Confessions of a Procrastinator: How I Tricked My Mind into Focusing

Discover the strategies of a reformed procrastinator and learn how to trick your own mind into focusing and getting things done.


As someone who has struggled with procrastination for most of my life, I understand the frustration and disappointment that comes with constantly putting off important tasks and projects. The feeling of being overwhelmed, yet unable to muster the motivation to take action, is all too familiar. However, I am happy to say that I have found strategies and mind tricks that have helped me overcome procrastination and improve my focus and productivity.

The purpose of this blog post is to share these strategies and mind tricks to help others who may find themselves in a similar situation. I firmly believe that anyone can overcome procrastination and achieve their goals, regardless of how deep-rooted the habit may be. By implementing these techniques, you can trick your mind into focusing and experience the benefits of increased productivity, improved mental health, and a greater sense of fulfillment.

In the following sections, we will delve into the concept of procrastination, understand its causes and negative effects, and explore the power of mind tricks in overcoming it. We will then dive into six strategies that have proven effective in my personal journey. These strategies include breaking tasks into smaller chunks, setting clear goals and deadlines, creating a productive environment, utilizing time management techniques, building accountability systems, and practicing mindfulness and meditation.

By incorporating these strategies into your life, you can train your mind to overcome procrastination and develop a focused and productive mindset. It is my hope that through sharing my experiences and techniques, I can motivate and inspire you to take control of your procrastination habits and achieve your full potential.

Join me on this journey of self-improvement and personal growth as we explore the tricks and strategies to unlock our true focus and productivity. Let’s dive in and overcome procrastination together.

Understanding Procrastination

Procrastination is a common behavior that many of us struggle with. It can be defined as the act of delaying or postponing tasks or actions that need to be accomplished. While procrastination may seem harmless at first, it can have negative effects on both productivity and mental health.

There are several reasons why people procrastinate. One of the main causes is the fear of failure or perfectionism. When faced with a daunting task, some individuals may feel overwhelmed and doubt their ability to complete it to their own high standards. As a result, they may put off starting the task altogether.

Another common cause of procrastination is the lack of motivation or interest in the task at hand. If a task is perceived as boring or uninteresting, it becomes much easier to delay working on it. Additionally, the lack of clear goals or deadlines can contribute to procrastination. Without a clear sense of direction, it is easy to lose focus and postpone taking action.

The negative effects of procrastination should not be underestimated. Procrastination can lead to increased stress levels and decreased overall productivity. It can also have a negative impact on mental health, causing feelings of guilt, anxiety, and even depression. By understanding the underlying causes and effects of procrastination, we can begin to take steps towards overcoming this behavior.

“To conquer oneself is a greater victory than to conquer thousands in a battle.” - Dalai Lama

The Power of Mind Tricks

In order to overcome procrastination, one of the most effective strategies I discovered was utilizing mind tricks. Mind tricks are essentially techniques that trick the brain into focusing on the task at hand and avoiding distractions. These tricks tap into the power of our subconscious mind and help us overcome the tendencies of procrastination.

How mind tricks work in tricking the brain into focusing

Our brains are wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Procrastination often occurs because our minds associate tasks with discomfort, effort, or boredom. However, by using mind tricks, we can train our brains to associate tasks with pleasure, reward, and success instead.

One mind trick that I found particularly helpful is called “temptation bundling.” This is the practice of pairing a task that you tend to procrastinate on with an activity or reward that you enjoy. For example, I would allow myself to watch an episode of my favorite TV show only while exercising on the stationary bike. By bundling a task I procrastinated on with an enjoyable activity, I no longer saw the task as a burden. Instead, I started to look forward to it as a time for relaxation and enjoyment.

Another mind trick that has helped me stay focused is visualization. Before starting a task, I would spend a few minutes visualizing myself successfully completing it and the satisfaction that would come from accomplishing it. By vividly imagining the positive outcome, my brain started to associate the task with excitement and fulfillment, motivating me to get started and stay focused.

Benefits of using mind tricks to improve focus

Using mind tricks to overcome procrastination offers numerous benefits. Firstly, it helps us shift our mindset from seeing tasks as burdensome to perceiving them as opportunities for growth and achievement. By reframing our perspective, we can approach tasks with a positive mindset, which increases our motivation and productivity.

Furthermore, mind tricks help us break free from the cycle of procrastination by fostering a sense of self-control and discipline. Instead of succumbing to distractions or giving in to our impulses, we can use these tricks to redirect our focus and energy towards our goals.

