5 Procrastination Strategies to Become More Productive

Tina Sieber 23-11-2010

Procrastination can be devilish. You’re supposed to work and get things done, but lots of other things seem so much more interesting. Relax! It’s perfectly normal to get distracted or levitate towards more enjoyable ways of spending your time. I mean, how many people really love their job? Always?


The truth is, sooner or later the work has to get done and it better be you who gets it done. In the meantime, when you just can’t find the energy, motivation, or inspiration to complete an annoying task, at least spend the time productively. This article will show you procrastination strategies and resources to practice the art of productive procrastination.

The Idea

Productive procrastination, also known as structured procrastination, may sound like an oxymoron, but if done right it really just is a way of shifting around times and tasks. Let’s face it, we all have mental highs and lows. The high times are for tackling tough or important tasks and doing great work. The low times are for the chores, the boring stuff, the easy tasks. The idea is to do at least something, when you don’t feel like doing anything. This way you productively get through a mental ‘low tide’ and build up energy to successfully master big tasks.

The Strategies

1. Keep A Productive Procrastination To Do List

That list should hold all the boring, easy, and mindless chores that you can do anytime. It should contain nothing that has a deadline. Stuff like cleaning out your inbox, organizing your desk, and specific ideas you have for these tasks, e.g. setting up mail filters or getting a new filing system going. Believe me, no matter how dull these tasks may sound now, once you have a challenging project and don’t feel up to it, they will seem very attractive. Keep the list handy.

Here are some resources for Online or Desktop To Do Lists:

procrastination strategies


2. Keep A Read It Later List

So much to read and so little time. I bet there are lots of articles and manuals you should be reading for your job, but you never have the time. Well, until you’re overwhelmed with work you’re totally not fit to complete it. Some people start to mindlessly browse the internet. You can be smarter. Keep a list of articles bookmarked that are important for your work and then review and organize them when you feel like procrastinating.

3. Socialize & Network

Socializing or the professional equivalent – networking – is a cornerstone of our society. You have to know people to move forward. The friendly chats with the guy working next door not only lift your mood (hopefully), but could also save your rear end one day. You are much more likely to receive help and support from someone you know and sooner or later you will need it.

This is what you can do:

  • always be friendly to everyone.
  • chat over coffee or ask a colleague to join you for lunch.
  • offer help when you see it might be needed.

overcoming procrastination


Apart from bonding at your office, you should maintain profiles on professional network sites like LinkedIn or Xing. Connect with your colleagues, customers, people in your field, and exchange references.

4. Maintain A Professional Online Profile

Just like networking, maintaining a professional online profile can be worth gold. Your office is probably all cleaned up and makes a great professional impression. If not that task should be in your PP To Do list! Now how about your online representation? Is it clean and neat? You better go check.

These articles will show you what to take care of:

5. Eat, Move & Sleep

If you’re so down that you can’t get anything done, it may be better to take the rest of the day off. You don’t want your boss to find you sleeping on your desk or hanging out in the cafeteria all day. Get a healthy lunch, get some fresh air, move, and get a good night’s sleep. There is still the next day to catch up. Just don’t do it two days in a row.


Consider these articles for a healthy lifestyle:

procrastination strategies

If productive procrastination just isn’t your style, check out the following articles:

You see, there are lots of resources to pass the time. What is your favorite strategy and how do you get all the work done?


Image credits: Chandrashan Perera, Sean De Burca, Tom Wang, Rene Jansa,

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  1. Sh
    November 26, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Thank you for this.

  2. Ken
    November 24, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    I read this article even though I have an important homework due in two hours.

  3. Tilman
    November 23, 2010 at 9:09 pm

    Nice collection of useful articles! Thanks!

  4. ari
    November 23, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    i am reading this article in my office working hours ;)

  5. mocca
    November 23, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    one more thing: check the latest posts on MUO!

    • Aibek
      November 28, 2010 at 10:08 am

      nice one!