How To Stop Procrastinating Homework & Make It A Priority

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We all know that feeling all too well, when you have far too much homework to handle, and on top of it you also have more tests to study for than you can count. As much as you want to get it all done, you get so overwhelmed. So rather than just sitting down and getting started on all that work, you push it off. You find everything else possible to do other than the school work that needs to get done. Don’t worry though, you’re not alone, and there are plenty of tips on how to stop procrastinating homework.



Why Do Students Procrastinate?

Unfortunately, many students put off their assignments and wait until the very last minute to complete them.


Contrary to popular belief, such behavior isn’t actually due to being lazy or having a poor work ethic. Many young students nowadays find it hard to think long term, and focus more on the now. Students don’t feel the need to complete an assignment until they really have no other choice.


Other common causes of procrastination include a possible lack of motivation, low self-confidence, perhaps a fear of not succeeding, difficulty paying attention, or overall lack of organizational skills.



This student has decided to be productive today and get out of the house early to complete his assignments ahead of time

Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels



How To Stop Procrastinating Homework

Although procrastination is highly common, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t simple solutions to avoid always waiting until the last minute.


Here are some of the best tips on how to stop procrastinating homework.


Become Self Aware


The first step on how to not procrastinate homework and learn how to improve is to become more self-aware, and understand the reasons for your behavior.


  • Figure out why

By understanding your behavior, you can then tackle those reasons. For example, if you keep putting off your homework assignments due to a lack of understanding and a fear of failure, perhaps you should look into ways to conquer that — such as getting a tutor, asking for extra help after class, and learning to take better notes in class.


  • Write down what needs to be done

Writing things down and making lists is the first step to being productive and avoiding procrastination. Once it’s in front of you and you have your priorities set, it should help you get started and think more long term.


  • Write down why you want to achieve these goals

It’s one thing to have what needs to get done, but it’s also important to understand why you want to get this assignment done. Write down the reasons as to which you want to achieve these goals, and it can serve as a helpful reminder to avoid procrastination.


  • Write down your negative feelings

If you are having any negative feelings or anxiety towards the work that needs to get done, then write those down. Express your feelings, address them, accept them, and then conquer them!


  • Start with the worst

By starting with the worst part of an assignment, we can get it over with and then feel accomplished. Once we know the worst is over, then the rest just seems like a simple walk in the park and we can ease that fear and desire to keep pushing off our work.



Take The Right Approach To Homework

Make sure that you are approaching your homework and school assignments in the most effective way possible. Tackling your school work in the right way is one of the key parts of how to stop procrastinating homework.


1. Create a To-Do List of 2-3 Tasks to Accomplish Daily


While it may seem overwhelming to think about all the tasks you have to accomplish, by breaking it down and setting priorities you can help avoid pushing things off until the last minute.


Sometimes, when we have so much to get done, we don’t know where to start and instead end up just not starting at all. Complete a to-do list with just a few of the most important tasks to start with.



2. Put Your Homework In Front Of You


It’s easy to forget about your homework if you can’t see it! But if you put your assignment right in front of your eyes, at your kitchen table or even by your bedside, it’s much harder to avoid and push off.



3. Break Down The Task


Tasks can seem overwhelming. Where to begin, and how to begin? That’s why it’s crucial to break down the task into achievable parts. By doing so, it can help ease the stress and help you avoid leaving it for the last minute.



4. Set Yourself A Timeline


It’s easy to convince yourself that you’ll get the assignment done eventually. But if you don’t set yourself up with deadlines, you’re much more likely to wait until the last second which can be stressful and cause you to rush through the assignment.



5. Influences


The people around us are the ones that influence us the most, and we often behave similar to what we see. They can be big factors in how to stop procrastinating homework.



6. Surround yourself with focused people


For that very reason, it’s important to surround yourself with focused and highly motivated people. These people will help you get on track and inspire you to be on top of your assignments.



7. Find support from others


While being around focused people is always helpful, those around you should be supporting you and your efforts to succeed. Having a team of cheerleaders can be key to learning how to stop procrastinating homework.



8. Share your plans for success


By telling others about your plans to succeed, you are much more likely to actually stick to those plans. You feel as though they are going to ask you about what you’ve said you’ll complete, and it will make you feel more committed and responsible towards your assignments.



9. Mix Up Your Environment


Just like the people around us, our environment also plays a major role in how productive we are. Making sure you’re always changing things up can help you stay on track and avoid getting bored.



10. Set yourself a reward


By setting yourself a reward, whether it be big or small, it can give you some great incentive to get the task done as soon as possible. Young students may be focused on the now rather than thinking long term, and that’s exactly why a reward can come in handy.


What’s considered a reward varies from person to person, but some examples of rewards can be allowing yourself to take a break and watch a movie or going out for coffee with a friend. Even having a cookie waiting for you at the end of an assignment can be a great reward.



