Career Advice

How to Stop Procrastinating at Work


If you work and live in an interesting city like Brighton, it can be easy to get distracted. There’s the beach outside the window, the busy streets below, the sun’s shining and you want to be anywhere but work.

This is just the right time for a bit of procrastination.

As a Brighton job site, you might be surprised to learn that we come across many people where procrastination is an issue. Most of us are challenged by it at some point, and it’s not always to do with the wonderful Brighton air.

What is Procrastination?

When you decide to do something else even though you should be working, such as writing that important letter or dealing with that urgent problem, this is procrastination. You put off what you should be doing right now and substitute it for something far more pleasant.

With some people it’s a minor irritant and they quickly get back on track. For others, procrastination can be a huge problem and a lifelong batter. It becomes a habit and, when it does, it damages your productivity and your reputation in the workplace.

Tips on Preventing Procrastination

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to limit the dreaded onset of fatally counterproductive procrastination. Here are our top tips:

1. Plan Your Day Better

The first thing you can to quickly take control of it is to plan your day effectively. Most of us tend to be reactive which means we start dealing with stuff that is just thrown at us.

Get into the habit of compiling a list of things to do and have it there in front of you, ticking off successes as they come along.

2. Nurture a ‘Do It Now’ Mentality

Develop the habit of doing it now rather than putting a task off. The more you practice, the better you’ll get.

I’ll just make a coffee or I’ll have five minutes doing this or that. It all gets in the way.

Inspirational speaker Mel Robbins suggests simply using a technique like saying 1,2,3,4,5 Go! to burst through that procrastination block. Once you’ve started, you’ll get over that difficult threshold and get things done.

3. Get Rid of Distractions

Remove distractions from where you are working. This isn’t always easy. In your office, that distraction might be someone who’s sitting next to you who keeps interrupting. Make sure your work area is focused on getting the job done and don’t fall into the trap of playing with your phone or checking your Twitter or email feed.

4. Set Achievable Deadlines

Give yourself deadlines by all means but make sure they are achievable. Celebrate wins for a few moments once you have finished a task and then get onto the next thing.

5. Break Big Tasks Down

Ever had to do something so big that it literally frightens you into procrastination? Most of us have.

You’ll find anything else to do but this particular job. The key here is to break the big whole down into smaller, manageable chunks. Do that and don’t look at the endpoint, and you’ll find yourself moving forward and finished quicker than you think.

6. Incentivise and Compete

Finally, one great way to get over procrastination is to incentivise yourself. Give yourself a slap on the back or a Toblerone, whatever it is that puts a spring in your step. Another option is to work with another procrastinator and make it a competition on who finishes first.

Find a Job in Brighton Today

We know that looking for that great new job can be hampered by procrastination. That’s why we’ve made searching for jobs in Brighton so easy.