Jim Kwik Logo



It’s common to think setting the goal is the key to beat procrastination, but that can lead to frustration and demotivation. Before you set your productivity goals, you should first stop anything that’s making you procrastinate.

Procrastination is one of the biggest obstacles to getting things done and it can cause some serious damage once it becomes a constant. Whenever you give into that voice in your head telling you why now is not the right time to complete a certain task, you build your procrastination muscles. No matter what you end up doing instead, even if it’s productive in a different way, reinforces your habit of putting certain tasks off. It’s easy to listen to, and often the things you end up doing aren’t the things you need to do to reach your goals.

Here are five things to help you figure out why you’re procrastinating and how to beat it.


On the surface, analyzing why you’re procrastinating is easy: you don’t want to do the task. But why? There’s a deeper reason behind this bad habit and if you don’t uncover it, you risk ruining your productivity. The sooner find your why, the faster you can take action and become more productive.

Maybe it’s fear of failure. You might imagine only worst-case scenarios every time you start the task. Or you might not know where to start or how long it might take to reach your goal. Or maybe the idea of being less than perfect stresses you out to the point of paralysis. But even these can be surface level reasons.

There’s a fallacy among higher performers that they function better under pressure. You might put off projects until the last moment, often staying up all night to complete a project. You achieved your goal, but that doesn’t mean that you weren’t procrastinating. And finishing at the last minute can have its own downfalls that potentially hold you back.

Another type of productive procrastination is taking on too much at one time. Busy is not productive and can actually keep you from achieving your goals. When you’re overloaded, you might put tasks off because you agreed to do other, less important tasks instead. This can lead to you becoming overwhelmed and exhausted.

Finally, you might procrastinate because your goals aren’t clear. Do shiny new ideas take precedence over the one you’re currently working on? Do you reach a certain point in a project and just get bored? There are a lot of reasons that might happen, including ADD, stress, or fear. But this can also happen when you’re unclear on what you want to achieve and why.

Once you know the why, you can start working on solutions to beat procrastination once and for all.


Understanding why you’re procrastinating gives you the knowledge to implement a plan. You can deal with your fear of failure by shifting your mindset. Start by breaking each task into the smallest, simplest step and only focusing on that task. Whenever you feel fear and doubt creeping in, remind yourself why you want to achieve your goal. It might help to make a vision board with various images you associate with success in reaching your goal.

One of the biggest ways to tackle fear is welcoming failure. You’ll never know how things turn out unless you try, so change your perspective on failure. Instead of failing to achieve a task, define failure might as not doing the task. Even if you don’t complete it, take time to analyze why and what you learned. The more awareness you develop, the more tools you’ll unlock for the next project.

If the bigger picture scares you, take your time to write a detailed plan on what to do exactly to complete your project. You might make a chart so you can track your wins and progress. Crossing items off a list can be very motivating and an easy way to build momentum, which are both effective in eliminating procrastination. It takes the project out of feeling too big to wrap your arms around and makes it feel manageable.

Understand your goal with crystal clarity and anytime you want to do a task, ask yourself how that task affects your goals. If it interferes, distracts, or even sets your back, put it at the bottom of your priority pile. Practice saying no and be protective of your time. To beat procrastination, you have to always have a clear vision of your goal and stay focused on it, no matter what.


As you work through this process, you’re going to have reactions. If you say no to extra tasks, you might experience fear. If you get specific about every tiny step to reach your goal, you might feel stressed. Awareness is always key when trying to break a habit and replace it with a new behavior. Noticing how you feel is a big part of this.

You might not notice these emotions or reactions until you’re already procrastinating. That’s okay and part of the process. Take the time to evaluate how you felt before you picked up your phone. You might find that you’re pushing yourself too hard, and need to take more breaks. Or that you’re taking on more that you have time for without risking burnout.

Anytime you focus on the unknown, your brain redirects you to a safe task. The more stress or fear that’s triggered, the harder it is to stay on track. Make sure you allow time to meditate and regroup, where you can sit with your emotions and sort them out. You might want to keep a journal to help you analyze these emotions and keep track of your progress. Make sure to note how you felt throughout the day, capturing before and after both activities and procrastination events.

