Why We Put Off What Matters Most and How to Stop

Procrastination - Why We Put Off What Matters Most and How to Stop.

Why We Put Off What Matters Most and How to Stop

When I ask clients what their biggest barrier to achieving goals is, the same frustration bubbles up time and again: 

“I just can't seem to get started on anything important!”

“I procrastinate on everything until the last minute!”

“I spend more time avoiding work than actually working.”

Sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Procrastination plagues almost everyone at some point, sabotaging success despite best intentions. 

The Reality We Rarely Admit

Let’s get brutally honest for a minute...

Deep down, we procrastinate to avoid discomfort. We put off taking action because gearing up feels hard. Or we resent the work involved. Or we crave the temporary thrill of distraction over doing the difficult thing that ultimately improves our future. 

When we procrastinate, we prioritize short-term mood repair over long-term fulfillment. We choose what’s easier, more fun, and less painful RIGHT NOW versus what moves us toward a greater vision for our lives.

Of course, no one wakes up intending to waste hours avoiding priorities only to feel disappointed come nightfall. But too often, that’s exactly how days unfold.

Why do we repeatedly rob ourselves of the meaning, productivity, and sense of progress we crave?

The Causes Behind Procrastination 

Procrastination springs from various sneaky sources, including:

Perfectionism - Paralyzed to start anything lest it not measure up by unrealistic standards. 

⬇️ Overwhelm - Tasks feel too big, and we don't know where to start.

⬇️ Low Motivation - No incentive to do unpleasant or tedious tasks. 

⬇️ Fear - Anxiety something won't turn out well, or we’ll come up short.

⬇️ Decision Fatigue - Too mentally worn out from other choices to decide what to tackle next. 

⬇️ Distraction - The ease of avoidance in an endlessly interesting digital world.

The reasons we avoid doing what we aim to do run the gamut. But the solution always ties back to self-awareness and small, courageous steps forward despite discomfort.

Science-Backed Strategies to Overcome Procrastination

Though procrastination often feels like an immovable obstacle, consistently applying research-backed strategies can transform your tendency to put things off.

Let’s explore techniques that work based on psychological insights into why we drag our feet:

Pomodoro Technique 

🍅 Work in 25-minute sprints punctuated by 5-minute breaks. Creates focus urgency while allowing recovery.

Eat The Frog

🐸 Tackle your hardest, most disliked task first when energy is highest. Reduces dread and provides an early win. 

5 Minute Rule  

⏱️ Tell yourself you'll work for just 5 minutes, often enough to build momentum. Lowers resistance to start.


🔬Break big goals into tiny, non-intimidating steps. Easy to begin while building incremental progress.

Strategically change your environment to limit distractions while also adding motivation cues. 

Accountability Partner

🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Share goals openly with someone who will nurture commitment. External support breeds consistency.

As you experiment with these techniques, lean into the one resonating most right now. Then, gradually layer on additional strategies to build an anti-procrastination toolkit refined to your unique needs.

While no solution is one-size-fits-all, rest assured each small step forward loosens procrastination’s grip so your boldest intentions can take flight. 

But You Must Lean In

Committing to procrastinate less requires brutal honesty about why you delay in the first place. Get curious about what exact thoughts and feelings arise right beforehand. Only then can you compassionately counteract those patterns.

Also, know that behaviour change is never linear. When frustration spikes, you’ll likely fall back on old habits before new routines solidify. Show yourself grace during those times, yet keep reiterating your commitment to progress, not perfection. 

Expect this to be iterative work in motion for months. But with consistent effort, your future self will look in awe at how much you freed up by releasing procrastination’s chokehold.

So, what’s one small step you can take today? How will you begin transforming that resistance to get going? You hold the pen to script the next chapter of your most meaningful work. Shall we get started?

Unlock Your Potential