I work with a lot of clients when I am coaching who are having trouble with procrastinating. I'm right there with them and relate to all the strategies for procrastination. In my experience there are two reasons that we procrastinate: fear and creativity.
Procrastinating = Fear: Our fear can run through the spectrum of feelings. It can be fear of failure, fear of starting, fear of finishing, fear of missing out, fear of how to do something, fear of being unprepared, fear of looking foolish, or a fear that is so deeply rooted it isn't as easily labeled. Here's the thing, fear won't kill you. It might feel like it, but it won't.
People run away from fear in a variety of ways - drinking, excessive talking, not talking, sleeping, cleaning, exercising - but basically they are just using that to avoid feeling the uncomfortable feelings that they are experiencing.
Try this instead: feel the fear. Seriously, just sit at your desk or take a slow walk and feel all the feelings that are coming up. Listen to the talking in your head and feel the fear in your body. Breathe. The anxiety that you are feeling is normal. We are all afraid of things irrationally and rationally, but that feeling isn't going to hurt you (granted, if you suffer from panic attacks please see a professional). You can feel it all and then move through it. The fear doesn't last forever and if you allow yourself even one minute to actually acknowledge and feel it you might just get through it.
Plus, doesn't sitting around NOT doing what you are supposed to be doing cause MORE anxiety? It sure does in my life!
On the other side:
Procrastination = Creativity: Sometimes when I have a complex project I have to mull it around in my mind for a while before I can commit to the concepts in real life. That mulling could be spent just sitting down thinking, but most often it manifests in doing other small projects that don't seem related in any way. I might clean out a closet, run a few errands, or work in the garden.
The difference of the mulling and fear is that I can feel the difference. I'm not afraid of the project, instead I am thinking about how I want to accomplish it. And let's face it, we live in a society that doesn't reward sitting on our ass so getting busy doing something is at least positive on the outside. What is important, though, is that the time contemplating feels good. It may look like we are doing something non-related and wasting time, but we are cultivating good ideas that usually flow out in almost perfect form.
I once talked with a mom who was frustrated that her college age daughter wasn't working on her papers in a timely manner. She seemed to be doing all kinds of other things - cooking, artwork, rearranging her furniture. I assured her mom that the busy work was part of the process to creating. It may not look like she was writing the paper but she was. When she would finally sit down to write the work she was prepared, calm and the outcome was excellent.
Telling the Difference: You know the difference between fear and creativity. You can feel it in you bones. One fills you with anxiety (shorter breaths, sweating, nervous, scary feelings) and the other fills you with passion (excitement, joy, fun, problem solving, smiling). It is important though that you recognize which is hindering you from actually getting things done. If you are avoiding and not thinking of your project, that is probably fear. If you are doing things and the your projects are rolling around in your mind and you are solving problems in your head that is creativity.
Sometimes it isn't just about getting things done. Sometimes it is about what is going on inside and how you are feeling. If we start paying attention to that we might start living and working with greater balance and ease.
Note: Seriously, I am not a counselor and if you are experiencing panic attacks or extreme anxiety I suggest you contact a trusted therapist or physician. Everyone else, stop avoiding your issues and start feeling the minute feelings of fear.