Procrastination is like mental quicksand. If you panic and start struggling, it will just pull you in faster. But if you try to relax, you can survive! Lots of people will give you advice on how to fight procrastination, but StudyGate can teach you how to recognize your habits of procrastination and use them to your advantage!
Realize What You’re Doing
Let’s say have a 7 page paper due on Wednesday before 4 o’clock. Today is Tuesday. This is what you’re thinking:
“I really should start my paper but I’m hungry and my Netflix queue is overflowing and my room is pretty dirty and I can’t concentrate and I haven’t gone running in a while and my laundry is piling up but I think I’m getting sick so I probably shouldn’t go to class tomorrow which means I can’t turn it in on time…”
You know what you’re doing, right? You have a lot of work to do, and you’re making excuses for why you can’t do it. It’s okay! Recognize your own behavior and understand what you normally do and how you feel when you’re about to procrastinate. Once you do, you can catch yourself and move on to the next step:
Unless you’re a genius, you’re not going to write 7 quality pages in one day. You can, however:
- Make a good outline.
- Write a quick summary of what you want to say.
- Figure out what your main points are going to be.
- Write a short rough draft.
Break down your task into smaller, more manageable parts that you can complete in an hour or less. By doing so, you put less stress on yourself, and you allow yourself to do great work and show how smart you are!
Hold Yourself Accountable
Netflix is tempting. Everything you’ve ever watched or will ever want to watch, all in one place. Don’t fall for it. When you set a goal, ask a friend to check in on you and make sure you actually got it done! Having a group of people (who may also be procrastinating themselves) to support you is a great way to make your work more enjoyable. Don’t underestimate this! It’s always better together!
When you reach a new milestone, celebrate! You’re doing great! Enjoy your favorite snack, take a short break with friends, go for a run or walk, or—yes, go ahead and watch an episode of your favorite show.
Procrastination makes us feel bad because we’re not doing what we should be doing. By replacing that with positive feelings, you’ll be more motivated to keep going and finish strong!