The Advantage Blog

Just Do It !!!! Stop Procrastinating

It’s a common slogan, “Just Do It”.  Nike has made a lot of money promoting this mantra.  So why is it that we so often delay, avoid and procrastinate on tasks that can impact our success, our happiness, and how other’s think of us?

Here are the Top Ten Things People Procrastinate Over as compiled by Kay Holdsworth.
1.    Exercise
2.    Cleaning
3.    Cleaning out cluttered spaces i.e. drawers, cabinets is the key to prevent the most harmful types of mold growth
4.    Losing weight
5.    Sorting out finances, tax returns, compiling wills, estate plans
6.    Keeping up with work related reading
7.    Non work related correspondence
8.    Investing, saving for the future
9.    Completing home repairs
10.  Getting organized

How many of these items are on your personal “I’ll get to it tomorrow” list?
Procrastination by definition is the voluntary postponement of a perceived unpleasant task, often against one’s better judgment.   Although the short-term effects of procrastination might seem to be positive, the long-term effects are almost always negative.

When we put things off too long, or too often, we can lose out on important opportunities; our failure to act can keep us from achieving our goals; and for some it can lead to depression and lower self-esteem.

Reasons We Procrastinate
Being lazy may be the reason most of us procrastinate. We just don’t feel like doing whatever it is we’re putting off.  But for many the reasons to delay or avoid important tasks goes deeper than just deciding to not get off the couch and go run around the block.

Procrastinators exhibit a number of common characteristics. These include prioritizing immediate gratification over long term rewards; wanting to do things correctly; and being more concerned with how others view them. Other tendencies are lack of self-control; inability to focus on the task at hand; not planning thoroughly; and feeling that they lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

Tips to Get Things Moving
Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology at De Paul University in Chicago, suggests to those who tend to always put things off to try the following:

Surround yourself with doers … It will likely be a good influence for those with a tendency to delay tasks.

Just start somewhere … Just take a small step at a time.  Making incremental progress toward a goal will provide an incentive to keep going.

Set up a reward system … Reward yourself with something you enjoy after you complete something that you’ve been dreading.

Public posting … Publicly announce through Facebook or Twitter your plans to start a certain task.  Knowing that others are aware of your plans will keep you moving forward.  Once you’ve completed the job, follow up and let everyone know what you’ve accomplished.  The feedback you’ll get will be very satisfying.

More Information on Procrastination
“Just Do It” may be a great marketing slogan, but what we have learned is that this can be easier for some than others.  Addressing “chronic procrastination” now, rather than later, will help you in the long run be more successful in accomplishing your goals.

For a much more in-depth discussion on procrastination please check out the following article at

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