Published on August 19, 2020

How Procrastination Makes Time Management Ineffective

How Procrastination Makes Time Management Ineffective

Everybody procrastinates. Students, parents, employees, employers, and every other human can’t help but procrastinate. No matter what you do, it’s close to impossible to get rid of procrastination if you’re not good at time management.

Time management and procrastination are very closely related as one affects the other. Procrastination, in particular, puts all your time management efforts to waste. If you can understand the how and why aspects of this concept, you can fight against procrastination and begin to use your time efficiently.

Effects of Procrastination

Procrastination is what happens when time management strategies are not utilized well. If you’ve been trying to make the most out of your time, you need to get rid of procrastination. Here are 3 ways that delaying tasks without a reason messes up your entire schedule.

Wasting Time

This one’s a given. It’s easily understandable that if you keep putting off a task that you’re supposed to get done, you will be wasting a lot of time.

You probably have a schedule for the day. Let’s assume you work for 8 hours every day. Your schedule will include tasks that will require 8 hours of your time. However, somewhere in the middle of the day, you just didn’t want to do one particular task. You kept delaying it.

You end up wasting hours of your time that was meant to be utilized somewhere else. Unfortunately, there’s no way to bring back the time that has gone by. All you can do at the end of the day is to push all the pending tasks to the few remaining hours of the day, which inevitably creates a great deal of pressure and stress.

Stress Leads to Bad Performance

As stated in the previous point, procrastination leads to wasting a great deal of time. When you’re left with all the work and just a few hours to finish it all off, of course you’ll feel pressured and stressed.


The issue here is that even if you get into a boost mode and somehow manage 8 hours worth of work in four hours, you won’t be able to perform well. What does that do? It ruins your reputation at work because what you produce is not your best effort.

Bad performance can lead to further stress. Sometimes, your employer may even ask you to re-do the whole task all over again because it wasn’t satisfactory the first time around. This will add more to your existing to-do list. You’ll have to handle more in the same amount of time.

You’ll end up in a cycle of stress and bad time management just because you were careless a few times.

Extends Your Working Hours

The responsibilities that you delayed are sometimes manageable in a short time-frame, even after procrastination, but more often than not, it’s impossible to cover them within the same working hours.

Let’s take the previous example once again. You procrastinated for four hours. Now you half the time to finish off what you were supposed to do in eight hours. There’s a pretty big chance you’re unable to manage it, so your employer will tell you to stay back and finish the tasks for the day. You spend four extra hours in the office. The personal responsibilities you had to tackle in those four hours have to be rescheduled. You get home late, go to sleep later than usual, have a hard time waking up on time, and end up getting to work late.

Basically, it’s a cycle. Procrastinating once doesn’t have a one-time effect. It keeps getting carried on and makes your life harder. Time management is impossible if you keep procrastinating.

How to Stop Procrastinating and Manage Time Effectively

So, it’s clear by now that time management and procrastination are closely linked and that time management can help you avoid creating new difficulties with procrastination.


These two interdependent concepts require a good deal of work to be useful. Here are some tips on how you can manage time in a way that reduces the chances of procrastination.

1. Have an Effective Schedule

Everyone has a schedule that they follow. Some people have a rough idea of their responsibilities in their heads while others have it jotted down somewhere. If you want to improve your time management and stop procrastinating, you need to start making effective to-do lists.

If you’re a procrastinator, you need a very detailed schedule. Look at it this way: when you have a plan for every minute, you won’t have enough time to think about delaying anything. Every single activity will be calculated and timed.

A great thing you can do while making a detailed schedule like this is to break down your tasks. Instead of allotting one hour to a job, allot 10 minutes to different segments of it. Your mind will also find it easier to tackle small chunks in 10-minute intervals than to go ahead with a big task that will need 60 minutes.

2. Take Enough Breaks

Not allowing breaks to save time is the biggest waste of time. Working non-stop is a huge trigger for procrastination. Give your mind the sense of relief that you’ll have some time off after you finish a few tasks.

If you don’t have short breaks scheduled throughout the day, your brain will know that it has to work continuously. Unconsciously, you’ll want to squeeze some free time in between tasks. This is where you’re likely to start procrastinating.

On the other hand, if you allow yourself 5 minutes off after every 25 minutes, it will keep you motivated to work hard through the 25 minutes to get a break after that. It keeps you from procrastinating and also boosts your motivation.


3. Use the Pomodoro Technique

When you’re struggling to get a hold on time management and procrastination, it won’t be easy to manage it all alone. You should use supporting apps that will help you reach your goals more easily.

The Pomodoro Technique is all about time management and maintaining focus. It is a concept in which a person forces their attention on the task at hand for 25 minutes straight. You can then treat yourself to a 5-minute break or continue working for another 25 minutes. After 2 hours, you get a longer break[1].

