According to Lionel L. Fisher, author of "On Your Own, A Guide to Working Happily, Productively, and Successfully from Home", there are four types of procrastinators. The first step in addressing your procrastination problem is figuring out which category you fall into.
Perfectionists these people procrastinate because their sights are set so high they intimidate themselves into failing. They set enormous, complicated tasks for themselves, and knowing they can't accomplish them to their own exacting standards put them off until it's too late. They can commonly be heard lamenting, "I could have done it if I'd had more time."
Adventurers Fisher says these people, "create continual crises in their lives because they're hooked on hairpin chases and hairbreadth finishes." They like the adrenaline of the deadline, so they allow things to push them right to the edge, then discover they're out of time to accomplish them.
Rebels these are the folks who express their anger in a passive/aggressive manner promising things they can't deliver and then procrastinate to ensure they don't. This allows them to vent without confrontation, and avoid dealing with the actual problem at hand.
Decidophobics these are the people who can't bear to make a decision because they're afraid of every possible result. This paralyzes them into stalling in the hope that eventually someone will take the responsibility out of their hands.
Fisher's list of the various types of procrastinators is excellent but there is another that he might have added and those are the wanderers. These are people who find everything so interesting and compelling; one thing genuinely leads to another while the task they're supposed to be paying attention to gets forgotten until they see it sitting on their desk.
How do you fight procrastination if you recognize yourself as one of these procrastinator types?
Perfectionists, you should set smaller goals which allow you enough time to meet your high standards. Buckle down and just do small tasks and you'll soon realize you're half way to achieving the bigger ones. Accept the fact that no one is perfect, not even you, and that your best is probably better than most other people's "perfect". Let things go. It's OK to have high standards, but they must be achievable.
Adventurers, take up skydiving or bungee jumping. Find other outlets for your adrenaline rush and you'll be able to settle down to work more easily. If you can't resist going down to the wire on projects and feel you work better when you're under a bit of pressure, create a schedule that gives you a little more than "just enough" time to complete it. Stick to that schedule and you'll find your work will get done even if it's due in a few hours!
Rebels, there's something deeper you need to look at. Ask yourself why you commit to something you know you can't achieve. Ask yourself why you're angry at being asked to do it. Or, find a friend or a counselor who can help you get to the root of your behaviour so that you can get on track toward healthy work habits again.
Decidophobics, you are the most difficult to "cure" because the fear of making decisions is so enormous. However, you can often help yourself navigate situations by asking, "what's the worst thing that can happen if I do this?" Most often you'll realize that even if the worst does happen (which it usually doesn't) you will survive just fine. Make small decisions every day, and after you've had success with those, try a few bigger ones.
Wanderers, the only way forward is through sheer discipline. You need schedules, timetables, and organizers. The trick is to realize when you're wandering and to get back on track as quickly as possible. Set yourself a task, and then don't do anything else until that task has been completed. Focus on the task at hand everything else can wait. Curbing wandering comes with awareness, so you might find it useful to keep a time-diary for a few days to detect any patterns you may be falling into. Then, organize yourself towards task completion.
Procrastination gets the best of us all sometimes. Fisher focused on those working from home, but procrastination has little to do with location and the tips above are worth trying regardless of your work environment. Understanding your own weaknesses in the area of procrastination, and having a few strategies to combat them, will help you overcome these productivity killers.