Mind tricks also improve our ability to concentrate and stay focused on a task. By associating tasks with pleasure, reward, or positive outcomes, our brains become more attuned to the present moment and less tempted by distractions. This enhanced focus not only increases productivity but also enables us to work more efficiently and effectively.

Overall, using mind tricks to improve focus and overcome procrastination is a powerful tool. By understanding how our minds work and employing these strategies, we can rewire our thinking patterns, increase our productivity, and achieve our goals.

Strategy 1: Breaking Tasks into Smaller Chunks

Breaking tasks into smaller chunks is an effective strategy for overcoming procrastination and improving focus. When faced with a large and overwhelming task, it’s easy to feel discouraged and put it off. However, by breaking the task down into smaller, more manageable chunks, we can trick our minds into focusing and make progress towards our goals.

Why breaking tasks into smaller chunks is effective

Breaking tasks into smaller chunks is effective for several reasons. First, it helps to alleviate the feeling of overwhelm that often accompanies larger tasks. When we have a clear and concise action plan, it becomes easier to get started and make progress.

Additionally, breaking tasks into smaller chunks allows us to prioritize and tackle the most critical parts first. By focusing on smaller, more manageable portions, we can make incremental progress and build momentum towards completing the task as a whole. Each small chunk completed gives us a sense of accomplishment and motivation to move forward.

Steps to implement this strategy

Implementing this strategy involves a few simple steps:

  1. Identify the task: Start by identifying the task that needs to be completed. Be specific about what needs to be done and clarify the desired outcome.

  2. Break the task down: Once the task is identified, break it down into smaller, actionable steps. Think about the various components or actions required to complete the task successfully.

  3. Create a timeline: Assign deadlines or specific timeframes to each smaller chunk of the task. This helps create a sense of urgency and prevents us from delaying or postponing the work.

  4. Prioritize and sequence: Take time to prioritize the smaller chunks based on their importance and relevance. Consider which ones need to be completed first to move the project forward or achieve the desired outcome.

  5. Focus on one chunk at a time: Instead of trying to tackle everything at once, focus on one chunk at a time. By honing in on smaller portions, we can allocate our energy and attention more effectively, increasing our chances of completing the task successfully.

  6. Celebrate progress: As each smaller chunk is completed, take a moment to acknowledge and celebrate the progress made. Reflect on the accomplishments and use them as fuel to keep moving forward.

Remember, the key to this strategy is to break tasks down into bite-sized pieces that are easily digestible. By doing so, we can trick our minds into focusing and make progress towards our goals. So the next time you find yourself facing a daunting task, try breaking it down into smaller chunks and watch your focus and productivity soar.

Strategy 2: Setting Clear Goals and Deadlines

Setting clear goals and deadlines is a crucial strategy for overcoming procrastination and improving focus. When we have a clear understanding of what needs to be accomplished and when it needs to be done, it becomes easier to prioritize tasks and stay on track. Here are some tips on how to set clear goals and deadlines effectively:

Importance of goal setting in overcoming procrastination

Goal setting provides a sense of direction and purpose. When we have clear goals, we are more motivated and focused on completing tasks. It helps us prioritize our time and energy on what truly matters, rather than getting overwhelmed or distracted by less important tasks. By setting goals, we create a vision for success and give ourselves a roadmap to follow.

How to set clear and achievable goals

When setting goals, it is important to make them specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Here’s a breakdown of each component:

  • Specific: Clearly define what you want to accomplish. Be as detailed as possible to have a clear understanding of what needs to be done.

  • Measurable: Make your goals quantifiable so that you can track your progress and know when you have achieved them. This helps in staying motivated and focused on the end result.

  • Achievable: Set goals that are within your reach and abilities. While it’s essential to challenge yourself, setting unrealistic goals can lead to frustration and demotivation.

  • Relevant: Align your goals with your long-term vision or overall objectives. Ensure that they are meaningful and contribute to your growth or desired outcomes.

  • Time-bound: Assign a deadline to your goals to create a sense of urgency and accountability. Having a specific timeframe fosters productivity and prevents tasks from getting postponed indefinitely.

By following the SMART criteria, you can ensure that your goals are well-defined and actionable.

Utilizing deadlines to create urgency and motivation

Deadlines provide structure and urgency to our work. They create a sense of accountability and help us prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency. Here are a few tips for making the most of deadlines:

  • Break down larger tasks: When facing a big project, break it down into smaller milestones and assign deadlines to each of them. This prevents overwhelm and helps you track progress effectively.

  • Set self-imposed deadlines: If a task or project doesn’t come with a specified deadline, set one for yourself. This helps create a sense of urgency and prevents procrastination.

