopping for a new computer mouse.

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What should you do? Be present in the location or situation. Set yourself up for the task. Remove all obstacles from doing the task. And then take just one tiny step.

Blaming the world

Delusional attributions to external factors, such as rationalizing that the procrastination is due to external forces beyond one’s control. For example, “I’m not procrastinating, but this assignment is tough.” In other cases, there are the other things that you have to complete to start the task you are procrastinating on. Lining up the pencils, stacking the papers, cleaning the room, cleaning your neighbor’s house, etc.

What should you do? Tell yourself that everything is set up for the task. Decide what is the first thing you have to do. Write the first sentence, lay the first brick, wash the first plate. Do it.

Denial and trivialization

Pretending that procrastinatory behavior is not actually procrastinating, but rather a task which is more important than the avoided one, or that the essential task that should be done is not of immediate importance. For example, you thing that you need to clean the inbox before you can start working on that project report.

What should you do? Make a decision that the task you need to do is the most important task until it’s done. Write it down on the top of your to-do list. Write next to it “No other tasks until completed”.


Engaging or immersing in other behaviors or actions to prevent awareness of the task. For example, intensive video game playing, web browsing, or social media surfing. They are very sensitive to instant gratification and become powerless. In some cases, the distraction may be hidden in the form of lower priority work on the same task. When you have to write a report, then you may procrastinate by formatting the content instead of writing it. It seems like you are working on the task, but you really aren’t.

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What to do about it? Define specifically what you have to do to get the task done. You may write down the things you are not allowed to do until the task is done.

Descending counter-factuality

Comparing a life situation with others who have it worse. For example, “Yes, I procrastinated and got a B− in the course, but I didn’t fail like one other student did.” You are responsible for your actions. If something bad happens then the first look for the reasons within your thinking and actions. It doesn’t matter what others thing or do. It’s your life, you are responsible.

How to fix it? Always look within yourself for the reasons. What could you do differently?


Pointing in satisfaction to what you achieved in the meantime while one should have been doing something else. Look, I cleaned the whole house! I didn’t have time for anything else.

How to avoid this trap? As mentioned above, you decide to do nothing else until the task is completed. No web surfing, no social media, no cleaning, no TV, etc.

Mocking others

Using humor to validate your procrastination. You use slapstick or slipshod methods to criticize others’ striving towards the goal as funny.

What should you do? If you know someone else on a similar task that you have to complete, talk to them. Ask how they got started, what should you do first. Or simply use them as a role model.

Now stop wasting time on the web

If you have an uncompleted task that you have been procrastinating on, take a look at the fixes at the last section. Select the ones that apply to your situation and get to work. Take a word document or a piece of paper and write down all the points that will help you complete the task.

Do it right now!

Image credit: Vic

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