Seven Ways to Avoid Procrastination

September 20, 2018
procrastination meme

There are always more fun options than studying, working on projects, reading that next chapter in your textbook and finishing your assignment.

It's so tempting to put off the things we don't want to do for another hour, day, week, month, etc. Trust us, these things will catch up with you, and you'll be more stressed out later on.

Break the habit by following our advice.

1. Get the hard stuff out of the way

If there is something particularly dreadful on your to-do list, get it out of the way as soon as possible! Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Enjoy the feeling of that weight being lifted off your shoulders when you're finished.

2. Use incentives for motivation

After you complete an undesirable feat, reward yourself with watching an episode of your favorite show, by spoiling yourself with a snack or by splurging on something you've had your eye on. Bribery works, even when you're using it on yourself.

3. Download SelfControl

Are you having trouble ignoring your Facebook notifications? Do you scroll though your Twitter feed out of habit? Is Instagram making it difficult for you to focus on completing your assignment that is due tomorrow?

To avoid such distractions, download SelfControl, an application that blocks certain websites that keep you from studying, and it does so for a set amount of time. Set SelfControl up to keep you off these sites during all of your scheduled courses. You’ll thank us later.

4. Create specific deadlines

It's easy to feel overwhelmed when you try and finish a big project by a certain far-away date. Rather than setting one date, create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each task. Having to finish each task by a certain date creates a sense of urgency.

5. Keep an updated agenda

Staying organized and realizing just how much you have to do can be the push you need to start getting things done. Keep your schedule up-to-date, in writing and on your person as often as possible. Check it often! Update it daily.

6. Change up your environment

A change of scenery can inspire motivation! For example, if you are always studying in your room, but your bed makes you want to curl up and go to sleep, find a new location, such as the library or the Student Center. After you find a place that works, remember to change it up time and again so it doesn't lose its effect.

7. Recognize what excuses are

Telling yourself that you work better under pressure or that you aren't in the right kind of mood to complete the task at hand are examples of cop-outs. Plain and simple. Start being honest with yourself by owning up to these excuses and get moving!