This series has hardly been the last word on overcoming procrastination but maybe it gave you a couple of insights, and more importantly some inspiration.

Procrastination can be understood as voluntarily delaying an intended course of action despite the negative consequences of that delay. It is not the same as difficulty prioritizing and being self-assertive, but these are similar dysfunctional behaviours and for some can be debilitating. (For a terrific survey article of the learned literature on procrastination see Understanding and Treating Procrastination: A Review of a Common Self-Regulatory Failure, Alexander Rozental*, Per Carlbring,,

In summary Dealing with Procrastination comes down to this:
Know yourself;
Get over yourself;
Recall how it feels to be in flow, and to be done;
Reduce the task to bite size chunks;
Get started;
Stay focused;

(Maybe there’s an acronym in there somewhere.)

Know yourself: catalogue your strengths – and your weaknesses – and choose projects and times for working on them that work for you, that capture your interest and sustain you. Try not to accept assignments not in your sweet spot or interest.

Get over yourself: don’t let your personality preferences become excuses for not taking action or for fueling your negative self-talk.

Recall how good it feels: This is the main value in positive self-talk and Cognitive Therapy. Rah Rah self-talk doesn’t really work, nor does self abuse, but the memory of the dopamine hit should motivate you to want more.

Bite size chunks: sometimes a major project is a bit overwhelming, so make it a little more ‘whelming’ by breaking it down to manageable segments, definite milestones, clear achievable steps you can actually see getting completed. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

Get started: Nothing stops us more than the start; recall the wisdom of Lao-Tze – A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. So take that first step. and then the next, and the next. Block an adequate amount of

[uninterrupted] time; scope the project; sketch out the main points/questions; do the research; load up your brain cells; let it incubate; celebrate milestones; come back.

Stay focused: but once started you’re much more likely to keep going. Still, it’s useful to prepare yourself for the run you are about to take: Block off adequate amount of uninterrupted time; avoid any distractions (phone, email, talk radio or tv, porn); revisit positive self-talk as often as necessary; get into ‘flow’; stop to drink fluids, and pee; get back to work; finish the job.

Celebrate: Now’s the time to give yourself that reward you promised yourself. Maybe even more important, talk about it with others; savour the feeling; plan on retrieving the memory for the next time you have to face down procrastination.