  • Use visual reminders: Write down your deadlines on a calendar or use apps and reminders to keep track of them. Visual cues serve as constant reminders and help you stay focused on completing tasks on time.

  • Reward completion: Celebrate the achievement of meeting deadlines by rewarding yourself. This reinforces the habit of meeting deadlines and provides positive reinforcement for your efforts.

By setting clear goals and utilizing deadlines, you can enhance your focus and productivity. Remember that goal setting is an ongoing process, so regularly review and adjust your goals as needed. With practice and determination, you can overcome procrastination and achieve success in your endeavors.

Strategy 3: Creating a Productive Environment

Creating a productive environment is essential for overcoming procrastination and improving focus. The environment we work in can greatly impact our ability to concentrate and stay on task. Here are some tips for creating a productive workspace:

  1. Keep your workspace clean and organized: A cluttered workspace can be distracting and make it difficult to focus. Take the time to declutter your workspace and organize your materials. Have a designated place for everything so that you can easily find what you need when you need it.

  2. Minimize distractions: Distractions can significantly hinder productivity. Identify the things that distract you the most and find ways to eliminate or minimize them. This could include turning off notifications on your phone, blocking distracting websites on your computer, or finding a quiet and secluded place to work.

  3. Set up a comfortable and ergonomic workspace: Physical discomfort can quickly derail your focus. Make sure that your workspace is set up in a way that promotes good posture and reduces strain on your body. Invest in an ergonomic chair and adjust your desk height to ensure that you’re sitting in a comfortable and supportive position.

  4. Optimize lighting and temperature: Lighting and temperature can have a big impact on our mood and concentration. Natural light is ideal for a productive workspace, so try to position your desk near a window if possible. Additionally, adjust the temperature in your workspace to a level that is comfortable for you.

  5. Personalize your workspace: Adding personal touches to your workspace can help create a sense of ownership and make it a more pleasant place to work. Consider decorating your workspace with plants, photos, or motivational quotes to create a positive and inspiring environment.

  6. Use productivity tools: There are various productivity tools and apps available that can help you stay focused and organized. Find tools that work for you, such as a task management app, a digital calendar, or a time-tracking tool. Experiment with different tools until you find ones that help you stay on track and manage your time effectively.

Remember, everyone’s ideal working environment may differ, so it’s important to personalize your workspace to suit your needs and preferences. Experiment with different strategies and adjust as necessary until you find the setup that allows you to focus and be productive.

Strategy 4: Utilizing Time Management Techniques

Time management is a crucial skill for overcoming procrastination and improving focus. By effectively managing our time, we can become more productive, efficient, and focused on our tasks. Here are some time management techniques that can help you in your journey towards better focus and productivity:

Pomodoro Technique: Focus in Short Bursts

The Pomodoro Technique is a popular time management method that involves breaking your work into intervals, usually 25 minutes long, called “Pomodoros.” Here’s how it works:

  1. Choose a task that needs to be completed.
  2. Set a timer for 25 minutes, and commit to focusing solely on that task during that time.
  3. Once the timer goes off, take a 5-minute break to relax and recharge.
  4. After completing four Pomodoros, take a longer break of around 15-30 minutes.

The Pomodoro Technique helps break down tasks into manageable chunks while providing regular breaks to prevent burnout. It also creates a sense of urgency, as you know you only have a limited amount of time to complete each Pomodoro.

Time Blocking: Allocate Specific Time Slots

Time blocking is a technique that involves dividing your day into specific time slots dedicated to different activities or tasks. Here’s how you can implement time blocking:

  1. Start by identifying your most important tasks or activities for the day.
  2. Allocate specific time periods for each task, ensuring that you have enough time to complete them.
  3. Stick to the schedule and focus solely on the task at hand during each allocated time slot.
  4. Avoid multitasking and give your undivided attention to each task.

Time blocking helps create structure and discipline in your day, ensuring that you allocate enough time for important tasks while avoiding unnecessary distractions.

Prioritization: Focus on What Matters Most

Prioritization is a fundamental aspect of time management. It involves identifying and focusing on tasks that have the most significant impact on your goals and objectives. Here are some steps to prioritize your tasks effectively:

  1. Make a list of all the tasks you need to complete.
  2. Assess the urgency and importance of each task. Separate them into categories like “urgent and important,” “important but not urgent,” “urgent but not important,” and “not urgent and not important.”
  3. Start by tackling the tasks in the “urgent and important” category, as they require immediate attention and have a significant impact on your goals.
  4. Avoid getting caught up in unimportant tasks that can distract you from achieving your goals.

