Have you ever felt that a lifetime will not suffice to get all your assignments done? Like with millions of other students, it made you feel depressed and helpless. Your will power and self-control shrank, and each next hour of procrastination made the result more unattainable.
What was the only thing you could do in such moments? Yes, it was doing anything and everything that had nothing to do with the assignments. Video games, web surfing, sleeping, and domestic chores are the four horsemen of the procrastination apocalypse. Day by day, the tasks are hoarding up, but things are still where they started. This article by Custom Writing experts will save you from this vicious circle and show how to overcome procrastination. There are practical ways to use it to your avail.
1. ❗ Procrastination: Definition
Procrastination means that you postpone an activity. The delayed task needs immediate attention and is highly urgent. It does not usually mean that you decide to take a rest rather than work. It is about doing something else instead of what needs to be done as soon as possible.
2. 😠 Why Do I Procrastinate?
Psychology suggests several theories for why people procrastinate. However, none of them is considered a universal one. It is a good practice to find out your procrastination style. Knowing what is wrong is halfway to finding a solution.
- Fear of success or fear of failure. This social theory says that some people are afraid of praise and criticism. Does it bother you if your essay is a successful one, and it will be read aloud? Are you scared of receiving a D? Then this is your case.
- Perfectionism. It is about overpreparation. You delay the task by the endless search for extra materials. You study the subject field for days on end, but do not write even a word.
- Spirit of defiance. Some people dislike being told what to do. They prefer making up their own schedule and living according to their gut feeling. In many cases, it is not a good practice.
- Low personal utility. If an activity does not promise a reward in the near future or is uncertain, we procrastinate. When the mark for an essay does not considerably change your total result, you will postpone it.
3. 🛑 How to Stop Procrastinating in College?
If you relate to one or several of the reasons above, you need to change something. Procrastination does not equal idleness. It drains your mental strength and time for things you enjoy doing. Here are some pieces of advice to stop procrastinating in your studies.
|✔️||Don’t blame yourself||Even if you can’t do the work in time—never blame yourself for laziness. Yes, this is a significant problem which you should resolve.But when you feel guilty, anxious, and useless, you become even less productive and can harm your health.|
|✔️||Prioritize your tasks||If you’re searching for ways not to procrastinate, you should define the causes of why you put off completing a project.When you postpone the tasks because of fear, you should make yourself do the most challenging thing first. The reason is – you can spend a long time panicking if you don’t.As Mark Twain said: “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first in the morning.” But if you’re not stressed about your procrastination, do the small tasks first. It can boost your productivity and make you ready for a big assignment.|
|✔️||Organize your workplace||We often can’t develop effective ways to accomplish the work because we need to organize our workplace, including tools, documents, and communication. It’s easy to get distracted when looking for things lost in the chaos of your desk. By the way, it doesn’t mean you should keep everything in strict order. But arranging your resources so that you can easily find any you need would be a helpful step in overcoming procrastination.|
|✔️||Make a plan||Any large project becomes easier when you divide it into parts. That’s why you should plan every assignment that seems tedious and difficult. Separate a big project into small chunks that can be accomplished in 30 minutes each. For example, if you need to write a thesis, don’t think about the whole task. Today you can research one aspect of the topic, tomorrow you’ll draft the introduction, after a month you’ll spend an hour working on your presentation, and so on.|
|✔️||Procrastinate profitably||Turn everything that distracts you into structured procrastination. For example, if you like to watch YouTube videos, choose only those that teach you something new—it can be lectures from top universities or interesting DIYs.As a result, you’ll be engaged in self-development every minute you procrastinate.|
|✔️||Study the instructions||The usual frequent reason why people procrastinate is the lack of instructions. If you don’t know what is expected of you, it isn’t easy to start working. People tend to postpone business they don’t understand. When you face a challenging task, the first thing you should do is analyze the assignment. For example, if you need to write an essay, read a useful guide on accomplishing it. You can find a helpful essay writing guide on our blog.|
|✔️||Don’t compare yourself to other people||Many questions can trigger your anxiety. One of them is, “Why do I procrastinate while my colleges/friends/relatives don’t?” This is a self-destructive question, so don’t try to speed up your timing because of your colleagues or competitors. Improve yourself without making comparisons.|
|✔️||Schedule your day||Not only is this an excellent way to remember every task of the day, but this is also a tool to beat chronic procrastination.Schedules motivate you to keep up with your daily routine and tasks at work. Always use checkboxes in your lists. It helps you to reward yourself when you do a great job. Also, schedules are a lot of fun! On Pinterest, you can find hundreds of weekly planner examples. Create a daily schedule using templates or choose a pleasant planner for you to fill in—be creative with doodles, stickers, and quotes.|
|✔️||Take breaks||There’s a fact about productivity which is familiar to everyone. When you take short breaks during your work, you quicken your pace and improve productivity. Set the timer to work for 25 minutes and then have a 5-minute break. Thousands of people use this technique to overcome procrastination and stay motivated during the day.|
|✔️||Turn off your devices||Have you ever heard of nomophobia? This is a fear which many of us have when the batteries of our smartphones are dead. Do you have this feeling? If you do, it’s a good idea to overcome it. Social media is the biggest distraction in modern life. Just leave your smartphone in another room or a backpack and count how often you search for your device. It seems unreal, but most people look for their smartphones 2–3 times in just ten minutes! To avoid procrastination, turn off your smartphone for at least 2 hours. You’ll see how more productive your work will become.|
3. 😃 The Benefits of Procrastination
All this time you were looking for techniques to tell you how to avoid procrastination. But that is a long and challenging process—which we don’t like. The philosopher John Perry developed the term “structured procrastination.” The main goal of his theory is to get benefits from the acts of laziness. Even procrastinating at work isn’t as bad as you think.
