Breakthrough Performance Coaching for Small Business Owners

Procrastination & Tips to Avoid It

procrastinationA Year From Now You’ll Wish You Started Sooner.

That phrase stopped me dead in my tracks.  I began looking around at my life and realizing I’d been putting things off.  Big things.

Things like adventures with my kids.  Deepening my spiritual life.  Investing in my marriage. Growing my Coaching Practice.  Very big things.

But why was I futzing around?  What was keeping me from jumping in with the gusto of a double espresso?

I came up with four main reasons we let procrastination knock us off course.  Here they are in no particular order.  There are also a few tips to overcome procrastination at the end.

Why Procrastination Wins

I had this feeling that procrastination wins because people default to it.  In other words, we make it a habit.  In my search to validate this, a found some interesting stats.

Statistics say 20% of people are habitual procrastinators.  That means one out of five people are putting things off on a regular basis.

People let procrastination win because they think they’ll have time later, it’s easier to stay in the status quo than to do the work to rise above their current circumstances, or… they are afraid to fail.

Plenty of Time

The idea that there is plenty of time to do something later is a major factor in procrastination.  The idea that we will have time to do things later isn’t a bad thought.  But how true is it?

Truth bomb… none of us know how much time we have here on Earth.  We like to think we have all the time in the world because that thought gives us something.  Thinking we can do it later gives us an out.  Yep… doing later means we don’t have to do it now.

Subconsciously, we “feel” better about the situation because we have addressed it.  In actuality, we have done nothing but think about what we want to do.

We resign to think, “I’ll just do it next week.” or next year or whenever.


People are more willing to cope with their current circumstances vs. change for the better.  We are also more likely to be motivated by avoiding a negative consequence than we are to be motivated by a reward.

Said differently, we won’t change our lives unless it’s to avoid pain.

Procrastination is born when it seems better to stay put and there is no consequence for falling behind.

How can we use this information to hit our goals?  We need the risk of pain and the promise of reward.

Fear of Failure

Procrastination happens when we put off doing work to avoid failing.

According to a survey of over a thousand people conducted by Linkagoal, people are more afraid of failing (31%) than of spiders (30%).

We are more afraid of the potential of failing than spiders.

It is perfectly normal to be afraid to fail.  However, understanding the fear and where it comes from is the key to crushing it and moving towards your goals.

Next, let’s take a look at a few ways to punch procrastination in the face.

Tips To Avoid Procrastination

  • Be aware of the source of your procrastination so you know how to address it
  • Begin with a goal that follows the SMART principle
  • Have a reward that gives you the feeling you want upon completion
  • Have a negative consequence that occurs if you get off track

What are your thoughts on procrastination?  I’d love to know.


Ryan McKinney

Ryan McKinney

Ryan is a leadership coach, sought after speaker, and transformational workshop facilitator. He works with highly successful business leaders to develop discipline, enhance leadership, and build confidence so they can enjoy the success they deserve without giving up what they want most.

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