The more you are aware of your reactions, the better you’ll get at recognizing when procrastination is trying to take over. That’s a big step in the right direction as it helps you come back to the present moment and say ‘no’ to it.


You want to make everything as easy as possible. This involves planning, but also preparation. You have your plan, now you put the pieces in place to get it done.

Some of this can include building your calendar with all of your tasks scheduled in time-allotments. Set alarms so you know when to start and set a specific time to stop. If you need notecards, pens, highlighters, exercise equipment, cleaning supplies—whatever items you need for that task, make sure you have them ready to go when your alarm goes off.

You might need to set deadlines to help engage your brain in work mode, but make sure that they account for time to check your work. Having deadlines for each individual task can create a sense of urgency that motivates you to start. And these multiple deadlines can help you feel momentum in achieving a series of tasks rather than one big deadline for one big project.

Stay organized. Whether that’s your task chart, a series of to-do lists, a project management tool, notecards and post-it notes, or a planner. You want to know exactly what each day brings before you get started in the morning, and what tasks you need to prepare for the night before.

When you free your mind from trying to assess what needs to be done and how, you don’t give yourself time to succumb to stress and worry. It helps you focus on the single task in front of you rather than trying to figure out what to do next. The more prepared you are, the easier each step becomes. You’ll beat procrastination and find yourself accomplishing more in less time.


Motivation and momentum are tied to your reward system. When you finish a task, you feel a sense of accomplishment, and this releases feel good hormones in your brain. The more you do this, the more your brain seeks that behavior out, and you end up feeling motivated to do even more.

But procrastination is also tied to this system, which is why you do other things and getting distracted. Scrolling social media is more rewarding than working on a spreadsheet. To beat procrastination you have to tie each task with a specific reward.

You want to make sure the reward is strong enough to overcome your procrastination rewards, but not bigger than the task itself. That means small but effective rewards for small tasks, big but effective rewards for bigger tasks. Things like taking a five-minute break or getting to eat that snack you’ve really wanted. You might read a book for ten minutes or call your friend for a brief chat. Sometimes crossing off a to-do list or filling in a chart can feel rewarding and satisfying, but you want to mix actual rewards in, too.

Take the time to really consider what you find rewarding. Perhaps buying those super cute socks after you finish a majority of your daily tasks is a good reward. Or going to see the newest movie after work. Different things motivate everyone, so don’t be afraid of what anyone else wants or thinks. Find the right rewards for you.

If you find that you’re not actually that excited about a certain reward, change it. The things you think might motivate you might not be as important or exciting as you thought. Give yourself the opportunity to be flexible. The only important thing is that you’re looking forward to whatever that reward is, no matter how silly or how small. And be sure to add larger rewards for milestones and larger achievements.

Motivation is key to being more productive. Procrastinating is tempting, but with the right rewards in place, you’ll be far more motivated to achieve your tasks all day, every day.


Procrastination happens. But it doesn’t have to stop you from reaching your dreams and getting the most out of your day. By understanding why you’re avoiding a task, you can find the right tools and tips to beat procrastination, unlock your productivity, and start achieving your Limitless goals—no matter what.

Watch this video for more tips on how to FINALLY beat procrastination:

The Science of Multitasking

There’s debate in the field of productivity on if the science of multitasking is good or bad. For some, it’s efficient to do more than one task at a time. It’s a way to maximize productivity. In some circles, the people who can engage in multiple tasks effortlessly are the pinnacles of productivity and the standard everyone should strive towards.

Sometimes, multitasking makes sense. If you have to commute to work, you can listen to audiobooks as you drive or record your notes so that you’re ready for a meeting. But doing more than one thing at a time can be a distraction that divides your attention, producing less accurate results.

When it comes to the science of multitasking, the answer is clear: it isn’t good for your brain. Here are three science-backed reasons multitasking doesn’t work, and what you can do instead.


A Stanford study found that people who consistently multitask may have a shorter attention span and get distracted more easily. The more media participants had to juggle, the worse their ability to pay attention and focus became.

