How to Avoid Procrastination

Procrastination. We’ve all been there. Assignments piling up, deadlines coming in fast, but somehow we still can’t seem to get any work started.

Unless you’re an A+ pressure player, whatever work that does get submitted is usually subpar at best and may not even be worth that all-nighter and 10 cups of coffee keeping you alive.

If this is an all too familiar scene you don’t want to replay, there are many ways to help yourself.

Here’s a list of our 10 tips to avoid procrastination in the future.

Just DO IT

Wait, don’t leave yet!

What we mean to say is just get started. The hardest part of beating procrastination and doing your work is usually getting started.

If you want to get over that FUNK, do the work and worry about how it turns out later. Aim to get into the rhythm first.

If you start now, there will be more time to fix anything up rather than cram and turn in something you may be unhappy with.

Organization IS Underrated

People procrastinate for many reasons, be it fear of the task, other priorities, poor time management, or sheer laziness, but oftentimes it’s because we are overwhelmed.

You get stunned into inaction when you have too much to do and don’t know where to begin. Planning out your day will help keep you in check.

Try investing in a planner, organization app, or even type it on your phone journal style! to make sure you can list down your assignments and their due dates.

It’ll be easier to keep track of important tasks and priorities.

Write Them Down

Obvious advice?

The truth is, obvious advice can be the game-changer at times.

Getting started can be as simple as writing down your assignments. This way, you can declutter your mind and get all the messy things out, whether on paper or your phone.

If you can visualize what’s in front of you, you can easily avoid procrastination since you’ll know where to start first and where to go.

Don’t Do An Icarus

Remember what flying too high did to Icarus?

A great way to fall right back into procrastinating is to set your goals too high. Be realistic. You don’t ALWAYS have to finish all your tasks in one day.

Give yourself a specific goal to accomplish every day. If your goal is too large and vague, it’s going to pound you down like ground meat.

For example, if you’re working on a research paper, instead of saying “I’ll finish all my research work today,” try saying, “I’ll find 5 really reliable and helpful sources”.

This way, you give yourself not only workable tasks to achieve daily but also a deadline to finish them.

Holler Up!

It’s always easier when you have support.

Whether you’re having difficulty studying, or can’t find the motivation to start leg day, get a buddy.

It could be a close friend, a workmate, or a family member you enjoy hanging out with. Whoever it is, let them know you’re struggling and ask for help. They could even offer some advice.

Setting a schedule with someone keeps you accountable because you’ll have to show up and do the work at a certain time.

You don’t want to let the other person down by canceling, right?

Get Rid of Cat Memes, Anime, TV Shows, Etc.

Get rid of anything you know will distract you. Take your phone away or turn it off completely while you’re working to avoid any notification noise.

Play some classical music, white noise, or even lo-fi hip-hop to tune out any external noise and keep your mind focused on the task at hand.

If being at home is too distracting for you, then switch up your environment. Head to your fave coffee shop, a library, or even a quiet local park.

A change of scenery can do an excellent job of getting you motivated and concentrated on your task.

Forest (Time) Yourself!

Stumbling onto this app changed the way I handled daily tasks from cooking down to answering emails.

It’s easy to overwork yourself. On top of that, people tend to focus their full energy on one thing for so long.

The perfect amount of time for working and taking breaks varies, so feel free to experiment on what works for you.

With Forest, you can set a schedule, focus, and after consistent effort…watch your forest bloom!

This advice also falls under the simple goal-setting strategy. If you time yourself to do small achievable tasks at a time, then eventually, you’ll see everything finished sooner than you thought.

Do a Kit-Kat

Doing a mentally draining task for 3 hours straight? Torture.

Also, in the long run, that would be much less productive. So do what a Kit-Kat does: have a break.

If you’ve timed yourself, then commit to the rest period of your timer too.

As important as it is to focus on your task, relaxing and taking a mental breather is equally beneficial. A few things you can do include:

  1. Watch Kitchen Nightmares for some “spicy” laughter
  2. Make some coffee – drip method style
  3. Dance wildly! (If you’re into that?)
  4. Drool over Gal Gadot or Henry Cavill photos
  5. Splatter paint onto paper or a canvas

Whatever it is, do something different that helps you relax and trigger your funny, quirky bones. Reset your mind and body to make sure you don’t get drained by finishing something all in one go.

Lean Into Vulnerability

It’s harder to complete an assignment or goals if you’re the only one holding yourself accountable.

It’s always easier to talk yourself out of doing something. Procrastination becomes harder when you have to explain to someone else why you haven’t started.

So tell someone about your goals for the day. Be vulnerable and share a part of yourself.

This doesn’t need to be everyone you know but literally anyone other than yourself who can hold you accountable.

It doesn’t even have to be someone strict. Just another person who can check up on you and your progress or ask you how it’s going.

Take a Trip to the Yogurt Store

Frozen yogurt, anyone?

Actually, what we mean is…

Instead of going straight into your next assignments or worrying about a deadline, give yourself some time to revel in the fact you accomplished something.

In other words… TREAT YOURSELF.

One of the ways you can do this is by grabbing your favorite meal, watching your favorite show, or simply getting a really good night’s sleep.

This may even incentivize you to finish your assignments.

Beyond the satisfaction of completing everything you need to accomplish, you know you’re going to get to do something you enjoy.

What is Procrastination?

Procrastination is the act of delaying a task until the very last minute or past its due date.

Researchers define it as a “form of self-regulation failure characterized by the irrational delay of tasks despite potentially negative consequences.”

Whether the task is a school assignment, a project, meeting a certain target date, or even just doing chores at home, procrastination can greatly affect any aspect of one’s life.

Why Do People Procrastinate?

Procrastinating is the life-long enemy of all students, employees, and workers. Everyone knows it. Although, why people do it can be up to one reason or several reasons, such as:

  • They may not know how to do the task and so don’t know how to start.
  • They may be perfectionists and believe their skills won’t allow them to do the assignment “perfectly.”
  • They could be afraid of a difficult or important task, and they don’t want to mess up.
  • Thinking a task is easily done, giving a false sense of security that it can be put off later.
  • Thinking you have to be inspired or motivated to work rather than starting.

Beat Your Procrastination

Goals. Tips. Strategies.

At the end of the day, dear students, none of these things have any effect UNTIL you give it your power.

The ultimate solution is to take 1 step. That’s all it takes and from there, you’ll beat procrastination out the door.

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