Workplace Procrastination: Why We Procrastinate and How to Kick the Habit

Many of us are guilty of leaving certain tasks until the last minute while at work – whether that be a new assignment or a particularly challenging task. However, falling into a habit of procrastinating can be a slippery slope and extremely frustrating and disheartening for those who procrastinate regularly. 

A recent study by Lenstore found one in four Brits say they have a short attention span with one in six participants admitting they cannot go 10 minutes without checking their phone at work. With this in mind, here are some great tips on how to reduce procrastination. 

5 common reasons why we procrastinate at work and why it can be damaging 

  1. Fear of failure
  2. Fear of judgment by superiors 
  3. Feeling overwhelmed by our workload 
  4. Lack of belief that we will do a good job
  5. Trying to do things perfectly, which is not possible

6 tips on how to stop procrastinating while at work

1. Identify the ‘big goal’ 

Identify the ‘big goal’ you need or want to achieve (such as writing a report), write it down along with the deadline, and work backwards to plot some achievable and realistic milestones as a timeline. 

2. Complete small activities first

Think of the minimum action you will commit to taking, by beginning small and choosing an easily achievable task you are less likely to feel overwhelmed. 

3. Identify when you have the most energy 

Identify when in the day you feel most energetic, and complete the tasks you perceive to be most arduous tasks then. 

4. Don’t be afraid of asking for help and support

Procrastinating can often be caused by feeling overwhelmed and stuck, asking for help and support is an important step in overcoming this. 

5. Accept that you will sometimes make mistakes 

Accept that when you are doing things, sometimes you do make mistakes. It’s not a failure, it’s a learning curve.

6. Give it your all and believe that is good enough 

Complete tasks to the best of your ability and believe that your best is good enough.

9 tips on maintaining concentration at work

  1. Schedule your day first thing
  2. Schedule in email/social media “on” time and strict “off” time within the working day
  3. Use anti-distraction apps
  4. Consider using the Pomodoro Technique – 25mins work, 5mins break
  5. Use a Focus Playlist on Spotify/Apple
  6. Give yourself regular breaks.  
  7. Make sure you switch off from work and give yourself time to recharge your batteries. 
  8. Do not agree to do tasks that you have not got the time to complete – it is ok to stay you have not got capacity.
  9. Focus on one task at a time, do not try to do two things simultaneously
Sophia Anderson

Sophia Anderson is a blogger and a freelance writer. She is passionate about covering topics on money, business, careers, self-improvement, motivation and others. She believes in the driving force of positive attitude and constant development.