Procrastination is one of those things we all struggle with, no matter our age or our backgrounds.  Sadly procrastination is also the one aspect that shorten our lives effectively.  By not doing what you want or need to, you are in actual fact starting to waste time, a.k.a your life considering the bigger picture. Stop your procrastination today with these 3 self – discipline techniques.

You should not focus on the end of the project, but rather the start of a project.

1. Find a small task for everyday, and schedule a time slot for it.

The idea is that you only do this task at the relevant time slot – not before or after.

  • Schedule a particular task in the morning and once in the evening.
  • The task should be quick, no more than 15min.
  • Wait for the exact scheduled time and start your task.
  • Stick to the schedule for at least 2 months.


Scheduling helps you focus on your priorities.  By focusing on starting tasks rather than completing a task, you can avoid procrastination.

  • Schedule a task and hold to its time;
  • Avoid acting on impulse.
  • Track your progress;
  • At the end of the allotted time, keep a record of accomplishment that builds over time.


Building a record will help you track how much time tasks take.

2. Harness the power of routine.

  • Improving your procrastination and self discipline all require some form of Routine, as such embrace the routine.
  • Hold firm, and don’t dwindle of the written path of allocated time slots for every aspect of your live

Apply this process of having dedicated time slot in the week for every task and project will help you stay up to date, prepared and on time with not only your personal life but with your varsity academics as well.


You are working on tasks in small increments, not all at once. You first develop a habit, then the habit does the job for you.

3. Self Discipline will improve your Time Management

One of the most important lesson I learn in varsity is that of Time Management.  Without the skill to manage your time effectively and efficiently you will never have enough time to keep up with what is expected from you.

Begin with task-oriented self-discipline and build from there.


As you control tasks, you build self-discipline.

As you build self-discipline, you build time management.

As you build time management, you build self-confidence.

Get yourself a Self Discipline Log Book.

  • Record how long every task takes you
  • Review your logbook at the end of the week as well as end of the month.  You should gain a very fast understanding of how long certain task takes you compared to others.


By understanding where and on what you spend your time, you will be able to make better educated calculations of how much time you may have for actually going out this Friday night and not just trying to study, a.k.a procrastinating and actually doing nothing.

Schedule your work, play and studies.

  • Start your day/week by creating a To-Do list of everything you want to accomplish for the day.
  • Prioritize this list.
  • Start at no. 1 and work your way down, remember to be reasonable with yourself.  Don’t try and do a year’s work in a month.
  • Try and make a habit of this, making list and working your way down.


When you have a clear idea as to what you want to achieve for the day at its start, the chances are very high that you will be able to proactively accomplish the tasks. Writing or sketching out the day helps.

Do not fear, we all struggle with this

Do not be intimidated by challenges.

If you have a difficult or unwanted task in front of you, start by considering what is needed to add this task to the completed section of your list.

  • Write down the tasks
  • Break them up into 30 – 60 min periods
  • Get down to it, put on the ear phones, get into the zone and dig in, until it’s done.

 Stopping procrastination requires nothing more than absolute focus, from one task to the next.

Tricks to leaving procrastination behind:

1. Link your current habits with new habits

  • Your morning coffee can be linked with compiling your to do list for the day
  • Watering your plants can be a thinking period about your project planning

2. Mark and keep track of your progress

Being able to visually see how many days you have succeeded in keeping to your new self driven schedule will encourage you to want to do more and succeed even better.


Visualisation is a proven motivational tool.

3. Leave the distractions off and away

  • Turn off the TV
  • Turn Off the Xbox
  • Close Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest

 Focus only on the task at hand, ask your friends and family to give you this – no distractions

4. Reward yourself

This is super important, don’t just have the list and nothing else.  Chances are you will chuck the list before the 2 months are over.  Instead find little rewards for every task.  Once this has become routine you can start minimizing the rewards if you like.  However I still have little rewards for myself, like after washing the dishes I can go have a coffee and a quick page or two read from my current novel.

“Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” Benjamin Franklin

– Rather ask why don’t I want to do it now, and tackle that problem head on.

Written by Lizl Brink, Lizl is copywriter and designer based in Johannesburg, she is also a frequent contributor to the Mafadi blog, and as an Urban investor and rejuvenation shares a passion for urban regeneration, go check out her personal portfolio here
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