I thought of precrastination at first but that appears to be the act of planning to procrastinate.

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    concrastination? Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 18:23
  • 75
    I'll get back to you on this.
    – Robusto
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 18:29
  • 4
    procrastinate -> anticrastinate! obviously. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 15:44
  • 3
    The opposite of procrastinate is technically "PhD". But that's an abbreviation for multiple words.
    – detly
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 16:00
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    @detly: I would have thought "PhD" is an example of procrastination...
    – haylem
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 16:07

19 Answers 19


If to procrastinate is "to put off doing something," then its antonym is anticipate — "to deal with beforehand."

So you can say the opposite of procrastination is anticipation.

If you can live with more than one word, a clearer antonym of procrastination is being proactive. Being proactive doesn't carry the extraneous associations that anticipation might for some people.

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    Proactive is a much better word than anticipate, in my opinion. When I hear "John anticipates doing his homework," I get the mental image of John being excited, even happy, to do his homework each night. If I hear "John is proactive about doing his homework," then I get a much more realistic picture.
    – Reid
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 21:12
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    To procrastinate is "to delay something needlessly", I don't think that 'anticipate' captures the antonym. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 7:11

I suggest alacrity.

alacrity noun \ə-ˈla-krə-tē\

promptness in response : cheerful readiness [accepted the invitation with alacrity]

Also precipitation means acting suddenly and rashly, bearing a negative meaning and covering the other end of the spectrum.

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    I like this very much. Alacrity is a good answer here. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 13:31
  • Alacrity is nice, but does it have a verb form?
    – Henry74
    Commented Jul 16, 2014 at 20:50

You could go with "timeliness." Notionally, "proactive" gets at the sense of the word you want, but it's the wrong part of speech.

Other candidates: advance, accelerate, complete, etc.

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    +1 The relevance here is that the spirit of procrastination is in putting off something till later, timeliness is not putting off something till later, but rather doing it on time. @gnawme referenced anticipation and proactive, which are close, but the spirit with them is doing or thinking about something before it is due, rather than on-time. A little bit different.
    – Bill
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 23:18
  • I think this is clearly the best answer. It's the only one that really stands in polarity on the the correct axis.
    – Ben Lee
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 1:47


In Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" the author refers to the opposite of procrastination as prioritization in his chapter on "First Things First".

This is honestly the only word that makes sense in every day speech. No one would say to anticipate one's tasks, but it makes a lot of sense to prioritize one's tasks.

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    There is indeed an understanding that procrastination is to replace high-priority tasks with lower ones. In that point of view prioritize is the perfect antonym.
    – Renan
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 0:16
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    You can prioritize -- come up with a detailed list of what must be done -- yet still procrastinate.
    – Jim Raden
    Commented May 27, 2017 at 17:41
  • It does make sense, because procrastination infers putting off an important task. If you put off something trivial so that you can have more time for something important and life threatening, then nobody would call this procrastinating. However the opposite would be procrastination. However as someone else noticed, "prioritizing" is an the answer only if it means setting priorities and also implementing them.
    – Rolf
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 14:23

I like the word expedite, "to accelerate the progress of". It has a minor drawback that the form parallel to procrastination, that is, expedition, ordinarily has the sense of an excursion or voyage, and its sense "the quality of being expedite" is obsolete. However, some synonyms of expedite, such as hasten, speed, hurry, accelerate have suitable forms including hastening, speedup, speeding-up, hurry-up, acceleration that may serve.


Do. Hmm, well it won't let me answer that succinctly so I'll repeat myself: the opposite of procrastinate is do.

  • I love this answer. Although i would add to it slightly by making it a command. Do it (or decide you won't do it and move on)!
    – ossentoo
    Commented Jan 20, 2023 at 9:09

I believe the word you are looking for is action.

action noun

  1. the process or state of acting or of being active: The machine is not in action now.
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    I sense we are lone voices in the wilderness here, but I agree. To procrastinate is to delay instead of acting, so the opposite is to act instead of delaying. When urgent problems need to be addressed, you don't need procrastination, you need action. Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 2:21
  • Seems somebody disagrees...
    – yoozer8
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 14:04
  • -1 To procrastinate means, yes, to delay but it does not mean "non-action". The act or deed is performed, eventually. And who said one has to procrastinate urgent problems? For example I always procrastinate doing the ironing. :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 16, 2013 at 10:08
  • @Mari-LouA Yes, I absolutely agree that it's good to justify (vocally, in a comment) downvotes. (For reasons just demonstrated.) // Not sure I follow about preference - do you mean pref in deciding 'whether this is useful' or 'what a downvote signifies'? If the former, I agree - if the latter .. meh, maybe a Meta discussion if you want to bother.
    – hunter2
    Commented Jul 26, 2013 at 9:11

Maybe industry or industriousness. Although as opposites, they imply an element of laziness exists with procrastination, and I'm not sure that's always the case.


