People procrastinate for all sorts of reasons. Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task which need needs to be accomplished. You can tell whether or not you need to do something about your procrastination by examining its consequences. Either you suffer a bad grade, failure in a class, feel anxious, guilty, or possibly overburdened. Which of the reasons below are reasons that you procrastinate?
- I am worried or afraid of not doing well
- I feel that a project is too huge to tackle
- The assignment seems too difficult
- I get distracted by details
- I can never get a project perfect
- I do not have a big enough time slot in which to complete the project
- The work doesn�t seem relevant
Once you have determined the reasons that you procrastinate, identify which of the following suggestions you need to implement to conquer this common human problem. Putting things off � huge or little � is part of being human!
- Pinpoint the Fear. Ask yourself what is preventing you from action. What is it that you fear? Determine if your fear is irrational or illogical. If you fear failure as a student, you can build your confidence in school by working on your study skills and getting extra assistance in course when you need it.
- Stop trying to Be So Perfect. Doing something is better than doing nothing at all. Tell yourself to just sit down and do whatever it is you�re avoiding, and, once you�re finished, you can go back and polish it up.
- Slice the Project Into Smaller, More Manageable Pieces. Don�t try to do the whole project at once. Get in the habit of dividing the first few parts of a project into such small steps that you can�t possibly justify not doing it.
- Be Specific About Each Piece of Work. Make your steps specific and your goals realistic. Don�t promise yourself that you will get 10 pages done if you know 5 is a realistic goal.
- Make Lists of Things to Be Done. Keep your list handy and check things off as you do them. Being able to cross something off will inspire you to do another thing on your list.
- Avoid Distractions. Think about your distractions. Are they really just ways of delaying yourself from studying further? Identify when and for how long you will take to study breaks, and stick to it!
- Reassess Your Goals. Do you have a habit of dismissing your classes, professors, and even entire areas of study by saying they are irrelevant? If so, try to motivate yourself for those classes by reminding yourself that each class you pass brings you closer to moving on, graduating, and reaching your career goals.
Adapted from : Wood, N. (1995). College Reading and Study Skills: Learning, Thinking, Making Connections. Harcourt