One of the most common challenges with time management that clients repeatedly experience is procrastination. Procrastination isn’t the same as poor time management.

Procrastination is avoiding doing something that we know will result in a negative consequence to us if we don’t do it, yet we still don’t do it.

Procrastination occurs for either or both of the following two reasons: a lack of motivation and/or a lack of agency to complete the task.

Let me break these down.


This is about the purpose and reward. In other words for what reason or benefit does the action need to be completed? What will be different and better as a result of this action being done? Official Optimist, Simon Sinek’s book “Start with Why” is grounded in this principle: that we need to know why we are doing something, in order to be motivated to take action. Great business owners and leaders know this of course and that’s why people choose to follow them, because their why is so clear and compelling.

When we procrastinate, it is often because we are not clear why we are doing something, the adage “what’s in it for me?” often applies here.


Agency is about us having the belief and the tools to take action. Belief is about our self-belief, the confidence, know-how and innate ability to get that action done.

Agency is about empowerment and action. The opposite is inertia and paralysis which stem from fear: fear of failure, fear of doing the wrong thing (not meeting someone else’s expectation and can also manifest as Imposter Syndrome), fear of success (you can read my LinkedIn post about the fear of success here).

Having agency also includes having access to tools, resources and support (these could include actual tools, but also things like time, energy, financial means, support from family and friends) that practically help us to take action.


To overcome procrastination, we must look at both our motivation and our sense of agency. So if you are experiencing procrastination, ask yourself these questions:

  • Why/for what purpose am I doing this task?
  • What will be the outcome when I have achieved this task?
  • Why do I want X thing/X outcome?
  • What does [success/X outcome] look like?
  • How will I feel when I achieve X outcome/have X thing?
  • How am I feeling now?
  • How do I want to feel?
  • What tools do I already have (skills, resources, knowledge, innate ability, access to other support, friends and family etc.) that will help me?
  • What else do I need to achieve X thing/and how can I get it/them?

You can access additional resources here:

Procrastination Resources

If you are experiencing procrastination right now and would like to find out more about how executive coaching can help, why not book a FREE discovery call?

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