Want some proof? You can watch this procrastination TED talk by Tim Urban, a famous blogger. He proves that creative people aren’t immune to idleness.
So, what are the benefits of procrastination? If you’re a creative person, you can turn many negative situations to your advantage.
|➕||Procrastination reduces anxiety||If you delay essential tasks and can’t make yourself accomplish them, it is probably a boring and challenging activity that requires too many resources. By delaying such tasks, many people accumulate the energy to boost their productivity and accomplish routine work in the shortest time possible.|
|➕||Procrastination teaches you to be faster||While you’re asking yourself, “Why do I procrastinate?” your task is still waiting, whether it’s a promise to clean the room or a challenging assignment. Instead, you open a browser, searching for answers, scrolling through articles. And then – there are only 5 hours left to complete your thesis! What will you do? Panic? Probably. You will also find the energy to do the work twice as fast as you could do without this boost of adrenaline.|
|➕||Procrastination boosts creativity||Some people define procrastination as additional time to think about the task and get inspired. And this is true – when you wait before completing a task, you develop new ideas for your project. As a result, you start working full of fresh thoughts and plans that are productive for your job or studies.|
|➕||Procrastination saves effort||You may wonder: “How can I save effort when a ‘panic monster’ scares me to death?” Imagine you have to write an essay, and there is a deadline to accomplish this task. At the end of the first week, you realize that the topic is more specific than you thought. Next, your teacher tells you that you don’t need to write 15 pages; 5 would be okay. And then – wow – your teacher wins the lottery and decides to quit and become an actor! The best part? You don’t have to write your essay at all. If you’re a procrastinator, perhaps you’ve heard the quotation: “Never do today any task that may disappear by tomorrow.”|
|➕||Procrastination makes your life easier||Ever wondered why people procrastinate? Because they don’t want to do a boring or challenging task. It may seem strange, but all others become much more pleasant when a person tries to escape one task. In other words, you’re unusually happy to wash dishes, read an academic book, or go to the store if you do it instead of that enormous challenging task waiting for you.|
|➕||Procrastination fixes your perfectionism||Many people who routinely postpone work often call themselves perfectionists. And this fact influences how slowly they complete tasks. When you procrastinate, you don’t have enough time to polish every detail. In this case, if you learn how to beat procrastination, it doesn’t mean you will spend less time on the work.|
According to Dr. Steel’s statistics, 25% of adults experience chronic procrastination. They’re worried about laziness and uselessness, while in reality—there’s nothing wrong with procrastination.
The effects of procrastination on your life are enormous. But nobody should say they’re always negative. Moreover, there is a minimum of negative effects. Instead, this postponing characterizes you as a creative perfectionist.
4. ✏️ Procrastination FAQ
Proverb 18:9 says: “Whoever is slothful in his work is brother to him who destroys.” The Bible relates the habit of delaying things to the lack of self-control. Besides, sloth is one of the seven deadly sins. It is a broad notion that comprises apathy, boredom, and an inert or sluggish lifestyle.
There are two variants: proactivity and anticipation. If procrastination is used in the meaning of sluggishness or laziness, proactivity is the antonym. If procrastination means postponing the tasks, the right antonym is anticipation. It means that one copes with everything beforehand, not waiting until the time starts pressing.
First, active procrastination helps you to cope with little domestic chores. Second, it shows what really matters in your life because unimportant tasks disappear while you delay them. Third, if you procrastinate with making a choice, postponing it gives a chance to think twice.
- Break down the assignment into smaller tasks.
- Make a time schedule for their completion.
- Award yourself for each completed stage.
- Tell someone about the schedule and promise to show the result.
- Eliminate distractions.
- Imagine the worst outcome and live through it.
- Find a critical reason to beat procrastination and move on.