Shirley's Articles / Personal Effectiveness

Don’t Sabotage Your Success By Procrastinating

If you’re like me, you can easily drag your heels on projects that just don’t grab your attention. But remember, ignoring the task won’t make it go away. Procrastination is one of the worst habits we can get into, and it’s one that limits our personal effectiveness. In fact, 20 per cent of people are chronic procrastinators, which allows the habit to get so bad that it affects their education, career and personal life.

Procrastination is the habit of putting off tasks until the last minute. You are procrastinating when you are filling your day with menial tasks, or avoiding that big project you have yet to start.

People procrastinate for many reasons, but mainly because they are overwhelmed, not organised or not interested. We are in an age where it’s essential to deal with procrastination effectively, because if you don’t it could cause serious setbacks in your life. Don’t be a bump in the road to your own success.

To combat procrastination, one thing that works for me is an artificial deadline. If a project is due Monday, then my artificial deadline is Friday. This usually prevents me from having to rush it at the last moment, and it makes me much less stressed.

Another strategy I use is making a to-do list, mixing projects that are easy to do with ones that need to be done. This breaks up my day and satisfies my urge to cross items off the list.

Lastly, I recommend that you try to recognise why you are procrastinating. Most likely this will help you realise that the task is real, and not so daunting after all.

Procrastination can be a great hindrance in nearly ever facet of your life. It is never too late to combat this habit, so start today by recognising that you are procrastinating, then get organised and find a method that works for you.

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Shirley is an international bestselling author. She has established herself as a leading authority in email and business writing skills. Her international bestseller Model Business Letters, Emails & Other Business Documents 7th edition sold over half a million copies worldwide and has been translated into 17 languages. Her book Email Essentials reached #2 in the USA for publishers Marshall Cavendish International. Find out more about Shirley at

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