The report is due tomorrow, the big test is next week and you still have two books to read. You know you should be working on at least one of them, yet you can’t seem to get motivated.
The stress starts to build and you understand what’s at stake, but you continue to put off the needed task for just a little while longer.
Procrastination is an issue that can turn into a bad habit quickly. It is a repeated cycle where the last minute is the only time you are truly committed to the work at hand.
Learning how to stop procrastination will not only improve your college experience, it is also a great lesson to take with you into the rest of your life.
Here are some great tips for how to get rid of procrastination.
Reasons You Procrastinate
The first step to stop procrastination is to discover why you started at all.
Maybe you procrastinate out of anxiety. You feel unprepared or inadequate. Maybe it is a subject you struggle with and the thought of starting the project fills you with dread.
For others, feeling overwhelmed is the source of the delay. If a task seems too big to handle with several aspects, it can be difficult to know where to even begin.
Are you a perfectionist? It might sound unusual to learn that many of those who procrastinate are actually obsessed with perfection. The thought of being unable to flawlessly execute a project renders them helpless to start.
If you recognize yourself in any of these examples, you at least have a basic understanding of why you procrastinate. It may not be so bad, though, right? Wrong.
Why Procrastination is Harmful
You believe you work better under pressure. It is easy to tell yourself that is where your best work comes from, but that simply isn’t true.
The stress of working under a time crunch affects how the brain processes the work. While you may complete the project, you lose some of the memory function associated with it and recall is compromised.
Procrastination is tied to lower grades and can affect your overall success.
Stress is a huge byproduct of putting off work that needs to be done. While you may not be actively thinking about it, subconsciously it is still there and the stress builds knowing you still have work to do.
Procrastination also impacts self-esteem. It is a choice to put aside doing something you know you should be doing. Even when it gets done, you still know it could have been handled better, and that alone can cause you to feel bad.
So exactly how do you stop procrastinating?
Make a To-Do List (With Deadlines)
It may sound too simple. You already know what you need to do, so why put it on another list? Well, this isn’t just any list.
Make a checklist with specific deadlines. It can be hours or days but have something in front of you to keep aware of what’s needed next.
Be fair with your deadlines, but also be responsible. You can’t put a deadline as the night before on a big project as that defeats the purpose. You need to be able to hold yourself accountable.
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Pick the Best Time of Day – For You!
Maybe you are not one of those people who jump out of bed ready to slay the day. That’s ok. If you work or study better in the evening, then that’s when you should set aside time.
The time of day isn’t important, but it is crucial you know when you are at your best.
You should also know that proper sleep and nutrition go a long way in having a sharp mind ready to learn and staying motivated.
Have a Designated Work Space
We all have one place where we are the most productive. It could be your bedroom, library or even the corner coffee shop.
Whatever place you pick, dedicate that space to working on your tasks. You will maintain better focus and be committed to the work.
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Distractions can come in many forms. It can be people talking around you or the TV or music playing. If you are unable to concentrate, it will make it harder to complete your work.
Your phone can be one of your biggest distractions. It should stay muted until you are finished with whatever assignment you are working on.
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Break Big Tasks Into Smaller Ones
One of the biggest reasons for procrastination is feeling overwhelmed by the project.
The best way to handle this is to break down the task into smaller, more manageable ones. You can have a timetable and checklist for the individual steps.
Dividing your workload will ease the stress and help you accomplish your goals.
How To Get Rid of Procrastination? Have a Buddy System
Being accountable to someone is a great tool to avoid procrastination.
Share your checklist and timetables with them and they can do the same with you. By working together, both of you will succeed!
Take a Breather
It is ok to take a break after working hard. This break should not be a complete walk away from the project, but a short period of time to relax and regroup.
You may even consider giving yourself a small reward for what has already been accomplished. This will help motivate you to go back and finish the job.
The Time is Now
We all think we have just a little more time to get a job done. However, if we are not careful, the time slips by and then we are scrambling to finish. Don’t let that happen to you.
Knowing how to get rid of procrastination will put you on the path to success in all aspects of your life.
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