5 Ways to Beat Procrastination for College Students
College students often tend to postpone important and urgent tasks. From a psychological point of view, almost everyone feels a temptation to put decision-making off for later. Instead, the person chooses other activities that will be more pleasant. However, procrastination can be a problem when it becomes a habit.
Students who constantly delay tasks may get lower grades. This results in stress, anxiety, and guilt. They can’t stop finishing the paper a second before the deadline and blame themselves for being lazy. Is there a way to complete the necessary assignments on time?
This article highlights five tips to deal with procrastination and focus on essential duties.
Understand the Reasons for Procrastination
Before fighting this habit, it is important to understand why you tend to put things off for later. For example, some people are perfectionists. They are so afraid of not doing the job perfectly that they prefer not to start at all.
On the contrary, some believe that their productivity will reach the highest level at a critical moment. However, this strategy is not always a successful one.
Another reason for procrastinating is that the task that needs to be completed seems boring. Unfortunately, university life can be filled with useless subjects. That is why lots of college students prefer to buy an essay if the topic is not inspiring. This way they can focus on the fields and subjects that are more exciting and give valuable knowledge.
Another common reason for procrastination is that young people simply do not think about the consequences of their actions. It may seem that the deadline is far away and there is nothing to worry about yet.
According to Joseph Ferrari, a person’s motivation to do a particular thing depends on certain components. These are confidence in future success, the expected reward, and time limits.
Make a Plan
Sometimes students can’t start working because they are too afraid. A task seems so incomprehensible that it is literally paralyzing. It is recommended to divide a large assignment into smaller ones. This way, it will turn into a set of clear actions. It would be wise to choose the part that seems the simplest and most understandable and start with it.
When at least one small task is completed, the student will immediately feel more confident. Before beginning the work on a large project, it is useful to write down everything that has to be done. Then estimate how much time each chunk of work will need. After that, set a deadline for each stage.
When students begin moving from point to point, their attitude towards the final task changes. Grace Marshall, author of “How to be Really Productive” gives a good piece of advice. One should make small to-do lists and set a deadline for each. Even if a person gets distracted, there is no need to worry. The main thing is to finish the task on time.
Come Up With a Reward
It’s much more enjoyable to do some hard work if there is a nice reward that lies ahead. It can be a small surprise, such as ice cream or a cup of cappuccino, or something more impressive, like a pair of new jeans or a day at the spa. The reward should be proportional to the work done. Plan something interesting for leisure time.
To make the path less thorny, visualize the result. A person should imagine the ease and joy that one will feel when all the projects are finished. Of course, a student will do one’s best to get into this moment as soon as possible.
Get Rid of Distractions
Repetitive work doesn’t require much concentration and students often listen to music or watch TV shows during the process. However, important assignments need all your attention. Even background sounds can break your focus.
So, young people should make sure that their background doesn’t distract them. If they find themselves scrolling through the Instagram feed or listening to romantic conversations between Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big, it’s better to put the show on pause right away. The best option is to turn off all the notifications. Students must learn to sacrifice something and set strict limits to succeed.
Of course, young people should have a little rest and relax during breaks. These must be included in your schedule. It would be great to exercise or go for a walk. A short pause will definitely help you reboot. Limit the amount of information that comes from the outside during the break.
Make the Future More Pleasant
Students tend to pass the responsibility on to the future versions of themselves. Dr. Fuschia Sirois, a psychologist from Sheffield University says: «When we delay something, we make ourselves the scapegoat, but in the future. Tomorrow I will have more energy, next week I will have more time».
The reality is harsh. Time and energy may not be easily found either the next day or the next week. Most of the students tend to use the same excuses. In any case, responsibility for all the projects will eventually fall on them.
When young people realize this, they are unlikely to use the same tactics. Instead, they organize their schedule so that they can finally find time to work.
Students often open up about spending time on something like Instagram instead of writing academic papers. They may drink coffee with friends instead of reading materials for the test.
Procrastination can be defeated with the help of positive emotions. One can watch a motivational TED talk that will set up the mood for work and new achievements.
Sometimes self-doubt prevents students from exploring their full potential. It is absolutely normal to be afraid of making mistakes. But when college students manage to overcome this fear and get out of the comfort zone, the fruits are just amazing. Remember – all efforts will be rewarded!