5 Ways You Can Stop Avoiding Things You Need to Do

Use These Strategies to Overcome Procrastination and Increase Your Productivity

Neel Raman
5 min readNov 8, 2022

When you can stop avoiding things you need to do, you will form habits that will make you a more productive person.

Avoiding things you know you need to do is also known as procrastination. It’s a common problem that affects even those who consider themselves as highly productive.

If you can recognize your non-productive patterns, you can take steps to overcome them.

1-Minute Summary Video

Things You May Avoid

The things you may avoid include:

  • Following through on your commitments.
  • Having an uncomfortable conversation.
  • Saying no to someone.
  • Taking care of yourself.
  • Organizing your office, home, or garage.
  • Setting goals.
  • Starting new projects.
  • Completing a project.
  • Going to a doctor to find out the cause of a health issue.
  • Making a sales call.
  • Completing paperwork.
  • Responding to messages or emails.
stop avoiding things you need to do

Why Do You Avoid Doing Things You Know You Should

Reasons you may avoid doing things you need to include:

  • It makes you feel uncomfortable.
  • You’re afraid of the consequences or what someone else’s reaction will be.
  • It’s easier to avoid them.
  • You feel overwhelmed by all the things you need to do.
  • You lack self-confidence.
  • You make other things more important.
  • You don’t know where to start.
  • You’re afraid you may fail at the thing.
  • You don’t understand what you need to do.
  • You don’t want to be judged by others.
  • You just don’t want to do it.
  • You don’t want to waste your time doing something you don’t enjoy.

What Are the Costs of Avoiding Doing Things?

If you continue to avoid doing things you need to, the costs include:

  • You won’t get important things done.
  • You won’t feel good about yourself.
  • Your productivity won’t be as good as it could be.
  • You won’t live up to your potential.
  • You will have many incomplete tasks.
  • You will spend mental energy thinking about what you should do or why you aren’t doing them.
  • You won’t make progress toward your goals.
  • You won’t enjoy yourself when working.
  • You will feel stressed because you know you’re not doing your best.
  • You won’t create the success you’re capable of.

5 Ways to Stop Avoiding Things You Know You Need to Do

Here are five ways to stop avoiding doing things you need to, so you can overcome procrastination and become more productive.

1. Create a plan of attack for your tasks

Capture everything you know you need to do. Prioritize them and estimate how long you think it will take to get them done.

Schedule blocks of time in your calendar so you know when you need to do what.

2. Address any resistance you experience

Ignoring or pretending you don’t have things you need to address internally will not serve you. If you know you’re avoiding something, it means you have something within you have to deal with first.

Allow yourself to feel any uncomfortable thoughts, without pushing them away or feeling bad that you have those thoughts. Be honest with yourself and acknowledge what the real issue is.

Identify the consequences of not doing something and how that will affect you and those around you. Then you have the choice to do something about it.

3. Assess if you really need to do everything yourself

Determine if you can delegate, delete, or defer any tasks. Ask for help if you know others can take work off you.

If something does not need to be done straightaway, update your plan accordingly and focus on what needs to be done now.

You can also find a success partner who can support you and together, you can accomplish more much faster.

4. Set deadlines and identify rewards for reaching certain milestones

Whenever you feel you’re progressing towards something you want to accomplish, it can generate momentum and keep you motivated.

A deadline sets up a container or window for you to do what you need to. When you have milestones for your important tasks, giving yourself rewards for completing them will help you focus better and make you more efficient in how you do things.

5. Let go of perfectionism and focus on progress

If you focus on doing things perfectly and you’re afraid of making mistakes, it will cause stress and decrease your focus.

Instead, focus on taking micro actions. Every small step you take means you’re progressing. You can ask for feedback if you want to know how you’re doing.

You will accomplish a lot more when you know what you want to get done and focus on doing the best you can.

Final Thoughts

To achieve anything worthwhile in life will require you to do things that feel uncomfortable. If you continue to avoid doing things you need to do, you won’t achieve what you truly want.

When you overcome any discomfort and stop avoiding things you need to do, you will become more productive and get more things done.

Action Step: Review if you’re avoiding anything you know you need to do. Determine what the actual cause is. If it’s something you don’t want to do and know someone who could help you with it, reach out and ask for help.

Question: What are more ways you can stop avoiding things you need to do?

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Neel Raman

If you’re a leader that wants your team to perform better, get a free copy of my bestselling book, “Building High-Performing Teams” here: http://bit.ly/2rS1T4F