It takes an average of twenty-three minutes to gain your focus back after an interruption, according to a study out of the University of California. That means every time you look away from your work to answer the phone, glance at a text, say hello to a colleague, accept a delivery, etc., it takes over twenty minutes to get back into the task at hand.

Even if multitaskers appear to switch seamlessly between tasks, their brain functionality still takes time to catch up between each change. That means details might slip, memory declines, and performance is detrimentally affected. They may appear to be operating at a ten, but they’re likely only performing at a five or a six.

In comparison, focusing on one task at a time means your brain can give full processing power and resources to that one thing. You’ll be able to get more done faster and then move on to the next item. Your work will improve, your productivity will improve, and you’ll be able to get more done in less time.


Every time you have to stop and start a task, it takes brain power. In fact, studies show that each change can cost you as much as ten IQ points in terms of energy and functionality. Another study found that multitasking impacted the brain’s performance similarly to taking drugs or staying up all night.

If you aren’t careful, being constantly interrupted as you work can have devastating effects on your body and brain. According to a study from the University of California, Irvine, this can lead to exhaustion and stress-induced illnesses. Your error rates increase and the time to complete each task goes up.


Memory relies on focused cognition. It needs a goal. If you’re not focused on the task at hand, you’re essentially telling your brain that what you’re doing in that moment isn’t important. And the odds that you’ll remember the details dramatically decrease. The more focused you are on a task, the more relevance your brain is going to give the task. You’ll remember more about what you were doing, particularly if you connect that task with a goal.

Even more alarming, research is just now understanding how distractions can affect your memory—even if you aren’t currently engaged in a task. You might scroll your social media on your breaks or during meals. But studies show that this can impact both your long- and short-term memory and train distractibility at the same time.

If multitasking is an ingrained habit for you, there might be ways around it. Here are some tips to help you make the most of it and get more done:


If you have a lot on your to-do list and can’t seem to gain focus on one activity at a time, group similar items together and work on them together. You can do all your research for various projects in one work session so that you can switch between subjects, but stay in a similar task. The same goes for answering emails and social media messages.

Choose items that need the same skill set, brain power, and creative energy to complete. That way, as you switch between them, the disruption is minimal and you can easily reengage those areas of your brain. This can also help you learn to minimize your to-do list, helping you train your focus. As you get better at completing these similar tasks, start getting more disciplined about how similar they are, and soon, you’ll be focusing on one task at a time.


The multitasking that’s worse for your brain and work performance is the one that involves unhealthy distractions such as social media, stressing over future events, checking email all the time for no apparent reason, etc. You might set a timer for social media, or limit how much time or the time of day you have access to certain apps. Hide your phone or use a lock app that doesn’t let you in once you set a timer.

As we mentioned in the opening, some types of multitasking aren’t bad. You can listen to audiobooks, podcasts, or lectures while driving, exercising or doing chores. The key is to wait until you’re doing something that doesn’t require the same higher cognitive function. You can walk and listen at the same time with minimal interference in your brain.

Learning how to maximize your time by reducing distractions and increasing how you achieve your productivity can be a game-changer for your output. You’ll find that you have more momentum, clarity, and concentration when you sit down to do more focused work.


One thing multitaskers do that makes the situation even worse is not taking breaks every hour. Your brain needs rest, especially if you’re engaging in taxing activities. Try not to fill that time with even more distractions, or more tasks that require brain power. The more time you can give your brain to rest and recover, the faster you can get back to work—even if that means more multitasking.

Schedule your breaks ahead of time. If you’re doing a lot of multitasking, take them frequently, even if you don’t think you need one. The last thing you want is to feel burnt out at the end of the workday, so give breaks the valuable time they deserve. Allow your mind to wander. Meditate. Practice deep breathing exercises to boost your oxygen levels. Eat a healthy snack or get some exercise.

You want to give your brain the things it needs to function at its best, so be sure you don’t fill this time with work-related activities.


These three tricks will hopefully help you when you multitask, but also help you work towards reducing the amount of multitasking you’re currently doing. Focusing on a single task at a time is the best approach, particularly for executive functionality and higher cognitive processing. You’ll soon discover that you can remember more, increase your attention-span, concentration, and focus, and get more done in less time.

If you want to learn how to focus your distracted mind, watch this episode: