A Student’s Guide to Avoiding Procrastination
If you suffer from the habit of procrastination, you’re in good company. Many students admit to having to deal with this problem at some point in their education, and unfortunately, it spills over into everyday life even after graduation. Here are some steps to help you avoid this enemy of productivity.
It’s helpful to get to the root cause of procrastination in order to defeat it successfully. Generally, there are three main reasons we put things off at times. First of all, when homework or school assignments seem overwhelming, we tend to deal with it by putting it on the back burner, maybe even hoping it will somehow go away (i.e. The dog will eat it.) Second, feeling unmotivated is a major obstacle in accomplishing anything and can even lead you to conclude that it’s just easier to take a snooze. And third, it may be that you’re already too busy, perhaps with less important matters, to fit in the big things.
3 Solutions to Fight Procrastination
1) Break it down
First of all, if the assignment staring you in the face is too daunting to think about, don’t think about it. At least, not all of it. Break up your project into smaller, more manageable sections. By doing one thing at a time, eventually you’ll catch up and complete your work.
Start your projects immediately after they are assigned, even if that means just jotting down ideas or mapping out a plan of action. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Schoolmates and teachers can help you get a grip on things; at the very least, they can listen to your concerns and reassure you that you’re up to the task!
2) Think of the benefits
If your problem is more a lack of motivation, don’t despair. Some assignments may not be the most exciting, in fact, they may even seem plain boring. It’s time for an attitude adjustment. Think of the benefits of finishing an assignment ahead of time. You’ll avoid stress and end up with time to relax. So, if a project doesn’t seem appealing, mentally move the deadline closer in your mind and keep it at the top of your to-do list. When it’s done, you’ll feel so much better.
3) Make a list and prioritize
What if you’re working yourself to death already? If things are piling up and you just don’t have time for the big assignments, make a list and prioritize. If you have smaller things to do that take under 5-10 minutes, get them out of the way first. Keep a list of each assignment, when it’s due, and when you’ve scheduled time to work on it. Then follow through. That way, you’ll be in control instead of letting procrastination control you. Eliminate distractions that keep you from concentrating. If need be, turn off your phone and email alerts so you can focus.
Remember, the relief you’ll feel when your projects are no long hanging over your head outweighs the discomforts of tackling them early. And if you’re a chronic procrastinator, there is hope for you. You can change your habits and succeed in your battle against procrastination.