20 Questions for Overcoming Procrastination

October 11, 2021

One area I’ve studied a lot is the area of personal productivity. If left unchecked I procrastinate like crazy. I focus on what I’m interested in and all those other pesky things that I “need” to get done just don’t get done, or at least until the last minute.

When I’d procrastinate, I’d feel bad and think that it was because I just didn’t have the willpower to push through the resistance.

However, when I’d reflect on why I was procrastinating, there was usually a specific reason. Here are a few of the reasons I usually procrastinate and how I work through these issues.

I lack clarity:

  • What am I specifically trying to accomplish?
  • Why am I working on this project?
  • Is it important and valuable?
  • Do I have all the tools & resources needed to complete this project?
  • Do I have written notes that detail everything I need to know about this project?
  • What is the next step? Can I break it down into smaller steps?
  • Do I have any unanswered questions?

I lack focus:

  • Am I worried about anything? Either related or unrelated to the project.
  • Is there anything in my environment that is distracting me?
  • How am I feeling? Tired? Anxious? Overwhelmed? Hungry?
  • Can I play music to help me focus? (The Prodigy helps me focus while coding.)
  • Do I need to move my body?

I lack motivation:

  • What happens if I don’t complete this project?
  • Who is counting on me to complete this project?
  • Can I delegate this project to someone else?
  • Can I work on this for just 30 minutes then do something fun?
  • Is there anything interesting I can learn by completing this project?
  • Is there a better time to be working on this?
  • Can I do a quick and dirty version of the project?
  • Is there anyone that can help me?

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Written by Andrew Shell, a web developer from Madison, WI.