1. Bodily needs. If you're feeling hungry, sleepy, or thirsty, procrastination can be much harder to resist. Keep yourself locked in by staying hydrated throughout your workday and preparing food before you feel as if you starving. Getting enough sleep is even more important, since fatigue saps willpower, making it tougher to resist the urge to procrastinate. Getting regular exercise can also help, since excess energy can lead to nervousness, anxiety, and trouble staying focused.
2. Working at the wrong time or in the wrong place. Circumstances matter -- a lot. It's important to be realistic about which situations help you to perform at your best, and which only lead to wasted time. Pay attention to when you are naturally most alert and engaged, and save your most challenging work for these times. For example, you might concentrate best during the mid-morning. Similarly, learn what areas or locations help you focus, and which do not.
3. Not knowing where to start. If you feel overwhelmed or unsure of yourself, you are more likely to put off your responsibilities. A task that appears too massive and daunting can make simply taking the first step seem impossible. Those who struggle most with procrastination often feel out of their depth. One good idea is to get help from others. Another person, whether it's a superior or a trusted friend, may be able to offer the guidance and direction you need. Alternatively, you might just need to cut back on your responsibilities; a more manageable task load can make it much easier to get moving.
4. Distractions. Whether through surfing the internet or messaging with a friend, modern technology has made it easier than ever to get distracted. The simplest solution is to cut yourself off from distractions as much possible. For example, turn off the internet on your computer, and the notifications on your phone. If your work requires you to stay more connected, consider trying productivity software that will block you from browsing certain websites (e.g., Facebook) when you should be working.
5. Perfectionism. The desire to do everything right can be more of a curse than a blessing. It's a simple fact of life that most tasks will not be completed as well as they theoretically could be. To a perfectionist, this unpleasant reality can make it hard to get anything done at all. Working can seem pointless, leading to procrastination. If you have such tendencies, fight against them by reorienting your mindset. Accept that nothing will ever be quite ideal. Try to understand that the problem lies more with your unrealistic standards than with your actual abilities.
Procrastination can be a major problem as well as a bad habit. It can constrain productivity, leading to disappointment and unmet expectations. That's why taking the problem head on is so crucial. Use the aforementioned list of triggers to help identify what exactly causes your procrastination.