We all procrastinate. Learning why you procrastinate is an important step in controlling the behavior. Possible causes of procrastination include boredom, lack of interest or motivation, fear of failure and sometimes just not knowing where to get started.
Tips for overcoming procrastination:
- Identify your patterns.
- Keep track of your activities and thoughts over a period of time to discover your own pattern of procrastination.
- Study during your most effective time of the day.
- If you study when you are most alert, you will get the most out of your time.
- Set priorities every day.
- Spend some time each day deciding what you want and need to accomplish. Decide how you will spend your time, keeping in mind that sometimes you simply can’t do everything you "should" or want to do.
- Big projects are more approachable when they are broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks. Try to realistically estimate the amount of time each step will take and set goals for completion of the steps.
- Clear your mind of distractions. Turn off your cell phone.
- Tackle the most difficult or boring tasks while your level of concentration is high. If you put them off until last, you will be approaching them when your energy level is low. Getting the worst out of the way first may even energize you to get more done.
- Form study groups! Study groups can be a great way to combat procrastination as well as an excellent study tool. Students in study groups often find working with other students motivates them to keep on top of things.
- Ask for help when you need it! Take advantage of all the resources available to you. You will find that professors, Learning Services - including the Writing Wing, the High Library staff, and many other campus resources are here to help you.
- Try studying one subject for 45 minutes or an hour and then taking a short break before moving on to another section or assignment. This is a great way to keep your mind from wandering and to stay on task.
- Promise yourself a reward—ice cream, a movie, an extra study break, or some other little treat—if you accomplish a certain task.