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How To Stop Procrastinating? Helpful Tips for College Students!

 

 

Your to-do list is piling up, but you’d rather do anything than start crossing items off your list. From procrastinating studying to procrastinating submitting that assignment, most college students wish they know how to stop procrastinating. 

 

Did you know that there are actual reasons why you’re likely procrastinating? So, if you can overcome these barriers, it may get easier to know how to not procrastinate. We’ll share them so that you can maximize your time management skills and be your best self as a college student. 

 

 

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Why Do Students Procrastinate?

 

At any point in your student lift, you may find yourself taking longer to get things done than necessary. That will lead you to want to know how to not procrastinate on homework, studying, assignments, and chores. 

 

Let’s first break down the common reasons why college students procrastinate in the first place. Some or all of these reasons may resonate with your own experience. 

 

 

Unclear goals

 

If you have no clearly defined goals as to what you wish to accomplish, it could be harder to understand why you have to do certain things. 

 

 

Fear of failure

 

An all too common occurrence is that those who procrastinate actually are just afraid to fail. So, they’d rather not start to avoid this potentially displeasing sentiment. 

 

 

Overwhelm 

 

If there’s a lot going on in your school life and/or personal life, you may feel unsure how or where to even start. 

 

 

Anxiety 

 

You could feel worried or anxious about the potential outcomes of whatever you have to get done, be it a homework assignment or test results. 

 

 

Perfectionism

 

Often in line with the fear of failure comes the idea of perfectionism. When you have the goal of everything being perfect, then you may never want to start something to avoid any flaws or mistakes (which are inevitable). 

 

 

Lack of motivation 

 

It could be possible you feel a lack of motivation because goals are too far out in the future or are unclearly defined

 

Perhaps, the most important thing to do is to ask yourself why you are procrastinating in the first place. This could prove to be a useful exercise because you may have to tackle the more deeply rooted issue and the shackles of procrastination will be released. 

 

For example, you could fear that you don’t know how to do something, and to get started, you simply need to know a little more information or ask for help to understand a concept. Once you do that, you could find yourself easily finishing the required assignment. 

 

 

 

How to Stop Procrastinating in College 

 

Now that we’ve covered some of the reasons why students procrastinate in the first place, let’s take a look at some best practices to learn how to stop procrastinating. 

 

 

Get Organized 

 

To avoid the sense of overwhelm of having too much to do or not knowing where to start, organization proves to be crucial. It’s a great idea to use tools that help you stay organized, whether they are calendars or scheduling apps on your computer or the trusted old-school method of writing things down. Consider writing down upcoming assignments and deadlines, estimating how long the task will take you to perform, and counting backward from the due date to give yourself adequate time to get it done. 

 

Of course, it still comes down to you having the motivation to start rather than procrastinate, but it’s easier to do when you have a clear idea of what you need to get done and by when. 

 

 

Set Deadlines and Reasonable Goals

 

If you’re a person who procrastinates because your goals seem unattainable, then consider resetting your goals. While you can’t choose when assignments are due, you can choose when you want to have it ready by. In the same vein, you can’t choose when test dates are, but you can choose when to start studying. You can break down these items into smaller, achievable segments so that you can maintain momentum and feel accomplished. For example, if you have a 10-page research paper due, consider setting a goal to finish two pages per day so you can avoid having to write it fast. 

 

 

Remove Distractions 

 

Sometimes, the only way to want to get things done is to have no other alternative. You can position yourself for this scenario by removing distractions. Put your phone in another room. Turn off the TV. Tell your friends that you’re busy. Then, you can free up your own time to get your to-do list crossed off. 

 

 

Take Breaks 

 

Getting things done doesn’t have to feel tiring or undesirable. Remember to relieve yourself of your efforts and give yourself breaks. This can also help to increase your motivation to get things done because you can look forward to the upcoming break. And, you can make your break as fun or as relaxing as you see fit. Some examples of break ideas you can try after you accomplish items on your list include: walking, cooking, calling a friend, scrolling through social media, playing with your dog, taking a nap, etc. 

 

 

Reward Yourself 

 

In the same way that breaks can serve as rewards and help to boost your motivation, so can actual rewards! Depending on what you enjoy, you can set rewards both big and small accordingly. Say you enjoy food and trying new eateries. Tell yourself that if you ace your next big exam, you’ll treat yourself to a dining experience at the restaurant you’ve always wanted to try. Or, if you like fashion, then buy yourself something new when you finish your semester with a good GPA. 

 

 

Ask for Help 

 

If you’re struggling to hold yourself accountable, ask your peers or friends for help. You can help each other meet deadlines if you are unable to maintain your own self-control. Having people around you who will support you in reaching your goals and aspirations can help to manage your motivation levels as you are answerable to people besides yourself. 

 

Source: Unsplash

 

 

The Bottom Line 

 

While there is no single answer as to how to stop procrastinating for college students, there are different behaviors and habits that you can try to overcome this common challenge. 

 

So, if you’re a constant procrastinator or you find yourself stuck these days more than before, try to figure out why. Then, practice some of the above tips to overcome any mental hurdles. 

 

 

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