Presented by BetterHelp.

Life often gets busy when you most need a break and then slows down as you’re finally starting to catch up. Sometimes you can’t think of anything fun to do in your free time, while other times you have too many things you’d like to do but not enough time to do them. If you’re like most people, you probably have a tendency to put off the less-appealing activities and chores for later. Instead, you prioritize the fun activities and decide you’ll get to the other stuff some other day. Eventually, though, all those things you’ve put off for so long start to pile up and you find yourself getting overwhelmed. Procrastination is a common habit and can be hard to break. However, with the right determination, you can learn how to use your time more effectively. Below are some tips for beating procrastination once and for all. You can also visit for extra advice and assistance in breaking your habit.

Practice Accountability

It’s usually a lot harder to put something off if others are depending on you. Whenever possible, commit to tasks publicly. You might tell your boss that you’ll have a report to them by the end of the business day or promise a colleague you’ll deliver a draft by the morning. If you fail to complete the task, you’re not only letting yourself down, but others. In many cases, you won’t want to appear lazy to other people, so the social pressure will be an added incentive not to procrastinate.

Break It Down

Do you have a big task ahead of you that feels overwhelming? One solution is to break it down into smaller, easier tasks. You’ll feel more accomplished checking multiple things off of a list instead of just one big thing.

Reward Yourself

You may have an easier time accomplishing something if there’s a reward tied to it. As an example, you might allow yourself to watch an episode of your favorite TV show each time you finish a paper. Or you might decide to go to a nice coffee shop to give yourself a better atmosphere to study in. Sipping on your favorite drink can be great motivation.

Switch Up Your Environment

Believe it or not, your environment could be limiting your productivity. For example, if you find yourself always falling asleep halfway through studying, consider where you’re choosing to study at. Are you sitting in bed or at a café? Your workspace should promote productivity and be somewhere you feel at peace. Of course, everyone needs a different work environment. Some people will need noise and movement around them while others will need complete silence. Try out a few different places and find what works best for you.

Work On Your Perfectionism

Are you a perfectionist at heart? If so, you may struggle more than others with procrastination. Perfectionists often come up with constant excuses as to why they can’t do something. They may argue that it’s too early in the day, that they’re too tired to focus properly, or that they want to wait until there are zero distractions. Once you eliminate your perfectionistic tendencies, you can begin to get rid of the excuses that hold you back from doing what needs to be done. If you can’t ever work on something until everything is perfect, it’s going to be very hard to get anything done at all.

Have A Goal Buddy

It’s one thing to have someone to hold you accountable, and another to have someone to work alongside you. If you don’t have one already, try finding a friend you can rely on to motivate you to get stuff done. This might look like going to study with one another, calling each other once a week to discuss goals, or something else. Involving someone else in your life can make it harder to procrastinate because they can hold you accountable.

Assess Your Goals

Sometimes struggling with procrastination serves as a great reality check. You may have outgrown your goals or dreams without even realizing it over the years. In some cases, there may be a disconnect between what you’re currently doing and what you truly want to be doing. It’s never a bad idea to take a break, such as a vacation, and reassess what you’re aiming toward. You may find that you’ve experienced personal or professional growth over time that doesn’t quite match up with where you’d like to go anymore. Recognizing those changes in yourself is the first step to moving forward into something better suited to your needs.

Just Do It

If all else fails, there’s nothing wrong with forcing yourself into action. Without taking that first step, nothing will get done, and now is as good as time as ever. Once you see that your actions produce results, it may motivate you to keep going until you are no longer forcing yourself to get to work.

If you’re struggling with procrastination, know that’s it’s a habit that can be fixed. You might have to try several different things to solve the issue, but it’ll be worth it in the end. Remember that it’s important to have hobbies so that your free time is filled with things you enjoy doing. If you neglect to have hobbies that you love, it’s likely that everyday tasks will feel even harder to complete. Hobbies like archery, yoga, or tennis can help you release pent up energy and make it easier to focus on the things you need to get done. Should all else fail, you can always reach out to a mental health professional to address any problems you’re having with procrastination. Left to fester, procrastination can begin to interfere with multiple areas of your life, so getting help when you need it is vital.