By prioritizing your tasks, you ensure that you focus on what truly matters and allocate your time and energy accordingly.

Focus on One Task at a Time

Multitasking is often seen as a desirable skill, but it can actually hinder focus and productivity. It is much more effective to focus on one task at a time and give it your full attention. Here’s how to avoid multitasking:

  1. Choose one task that you want to work on.
  2. Eliminate any distractions or potential interruptions.
  3. Set a specific amount of time to devote solely to that task, without being tempted to switch to another task.
  4. Give your full focus and concentration to the task at hand, and avoid switching to other tasks until you have completed it.

By focusing on one task at a time, you allow yourself to fully immerse in the task, increase productivity, and produce higher-quality work.

Time Management Apps and Tools

There are numerous time management apps and tools available that can help you track and manage your time effectively. Here are some popular ones:

  • Todoist: A task management app that allows you to create to-do lists, set due dates, and prioritize tasks.
  • Toggl: A time tracking app that helps you monitor how much time you spend on different tasks and activities.
  • Forest: An app that uses gamification to help you stay focused and avoid distractions by growing virtual trees that die if you leave the app.

These apps and tools can provide valuable insights into your time usage, help you stay organized, and encourage focus and productivity.

Incorporating these time management techniques into your routine can significantly enhance your focus and productivity. Experiment with different techniques, and find what works best for you. Remember, effective time management is a skill that takes practice and commitment, but the rewards are well worth the effort. So start utilizing these techniques today and take control of your time to achieve your goals.

Strategy 5: Building Accountability Systems

Accountability is a powerful tool when it comes to overcoming procrastination. By establishing systems that hold us responsible for our actions, we can increase our motivation and commitment to getting tasks done. Here are some effective strategies for building accountability systems:

Establishing Accountability Partners or Groups

One way to stay accountable is by finding an accountability partner or joining an accountability group. This could be a friend, colleague, or family member who also wants to improve their productivity. By regularly checking in with each other, sharing goals, and discussing progress, you can hold each other accountable and provide support and encouragement along the way.

Using Technology and Apps

In this digital age, there are numerous tools and apps available to help us stay accountable. These tools provide reminders, progress tracking, and even rewards for completing tasks on time. Some popular accountability apps include Habitica, Beeminder, and Stickk. These apps can be customized to suit individual preferences and goals, making it easier to track progress and maintain motivation.

Creating Accountability Contracts

Another effective accountability strategy is creating an accountability contract. This is a formal agreement that you make with yourself or someone else, outlining specific tasks, deadlines, and consequences for not meeting those commitments. By putting your goals and consequences in writing, you create a sense of responsibility and obligation to fulfill your commitments.

Participating in Group Challenges

Participating in group challenges can also provide a sense of accountability. This can be done through online platforms such as social media groups or websites that offer challenges related to specific goals or tasks. By participating in these challenges, you become part of a supportive community where you can share progress, receive feedback, and motivate each other to stay on track.

Tracking Progress and Celebrating Milestones

Tracking your progress and celebrating milestones can be a great way to stay accountable. Visualize your progress by using a goal tracker or habit tracker, where you can check off completed tasks or mark milestones reached. Seeing your progress visually can provide a sense of accomplishment and motivate you to keep going.

Seeking Professional Support

In some cases, seeking professional support from a coach, therapist, or mentor can be beneficial for building accountability. These professionals can provide guidance, personalized strategies, and support to help you overcome procrastination and stay accountable to your goals.

Building accountability systems requires commitment and consistency. It may take time and trial and error to find the strategies that work best for you. Remember, the goal is not to be perfect, but to continuously improve and develop habits that promote productivity and focus. Stay patient and persistent, and you will gradually see the positive impact of accountability on your productivity levels.

Strategy 6: Practicing Mindfulness and Meditation

In today’s fast-paced world, our minds often become overwhelmed with a constant stream of thoughts and distractions. This can make it difficult to focus and get things done, leading to procrastination. That’s where practicing mindfulness and meditation can come to the rescue.

Benefits of mindfulness and meditation on focus and concentration

Mindfulness is the practice of bringing one’s attention to the present moment without judgment. It involves paying attention to our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, which helps us become more aware of our mental processes. Meditation, on the other hand, is a technique used to cultivate mindfulness through focused attention or relaxation.

By incorporating mindfulness and meditation into our daily routine, we can experience a multitude of benefits that enhance our focus and concentration. Studies have shown that regular practice improves attention span, cognitive function, and working memory. This allows us to better stay on task and complete our work efficiently.