11. Set yourself a consequence


It goes both ways. Similar to how a reward can help you stay on track and achieve your tasks, so too can setting yourself a consequence for not completing your assignments. Hold yourself responsible and make concrete ways to stick to what you’ve committed to completing. An example of a consequence might be skipping out on an event that you were looking forward to.



12. Clean up your work space


A messy work space can make it hard to focus. Make sure to clean up your work space to ensure that your mind is clear and ready to get the job done.



This student has cleaned up her work space to make for a clear and focused mind while working

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Progress Visualization

Visualizing is the key to staying focused on the goal.


1. Picture your success


See your success ahead of you, and you’re already halfway there. By not believing in yourself, you can prevent yourself from getting started on the task.



2. See that process


Visualize the process, and believe that you can achieve it. Break it down into parts, and see yourself completing these tasks.



Timing is Everything

When it comes to how to stop procrastinating homework, timing is everything. It’s all about planning out your time and making it a priority.


1. Work ahead


Always be ahead of your game. Just because something isn’t due yet, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get it done already and reduce that stress. Perhaps more assignments will come up, and you’ll be in a great place if you’ve been on top of your game.



2. Set a homework timer


Doing our homework can often take longer than it needs to, as we get distracted and side tracked. Set yourself a timer of how long it should take you, and make it your goal to get it done in that set amount of time.



3. Get rid of distractions


Distractions are the devil when it comes to homework procrastination. Get rid of them from the get-go to avoid wasting your precious time. Put your phone away or even off, and make sure you find yourself a quiet work space.



4. Make time for breaks


Don’t forget the importance of taking breaks! Without them you can run the risk of burnout, and although time is crucial, making time to stop and breathe will make you even more productive when you sit down to do your homework.



These college students are working together and supporting each other to avoid procrastination

Photo by Fox from Pexels



Make Yourself a Priority List Daily

Lists are crucial for success, and they can help set you straight, organizing everything that needs to get done in a systematic order.


1. Two-minute tasks


Two-minute tasks are easy and quick tasks that sit over your shoulders but really shouldn’t. These are what you should always start off with, getting them off your list and allowing you to focus on the bigger tasks.



2. Progress, rather than perfection


No one is expecting you to reach perfection when it comes to improving on avoiding procrastination. Focus on the progress you’ve been making and be grateful and proud of yourself for that. Any improvement is still better than where you started out.



3. Be organized


Organization is crucial when it comes to how to not procrastinate homework. Always be on top of your assignments and take charge of how you’re going to best utilize your time.



4. Make appointments with yourself


Just as you would make an appointment with any professional and stick to it, showing them the respect they deserve, your time is just as important. Book an appointment with yourself to complete your assignment, and be sure to show up on time.



5. Focus, Gradually


Learning how to focus is a gradual process, and it isn’t going to become perfect overnight. That’s ok!



6. Finish one, then start the next


With so many tasks to complete, it can be hard to get started. But start with one, finish, and then move to the next. Don’t let it all overwhelm you. Just take one step at a time.



7. Shift your attitude


When it comes to homework assignments and really any task in life, we often feel as though these are things that we have to do but don’t want to do. By changing your attitude to a more positive one — that these are things you want to do and are choosing to, it can be a complete game changer.


Homework should be seen as a blessing, especially since higher education isn’t something that everyone is fortunate enough to have. By changing our perspectives, and looking at these assignments as a chance to advance our careers and achieve our goals, it can help make us more motivated to get the task done.



8. Keep a gratitude journal


Be grateful for your progress and accomplishments. Write down your small victories in a journal to be able to really see how far you’ve come.



9. Sleep!


It can’t be stressed enough how important it is to get adequate sleep, and how beneficial it is for your health and to ensure that you have the energy needed to accomplish your goals.



Causes of Procrastination

More times than not, procrastination is not caused by laziness or a lack of wanting to succeed. Sometimes, students simply are lacking motivation for a variety of reasons.


Perhaps they need to work on their self-confidence and are afraid of failing. It’s not uncommon for students to avoid assignments due to a lack of understanding or simply because they struggle to sit down and focus.


Even a perfectionist may procrastinate their work with the fear that it won’t be up to standard.



The Effects of Procrastination

Procrastinating on assignments can negatively affect a student’s success — whether it be in the quality of their work, their academic success, lower grades, and even their health in general. Students that push off their work generally feel more stressed out and frustrated with themselves.



The Procrastination Cycle

Procrastination is a vicious cycle that can be hard to get out of. Once we start to push things off, it becomes a pattern that never seems to end. The more we leave things to the last minute, more and more tasks will come our way, and we will be in an even more stressful place than we started.



The Harsh Truth

The harsh truth is that procrastination is a natural part of being human and is hard to avoid. Despite this fact of life, we can still accept it, be aware of it, and try to conquer it as much as possible by talking about it and always searching for new ways to see what works best for us.


If you commit to solving this problem, there are no shortage of things you can do to fight the urge to push things off and leave them for the last minute. Once you know the ins and outs of how to stop procrastinating homework, you’ll make getting things done a habit, and will never have to stress out about not finishing important tasks on time!