Stop Waiting Until Sunday Night: Ways to Fight Procrastination

Things you put off until tomorrow (or Sunday night in this case) still have to be done tomorrow. Discover some ways to become more efficient in order to help you defeat procrastination.

tools for procrastination fight procrastination study tips

The Problem: Procrastination

On any given Sunday night, there are countless students out there panicking that the weekend has already gone and they haven't even touched their studies. The culprit: procrastination - a trickster that has us all convinced that we can get it done tomorrow. So how can students fight this insidious bad habit?

The excuses can be endless - overwhelmed, tired, not in the mood and no time; whatever the excuse, procrastination is simply an internal protest against things that are challenging, demanding or an unwanted claim on our time. Whether it is studying economic theory, getting a little exercise in or paying bills on time, procrastination is an uncomfortable battle against the self. In addition to jeopardizing short- and long-term goals, putting off what can be done today until tomorrow can lead to stress, poor sleep, a negative attitude and a sense of emotional and mental inadequacy - which often, in turn, leads to further procrastination.

The Solution: Baby Steps

There are a myriad of techniques out there to avoid procrastination, but procrastinators know that knowing what to do is a far cry from doing it. So below are a few simple techniques that anyone can implement to help reverse the inertia of procrastination.

Just start with a warm up. Getting started on a project can often be the hardest part of it all. If the idea of reading ten chapters in business law is just too much to take, students can trick their brain into starting the daunting task by committing to just 15 minutes of reading. This way, they don't feel as overwhelmed by the reading assignment, and, almost undoubtedly, once they start reading they will continue on well beyond the original 15 minutes.

Break it down into small steps. Another way to fool the brain into getting something done is to break it down into small steps. For example, rather than planning to read all ten chapters in business law on Friday (mind-numbing), or putting it off until Sunday night, commit to reading at least one chapter a day. Accomplishing just one piece of a project or assignment a day can quickly help diminish psychological anxiety, provide a sense personal satisfaction and get you closer to the finish line before you know it.

Get a study buddy. It may sound cliché, but having a study buddy or joining a study group can provide a very powerful structure for setting committed time aside for studying. Students are more likely to study when they are accountable to a group or another person. The intellectual interaction also enriches the education experience.

Accept the nature of things. The insidious nature of procrastination tells us that what seems impossible to do today will be easier tomorrow. This simply is not true. One of the most powerful things anyone can do in the face of the procrastination beast is to accept that doing things well is hard work and well worth it.

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