Dialogue in comments has revealed that the correct Latin inverse would be antecrastination, which would mean roughly "doing something before tomorrow".


I propose dispatch:

: to dispose of (as a task) rapidly or efficiently

  • That isn't quite an antonym. Procrastinate has an implicit referral to another time period in it. So, the opposite should carry with it the meaning that something is done in advance of when it needs to be done. Good effort though.
    – James P.
    Commented Mar 3, 2012 at 6:43

The opposite Greek prefix to pro- is epi-, as seen in Prometheus (forethought) and his brother Epimetheus (afterthought). So it stands to reason that the antonym of procrastination is epicrastination.

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    But this is the Latin prefix, not the Greek prefix. And I'm afraid it would be odd to use "cras" ("tomorrow") to move something to an earlier time... Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 21:17
  • @Cerberus: Oops, that's unfortunate. Hoist by my own octopus.
    – chaos
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 21:36
  • Sticking to Latin, and taking the opposite of tomorrow, now, it should be innunctiation then (into now). I have a feeling this one is not gonna make it... Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 10:08
  • maybe antecrastinate before tomorrow ;) Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 13:33

What about simply "zeal" or "diligence"?

While these aren't really antonyms to "procrastination" (which is putting off doing something), they capture the opposite meaning of the ideas of "laziness" and "delayed action" that are associated with it.


From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

  • a strong feeling of interest and enthusiasm that makes someone very eager or determined to do something
  • eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something

From the Oxford British-English Dictionary:

Great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective


From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

  • persevering application, assiduity
    • Obsolete: speed, haste
  • the attention and care legally expected or required of a person (as a party to a contract)

From the Oxford British-English Dictionary:

Careful and persistent work or effort.

  • +1 for zeal, it was the word that jumped to my mind on seeing the question
    – sq33G
    Commented Mar 4, 2012 at 7:27

Anticrastination appears to have gained some traction.

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    When the first result is from Urban Dictionary, I wouldn't say that this traction is anything reliable.
    – user11550
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 20:13
  • @Mahnax: I would be at pains to avoid that implication, yes.
    – chaos
    Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 20:57
  • "Anti" is a Greek preposition, not a Latin one. It is true that it is sometimes mistakenly used instead of Latin "ante" (probably owing to French), but better not. And cras "tomorrow" doesn't really work anyway... Commented Mar 1, 2012 at 21:19
  • Actually, I like antecrastination. It seems to imply that I'll do the job BEFORE tomorrow. Which might be what the OP wants.
    – user16269
    Commented Mar 2, 2012 at 7:41

Two neologisms present themselves, one I like and one I don't.

One is sticktoitive. A tenacity or tendency to see things through to completion.

The other is git-r-done.


(I much preferred @Lotus Notes suggestion: Prioritization.)

My proposal is:


If we consider that procrastination is the unwillingness to perform an action which leads to its continual postponement but not necessarily to its inactivity then we can see how promptness is its exact antonym.


The emotional emphasis in "to procrastinate" is the needlessness of the delay. The way I would think of antonyms would be to see what words I would use to emphasize the negation:

For example,

"Billy is diligent about finishing homework, he does not procrastinate". (Sense of duty)


"Sarah procrastinates under stress, I wish she were more volitional" (Sense of giving up)

My suggestion is that you try and use it following similar idea of trying to emphasize a particular idea or thought, and see how many ways you can use procrastinate in a sentence... You'll have your antonyms.


I suggest "determination", which stems from determinare, to bring to an end, have a fixed direction and goal.

Other terms may be decisiveness, resoluteness, conclusiveness.

I might tell my minions that I want to see "action", not procrastination.


Tersely: proactiveness or proaction, depending on the contrast and degree of anticipatory behavior you're trying to convey.




In the sense that it commonly means getting things done, as opposed to putting them off for later, which is the general meaning of procrastinate.

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