Education

Ways to Stop Procrastinating. Guide for Students

It is important to know how to stop procrastinating as we all do it quite often. There are several reasons students tend to postpone their tasks, such as anxiety, perfectionism, not knowing where to start or lots of distractions. It might seem a minor inconvenience, however, such behavior leads to decreased performance and grades. It can also severely influence personal life and duties. Chronic procrastination may result in a high level of stress, inability to complete a great number of tasks, etc.

This article gathers the most effective procrastination tips that will help you be more productive. This journey might not be as simple as we wish, but the results are amazing. With the use of behavioral practices and simple tasks, you can learn ways to stop procrastinating.

What Is Procrastination and Why Do People Procrastinate

It is a behavior when a person postpones necessary tasks. There is productive procrastination, for example, when you need to prepare for an exam, but instead, you are busy with laundry or other duties. Generally, it is not the worst case scenario,  at least you entertain yourself with some other tasks. However, there is also the unproductive kind, when a person just surfs the Internet, watches hundreds of cat videos on YouTube or binge watches a Netflix series.

What causes procrastination? Well, first of all, your genes, this behavior runs in the family. It doesn’t mean there is no way to overcome it. There are also psychological reasons for this behavior. It is linked to perfectionism, for instance, people can postpone tasks as they are afraid of failure and not sure that they can complete perfectly. Another reason is that the task doesn’t seem urgent enough at the time. For example, if your essay is due next month, it is easy to postpone it today as there are many more relevant things to do. People also tend to postpone things they don’t know how to begin, sometimes students even avoid placing an order at a custom essay writing service. If you’ve never written a lab report, you might experience anxiety and confusion as to where to start.

So there are many reasons for student procrastination. The good news is there are also many ways to overcome procrastination effectively.

Is Procrastination a Disease?

No, it is not, however it might be linked to depression or low self-esteem. Generally, it is a behavioral pattern that is very common to people and can also be found in animals. Sometimes it is natural to avoid or delay tasks as a part of prioritization. However, if this habit develops and becomes more and more present in one’s life it is a bad sign. Chronic procrastination can lead to severe consequences in society’s perspective and your self-regulation. That’s why it is crucial to know how not to procrastinate.

Extreme procrastination means that a person cannot complete necessary tasks due to avoidance. It might result in anxiety and stress that leads to a severe procrastination problem. Of course, when it comes to severe procrastination, there is a benefit using cognitive behavioral therapy to combat this habit and find the reasons behind it. However, it is not the only procrastination cure. You can beat this problem on your own with conscious efforts, organizational skills training, and some cognitive training.

Is Procrastination Bad?

Overall, if it is not a habit, but just a rare incident, it might not be a thing to consider a serious issue. Procrastination is bad when it influences your life and the ability to deal with everyday responsibilities.

Here are some reasons procrastination is bad:

  • It leads to a decrease in work/scholarly performance’
  • Causes lower self-esteem;
  • Leads to societal judgment and labels as “lazy”;
  • Can cause relationship problems with relatives and friends;
  • Can severely damage your life in all aspects when it takes a severe turn.

Examples of Procrastination

If you want to know how to stop procrastinating homework let’s start with an illustration of what it is.

You are probably familiar with cases when even a small task results in avoidance and negative emotions. For example, you need to make a doctor’s appointment and it is a 5-minutes job, however, you are too busy with a new TV show. You might think, “I’ll do it after this episode, the plot is too intriguing, I cannot concentrate now” or something like, “Well, now it is probably lunch break, so I’ll call in an hour.” After all, it is too late to make a call, and now this task is due tomorrow, and you’re both relieved and stressed, as you didn’t manage to do a simple thing.

College students procrastination example: you know that you need to prepare for a test, but you are talking to your peers about how hard it is, ask them what have they done, what do they think about the professor. You might also Google how to cheat in college instead of doing research. It might seem you are busy with gathering essential information on the task, but actually, this is textbook college procrastination.

Ways to Overcome Procrastination

How to stop procrastinating? Start with acknowledging the problem, do not fool yourself, and be sincere – you are definitely avoiding an important task right now. If you want to learn how to avoid procrastination, follow these steps to form a new productive habit:

  1. The first step to beating procrastination is to have some introspective analysis time. Define when you do it, how you do it and why. Remember the most recent incidents and figure out your own behavioral patterns. Now, when you know the way you act and respond to different tasks, you can build personal strategies for overcoming procrastination.
  2. Set your goals. It is important to see where you are aiming because otherwise, you might feel too confused or anxious. Motivation to stop procrastinating is internal and it is important to visualize what you will get as soon as the task is done.
  3. Make a list of things to do with deadlines, set priorities, and see the big picture. For avoiding procrastination it is crucial to have a clear idea of what exactly you need to complete and what is the deadline. When an issue seems irrelevant or not urgent now, try to see the bigger picture – how it affects your life and how it causes a negative emotional experience.
  4. Another key element of avoiding procrastination in college is to eliminate all factors that might distract you when working on a task. Turn off Wi-Fi and put your phone on airplane mode, there is never anything urgent on social media. Create a safe anti procrastination space where you can quietly focus and do your work.
  5. Divide projects into small tasks. When dealing with a large assignment, people tend to be confused and overwhelmed with the amount of future work, it is a huge discouraging factor. Conquer procrastination by dividing it into small simple tasks. Set a deadline for each task and it will be much easier to do one thing at a time
  6. One of the most important tips to stop procrastinating is taking into consideration your personal study habits. If you are more productive in the evening, do not force yourself to get up early, it won’t do you good. Also, use memorizing techniques that work for you – some like to make plans, visualize, read out loud, etc. there is no one right way, it is a personal thing.
  7. When you feel like avoiding a task, switch to another activity. Now you know how to fix procrastination with productivity! Sometimes we avoid something if we feel stuck, so it is a good idea to change activities. Leave this essay and start reading lecture notes on other subjects, your brain will rest and be ready for new challenges.
  8. Are there any other tips on how to deal with procrastination? Of course, there is the most pleasant one – creating a rewards system for yourself. Whether it is a snack, a walk, or an episode of Stranger Things, choose what pleases you most and reward yourself after each completed task. It creates a positive emotional response, which makes you learn habit faster.

Procrastination studying is quite a common problem among students. It might seem not very serious, but the consequences can be very dramatic. That’s why it is better to begin your beating procrastination journey as soon as possible. Use the given tips for procrastination every day and after some time you’ll notice a huge change in your routine.

Now you know all the tips on how not to procrastinate and can start a new productive part of your life. Of course, it will take some time and effort to stop procrastinating, but to stay motivated do not forget to visualize the results. Another nice thing to remember – a reward is waiting for you after each completed assignment!

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