Top 5 Tips to Beat Procrastination at work

I put this post off all day.

Maybe because it’s the weekend.

Maybe because it’s Memorial Day weekend.

Maybe because I just got back from an exhausting trip to Seattle.

Maybe because . . . even I procrastinate.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am procrastination’s nemesis. I am constantly beating him down.

I hate him. And refuse to let him win the war.

But that doesn’t mean he sneaks doesn’t sneak in some battles here or there.

With that, I give you some of my handy tips so you too can beat procrastination at work and win the war.

1. Start the night before

Do not leave the office without making a list of things that must get finished tomorrow. This is the list of stuff that, come heck or high water, you’re going to get done. This is the minimum that would make you feel like the day was successful. But don’t make a big list–if you do that, you’re defeating the purpose.

If you get through the list and get nothing else done, you still win. If you get done, and have a chance to chip away at some lower priority things, even better.

2. Get momentum

If you’re stuck, do anything to get momentum. Even if it’s not directly related to something you have going on at work. I like to rearrange my desk to get momentum if I’m stuck.

I clean out my drawers at and redo my workspace. There’s just something about getting a small win like this under your belt. It steamrolls your momentum onto another task.

Also, try to start each day with the stuff you really don’t want to do. As the workload gets more enjoyable, you will work more productively.

3. Multitask

I know there is some debate around multitasking, but let me sort this out for you.

Make sure you have at least two projects going at the same time. That way, if you get stalled on one project, you have another one waiting there. Sometimes, you just need to put a project aside for a day or a week. When that happens, you don’t want to just sit around. You need to jump on something else right away.

4. Compete

You want a surefire way to get something done? Challenge your coworkers.

Tell them you’ll get your project done faster and better. Put a dinner on the line for extra motivation.

5. Reward yourself

At the office, the are Lo-Carb Monsters in the vending machine.

Now, I don’t do this anymore because I’ve ousted fake sugar from my diet, but I used to reward myself with one after finishing every task that I really didn’t want to do. I would only buy a Monster from the vending machine as a treat, and it really made a difference as a motivator.

So, those are some of my tips for beating procrastination at work to remain a productivity machine.

Do you have any tips or tricks in your arsenal? What keeps you productive?


Cody is a Product Manager and Social Media Specialist at ESPN. He manages, conceptualizes and develops many of the social aspects of He also is Founder and CEO for Gunner Technology, Inc an end-to-end Web strategy company, providing solutions for businesses. Previously, Cody worked as a developer for, building many of the live scoreboards and GameCast applications. In a previous life, he covered Florida Gator sports as a beat reporter, talk show host and television producer. Cody earned an MBA, Masters Degree in Communication and Bachelors Degree in Journalism from the University of Florida. He currently lives in Los Angeles. To find out more, read his blog, follow him on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.

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