Numerous applications help you implement the Pomodoro Technique. Use them to monitor and divide your time effectively.

4. Prioritize

You know that you’re likely to procrastinate at some point in the day, but you also know that you’re the most motivated after the lunch break.

Schedule your most important work at the time when you know you’re most likely to be productive. Even if you keep pushing yourself the rest of the day, at least you’ll have the relief of fulfilling the urgent responsibilities on time.

Prioritization may not solve procrastination, but it can help you manage time in a way that, even if you slack a bit, it won’t harm you.

5. Monitor Your Behavior

The best way to stop yourself from procrastinating is to keep an eye on yourself. Track your behavior. Write down where you’re spending all of your time. How much of it was spent on work, and how much did you spend distracted by the bee on your window?


If you’re using an app for time management, you can monitor your activities to some extent. For more efficiency, make a conscious effort to remember where you’ve spent every single minute of the day.

The next step is to eradicate the causes of procrastination and minimize the distractions. If the bee on the window keeps you occupied for a good five minutes, shift your office space. Put your chair in a different spot so that you cannot look out the window. Turn off your phone so you don’t waste time scrolling on social media.

As for the material distractions, you can easily find a way to get rid of them. For mental distractions, you may want to add in a 10-minute meditation session before starting the day. It will help you practice mindfulness throughout the day.

6. Learn to Say No

Start by figuring out what makes you want to procrastinate. Usually, people procrastinate on tasks that they find boring, too hard, ambiguous, or meaningless[2].

If you doubt you’ll have fun doing a job, or you know you won’t be able to perform well, simply refuse to do it.

However, there are some cases in which you just cannot say no, when you are obliged to fulfill the responsibility regardless of whether or not you’re interested. In those cases, put the other tips to use so that you can get it done without compromising your work duties.

The Bottom Line

Clearly, procrastination is entirely dependent on the absence or presence of good time management strategies. Time management and procrastination are intertwined, but where you find one, you likely won’t find the other.

The above tips will help you find a way out of delaying your work and wasting precious time. Start practically using this advice so that you too can make the most of your life!

More Time Management Tips

Featured photo credit: Charlz Gutiérrez De Piñeres via


More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

Your Night Routine Guide to Sleeping Better & Waking Up Productive 74 Healthy Habits That Will Drastically Improve Every Aspect of Your Life 7 Tips for Overcoming Challenges in Life Like a Pro How to Get Motivated Every Day When You Wake Up How to Plan Your Life Goals and Actually Achieve Them

Trending in Smartcut

1 50 LinkedIn Influencers To Follow, No Matter Your Industry 2 How to Break Bad Habits (The Only Effective Way) 3 15 Daily Rituals of Highly Successful People 4 10 Best Mechanical Keyboards to Type Faster 5 How Procrastination Makes Time Management Ineffective

Read Next


Last Updated on November 24, 2020

50 LinkedIn Influencers To Follow, No Matter Your Industry

50 LinkedIn Influencers To Follow, No Matter Your Industry

LinkedIn is an excellent platform to network with great people to help you in your career and businesses. However, with over 575 million people on the site, who should you follow? This list will steer you to the right people to follow, organized by categories of expertise.

Job Search Experts

You will likely have several jobs throughout the course of your career, and you will constantly need advice on new trends and strategies out there in the job market. Here are the LinkedIn experts who you should follow on these matters.

1. Liz Ryan is the CEO and founder of Human Workplace. Her articles on job searching are filled with creative and colorful cartoons.

2. Lou Adler is the author of The Essential Guide for Hiring and Getting Hired.

3. Dr. Marla Gottschalk will help you make an impact in a new job.

4. Hannah Morgan runs, where she gives expert advice on job searching and how to be more visible online.

5. Alison Doyle is the CEO and Founder of

Management Experts

They say that people leave managers, not jobs. These experts in LinkedIn will help you become your employees’ dream manager.

6. Jeff Weiner. How can we leave out the CEO of LinkedIn himself?

7. Nozomi Morgan is an executive coach. She can help you transition from a boss to a true leader.

8. Mickey Mikitani is the CEO of Rakuten. He constantly shares his expertise in managing a global player in e-commerce platforms.

9. Andreas von der Heydt was the head of Amazon’s Kindle Content and now the Director of Talent Acquisition. He has extensive experience in management, branding, and marketing.


Productivity Experts

By maximizing your productivity, you can win in all aspects of life. The following LinkedIn experts will help you win big in your career.

10. Gretchen Rubin is a happiness coach and the bestselling author of the The Happiness Project.

11. Carson Tate is the founder of Working Simply. She advises us to include play in our schedules.

12. Greg Mckeown is an essentialist. Part of being an essentialist is saying no to many things so that we can focus on the things that matter.