Practicing mindfulness also helps to reduce mind-wandering and intrusive thoughts. It trains the mind to let go of distractions and bring our attention back to the present moment. As a result, we become less susceptible to procrastination and can maintain a higher level of concentration.

Techniques for incorporating mindfulness into daily routines

There are several simple mindfulness techniques that you can incorporate into your daily routines to improve your focus and concentration. Here are a few effective techniques:

  1. Mindful Breathing: Take a few moments every day to focus on your breath. Close your eyes and bring your attention to the sensation of your breath entering and leaving your body. Notice the rise and fall of your abdomen or the feeling of air passing through your nostrils. Whenever your mind wanders, gently bring your attention back to your breath.

  2. Body Scan Meditation: Set aside some time to do a body scan meditation. Start by focusing on your toes and gradually move your attention upward, observing any sensations or tension in each part of your body. This practice helps to cultivate body awareness and brings your attention away from distractions.

  3. Mindful Eating: Pay close attention to the experience of eating. Notice the smell, taste, and texture of your food. Chew slowly and savor each bite. By eating mindfully, you can enhance your sensory experience and reduce the likelihood of mindless snacking or seeking distractions while eating.

Creating a regular meditation practice to enhance focus

In addition to incorporating mindfulness into daily activities, establishing a regular meditation practice can significantly improve your ability to focus and concentrate.

Start by setting aside a specific time each day for meditation. You can choose to meditate in the morning to start your day with a clear and focused mind, or in the evening to unwind and let go of any mental distractions. Find a quiet and comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed.

Begin with shorter meditation sessions, such as five minutes, and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable. Sitting in a cross-legged position or on a chair with an upright posture, gently close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath or a chosen focus point, such as a mantra or a candle flame.

As you meditate, thoughts and distractions will arise. Instead of following these thoughts, acknowledge them and gently let them go, bringing your attention back to your breath or focus point. With regular practice, you will develop the ability to observe your thoughts without getting caught up in them, allowing you to maintain focus and concentration for longer periods.


By incorporating mindfulness and meditation into your daily routine, you can train your mind to focus more effectively and overcome procrastination. These practices not only improve your ability to concentrate but also enhance your overall well-being and mental clarity.

Remember, practicing mindfulness and meditation is a journey, and it may take time to experience the full benefits. Be patient with yourself and embrace the process. As you cultivate these habits, you will find yourself becoming more focused, productive, and present in all areas of your life. So start small, be consistent, and enjoy the transformative effects of mindfulness and meditation on your focus and productivity.


In this blog post, I have shared strategies that have helped me overcome my procrastination tendencies and improve my focus and productivity. By implementing these strategies, I have been able to trick my mind into focusing and achieve my goals.

We first discussed the understanding of procrastination, its definition, and common causes. Procrastination can have negative effects on productivity and mental health, so it is important to find ways to overcome it.

One powerful method I have found effective is using mind tricks. Mind tricks work by tricking the brain into focusing and avoiding procrastination. By understanding how our minds work and implementing mind tricks, we can improve our focus and achieve better results.

The first strategy we discussed is breaking tasks into smaller chunks. This strategy is effective because it helps to reduce overwhelm and makes tasks more manageable. By breaking large tasks into smaller, more achievable parts, we can make progress and stay motivated.

Setting clear goals and deadlines is another important strategy. Goal setting helps us to stay focused and motivated, and setting deadlines creates a sense of urgency. By clearly defining what we want to achieve and when, we can increase our productivity and overcome procrastination.

Creating a productive environment is also crucial for improving focus. Our environment can have a significant impact on our productivity levels. By organizing our workspace, minimizing distractions, and creating a conducive environment for concentration, we can enhance our focus and productivity.

Time management techniques such as the Pomodoro Technique can also help in overcoming procrastination. By breaking work into small, focused intervals and taking regular breaks, we can improve our efficiency and maintain concentration for longer periods.

Building accountability systems is another effective strategy. By establishing accountability partners or groups, we can hold ourselves accountable and stay motivated to complete tasks. There are also various technology and apps available that can help track progress and keep us on track.

Practicing mindfulness and meditation is a powerful way to improve focus and concentration. By incorporating mindfulness into our daily routines and developing a regular meditation practice, we can train our minds to stay present and avoid distractions.

In conclusion, overcoming procrastination is possible with the implementation of these strategies. I encourage you to try out these techniques and discover what works best for you. Remember, everyone is unique, so it may take time to find the strategies that resonate with you the most. With determination, perseverance, and a little mind trickery, you can overcome procrastination and achieve your productivity goals. Start taking action today and unlock your full potential!