Stop procrastinating: 7 Hacks to motivate yourself to make progress

Ready to stop procrastinating and make some progress? Try one of these seven simple hacks to motivate yourself into action. Give them each a try over the coming days and weeks and find the ones that make the biggest difference for you. Whenever you find yourself procrastinating, come back to this list and employ one or several of these hacks. Your productivity will soar.

Tip #1: Pick Something Small 

One of the big reasons we procrastinate is because something feels overwhelming. There’s too much to do, so we choose to forget about it for a little while. It’s a coping mechanism, just not a very productive one. Instead, pick one thing, something small that you can do right now to move you in the right direction. This creates momentum and forces you to take action.

Tip #2: Set A Time And Go 

Another hack that works like a charm is to set a timer. Your phone has one built-in, as do most smart watches. Set it for fifteen or twenty minutes and chip away at a task you’ve been procrastinating on. This works just as well for decluttering your closet as it does for filling out those dreaded forms. If twenty minutes feels too long, start with ten and increase your time. Again, the goal is to start and do something.

Tip #3: Bribe Yourself 

There’s nothing wrong with bribing yourself if that’s what motivates you. Work on a home organizing project for an hour and then watch an episode of your favourite show. Or promise yourself a walk or dinner out when you finish decluttering the living room. Come up with something that motivates you and go for it. Remind yourself of the prize at the end of the project whenever you’re tempted to put things off for another day.

Tip #4: Find An Accountability Partner 

Find someone else who’s either trying to be more productive or beat procrastination themselves. Check in with each other daily. Share what you want to accomplish and what you will get done today. Knowing you have to report to someone else makes you take action. It’s also motivating to see the other person do the same. Try it.

Tip #5: Measure Your Progress 

When you’re working on something long-term like organizing your entire home for example, it can be tempting to procrastinate because it doesn’t seem like you’re making much progress. Instead, prove to yourself that you are getting closer and closer by tracking or measuring it. Make a chart, use a spreadsheet, and keep a journal. Find a way to measure your progress and use it to motivate yourself to keep going.

Tip #6: Remind Yourself Of Your Why

There’s a reason you’ve decided to do that thing you keep putting off. Think about why you want to get it done. Is it so you feel less overwhelmed? So you can run around with the kids? So you can find the clothes you actually want to wear? Find out your why. Write it down and then keep it front and center. Look at it every day before you get ready to get to work.

Tip #7: Just Start

I’ve saved the best for last. It’s the easiest but also the most powerful. Hear this. Just get started. That’s right, sometimes all you have to do is just get moving in the right direction. Do something. Do anything. Even if it’s something super small. You get over that initial hump and start to build some momentum.

Comment on the hack that works best for you.  

Need some help to get started? Book a 30-minute complimentary virtual appointment and let me help you get started on your mission. 

Julie Stobbe is a Trained Professional Organizer and Lifestyle Organizing Coach who brings happiness to homes and organization to offices, virtually using Zoom. She has been working with clients since 2006 to provide customized organizing solutions to suit their individual needs and situation. She uses her love of teaching to reduce clutter, in your home, office, mind and time. She guides and supports you to be accountable for your time, to complete projects and reach your goals. If you’re in a difficult transition Julie can coach you to break-free of emotional clutter constraining you from living life on your terms. Online courses are available to help instruct, coach and support your organizing projects. Get started by downloading Tips for Reorganizing 9 Rooms.

Contact her at

Click here to learn more about her online course Create an Organized Home.

 TwitterFacebook Facebook group Organizing Mind and Space


Share this:


  1. Seana Turner on October 25, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    I think the “bribe yourself” can really work. It’s great to have a reward to look forward to. Years ago I vowed to build up to walking a certain distance, and once I reached it, I would let myself buy a new pair of walking shoes. Once I got started, I didn’t really need the bribe, but it was a great incentive in the early days!

    • Melanie on November 2, 2020 at 2:00 pm

      I like to think of a bribe as a sort of investment in my progress, hahaha. Incentive is a great motivator and I think there’s nothing wrong with that!

      Thanks for sharing 🙂

      • Julie Stobbe on November 6, 2020 at 1:54 pm

        I love that line, “a bribe is an investment in your progress”. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Julie Stobbe on October 26, 2020 at 9:52 am

    The bribe works best for me. I would do my outside gardening and then take myself out for lunch. I go for a walk and listen to my audiobook. I could only listen to it when I was walking. That got me to walk more than once a day when I was in the exciting part of the book.

  3. Charmaine Grace on October 29, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    Thank you Julie: Procrastination and I need to come to a parting of the ways. I liked the measuring progress and just get started. And, get an accountability partner.

    • Julie Stobbe on October 30, 2020 at 7:55 am

      The best way to part ways is to use one of the hacks and start. If it doesn’t help you then try a different hack. I would love to be your accountability partner as I need one too.

  4. Stacey Agin Murray on November 2, 2020 at 11:45 am

    Your readers won’t be procrastinating much longer–you’ve just given them a simple and easy road map to follow to help skyrocket their productivity!

    I’m always advising overwhelmed clients to start (yes–just start) with the teeniest tiniest area. It’s all about the baby steps–they’re what builds knowledge, confidence, and progress. Will share on my Time Management Pinterest Board. 🙂

    • Julie Stobbe on November 6, 2020 at 2:00 pm

      Thanks for the share. Small steps are so important to building success and success builds motivation.

  5. Linda Samuels on November 2, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    I love all of these strategies for procrastination workarounds! So many of my clients reach out to me for help because they feel overwhelmed. #1- Pick something small is probably the one of the techniques we work on first. Setting a realistic expectation and feeling that sense of accomplishment goes a long way to getting unstuck and staying motivated.

    • Julie Stobbe on November 6, 2020 at 1:58 pm

      I use #1 pick something small to encourage them to start and gain success. Success is a good motivator.

Leave a Comment