13. Brian de Haaff, CEO of Aha! Labs Inc. provides strategies on how to be productive and happy at work at the same time.

Marketing Experts

14. Sujan Patel is VP of Marketing at When I Work, an employee scheduling software. He is an expert in content marketing and he even shares his ideas on content marketing in 2020.

15. Megan Berry is the Head of Product Development at Rebelmouse, a content marketing and AlwaysOn powerhouse.

16. Sean Gardner will help you navigate the social media landscape. This includes how to use different platforms to help accelerate your career. He is also the bestselling author of The Road to Social Media Success.

17. Christel Quek is an digital and marketing expert. She is the VP of South East Asia at Brandwatch. Their products help businesses utilize social media data to make better business decisions.

18. Jeff Bullas is a digital marketing expert. His blog has over 4 million readers annually.

19. Michael Stelzer is the CEO and Founder of social media powerhouse site, Social Media Examiner.

20. If you’re looking for inbound and content marketing expertise, follow Dharmesh Shah, Founder and CTO of Hubspot.


21. David Edelman is a McKinsey partner and is at the helm of the Digital Marketing Strategy Practice Department.

22. Dave Kerpen leads the social media software company Likeable Local. He is the author of Likeable Social Media: How to delight your customers.

23. Clara Shih is the CEO of Hearsay Social and the author of The Facebook Era.

24. Aaron Lee is Grand Master of Customer Delight at Post Planner. He is an excellent resource for everything social media.

25. David Sable is the CEO of Y&R, one of the largest advertising firms in the world.

26. Content marketing trumps traditional marketing these days, and who else better to lead you in this area than Joe Pulizzi, Founder of Content Marketing Institute.

Personal Branding Experts

Part of what we market in our personal career is our brand. When people hear your name, what kind of brand comes into their mind? What traits and qualities do they associate with you?

Here are some personal branding experts from LinkedIn to improve your own brand.

27. Dorie Clark is the author of Stand Out and Reinventing You. He can help you craft the professional image you’ve always wanted.

28. Dan Schawbel is the managing partner of Millennial Branding. If you’re a millennial, Dan is the guy to help you craft your personal brand.

Other Notable Experts to Follow

29. Lisa Gates is the expert to follow if you’re negotiating for higher salaries and promotions.

30. If you’re a Baby Boomer, Marc Miller will help you navigate the continually changing landscape of the workplace.


31. To avoid getting your resumé moved to the “No” pile, read Paul Freiberger’s excellent advice.

32. James Caan provides insightful ideas on careers in general. He is also a serial entrepreneur.

33. Jeff Haden writes on various topics, such as leadership and management. He is the owner of Blackbird Media.

34. If you’re looking for expert business advice on getting new customers and keeping them, follow Jay Baer.

35. Suzanne Lucas, aka Evil HR Lady, is a great human resources specialist.

36. If you need help in using Twitter to boost your career, Claire Diaz-Ortiz can guide you in the right direction.

37. Ryan Holmes is the CEO of Hootsuite, a social media management tool.

38. Customers are the lifeblood of a business and Colin Shaw focuses on revolutionizing this customer experience.

39. Brian Solis often reflects on the future of business and how technology can disrupt our world.

40. Nancy Lublin provides advice on more lighthearted topics, which are perfect after a long day’s work. She is the CEO behind, a portal designed for social change; and the founder & CEO of and Crisis Text Line.

41. Katya Andresen provides advice on how to manage your career. She was the CEO of Cricket Media and now responsible for the SVP Card Customer Experience at Capital One.

42. Gallup has created a system to test what your strengths are and how to use them at work. Jim Clifton is the CEO of Gallup.


43. Adam Grant is a Wharton Professor and the author of Give and Take, which provides advice on why being helpful at work can accelerate your career.

44. Hunter Walk is a partner at Homebrew Venture Capitalist Company and has specialty in product development and management.

45. If you’re running a nonprofit organization, follow Beth Kanter for expert advice on this area.

46. Emotional Intelligence is necessary to succeed in your career, and Daniel Goleman is your expert for that.

47. Rita J. King connects science, technology and business.

48. Tori Worthington Rose is a Creative Director at Mary Beth West Communications, LLC. She has extensive experience in sales and digital media.

49. If you’re looking for some advice on how to use writing and personal content marketing to boost your career, follow Ann Handley.

50. Tim Brown is the CEO at IDEO and shares his insights on Leadership and Creativity.

These are just some of the key thought leaders and movers in various industries. They will provide you with constant inspiration, as well as the willpower to pursue the career that you’ve always wanted. Their stream of expert ideas in their respective fields will help you become well-equipped in your professional pursuits.

More Articles About Successful People

Featured photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Navigator via

Read Next