What Are You Waiting For? 5 Tips for Procrastinators

By on April 1, 2012

By Elizabeth Hagen –

When I ask for a show of hands at my workshops for who feels they are a procrastinator – usually around 90% raise their hands. Is this you? Or will you wait and answer me tomorrow?!

At my last workshop an attendee showed me the article “Put Off Reading this Until Tax Time: Americans Procrastinate” by Seth Borenstein. What is so funny is that the study was supposed to take five years but took ten! The author states that procrastination is making people poorer, fatter, and unhappier. Goodness!

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Since I am a recovering procrastinator I have some tips for you and my best advice for you is to start using these tips the next time you’re tempted to put something off until tomorrow!

1. Visualize what it will look like and feel like when it’s done

When I’m procrastinating on the research part of a presentation I will visualize myself in front of the group giving the presentation. When I have that picture in my mind it helps me to keep working on the ‘not so fun’ part.

2. Break the task down into steps

You may be procrastinating because the task seems so overwhelming. Take a stack of 3×5 cards and put each step of the task on a card. Then lay the cards in front of you and ask yourself “What do I need to do first?” Take that card and lay it upside down. Then ask “What do I need to do second?” Take that card and lay it upside down on the first, and so on. When you’re done the large overwhelming task has now been broken down into steps and seems much more manageable.

3. Make an appointment with yourself

Put the task that you are procrastinating on in your calendar as an appointment. Keep the appointment!

4. Take action

Do the first step, then the second. Once you get started you’ll get momentum and you’ll get the task done much sooner than you thought. Then you’ll wonder “Why didn’t I do this 2 weeks ago when it was due?”

5. Give yourself a reward

When you’ve accomplished the task that you’ve been putting off give yourself a reward. And, sometimes the reward is just getting that messy task off your desk! But, it’s also a massage and a movie!


Elizabeth Hagen, CPO is an organizing consultant, author, and national speaker. Elizabeth’s passion is helping audiences get their life and space organized and then sees them smile with satisfaction! Elizabeth has spent the last 27 years developing systems and tools so that her clients save time, energy, and money and have a lot less stress. Elizabeth teaches ‘Fearless Organizing’ and is the creator of theSpeak Now and Forever Get New Clients Home Study Program and the author of Organize with Confidence includes all the forms you need to stop feeling overwhelmed and “Confidence: Now is Your Time. You can experience the joy of working in an environment that enables you to be fearless, successful, and extraordinary! For more information: www.ElizabethHagen.com.

About Elizabeth Hagen

Nationally recognized business coach, professional speaker, organization expert, and author Elizabeth Hagen started her business in 2000, after nineteen years as a stay-at-home mother to five incredible children. Her mission is to encourage, nurture, and support an environment of excellence for those whose lives she touches. She’s encouraged thousands to have more courage, more focus, more momentum, and be more productive at work and at home. Elizabeth married her best friend in 1979, and they live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Websites – www.TheConfidenceBook.com and www.ElizabethHagen.com.

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What Are You Waiting For? 5 Tips for Procrastinators