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Procrastination tips: How to beat the beast

staff writer

Published: Thursday, April 26, 2012

Updated: Friday, August 10, 2012 15:08

 

For many college students, the one major ghost that haunts us all is procrastination.

When it comes to exams or finals, I always find myself up the night before wondering why I had not started studying earlier. This then starts the familiar phrase, “I will not procrastinate ever again.”

Because I find myself in the same predicament year after year, I know there has to be more to my bad habit than I once thought. This brought on my search for ways to avoid or fix my procrastination problem.

Psychology of Procrastination

I know I procrastinate when I’m unsure of what to write about or how to actually do the work.

I get told a dozen times a day that I procrastinate because I’m lazy. While that may be a part of my problem, it is not the whole problem.

A lot of students procrastinate because of the pure stress of the assignment. I know if I have three projects due, I usually try to plan ahead to get it done, but it never works. I know it does not work because when I think about it the stress just makes me crazy, and I avoid it at all cost.

No matter what situation you are in, procrastination can be handled or even avoided. Below are a few tips to help manage this beastly ghost.

Time Management Plan

We all know how time management is stressed in University Prep, but most of us usually blow it off.

After my three years here, I now realize that out of all the information I was taught, time management is one of the most important.

A time management plan is simple, will take only a small portion of your time, and will save you from headaches and frustration later. If you know you have an assignment coming up in the next week, sit down and chart out what days you will work on the project.

To take it a step further, plot out what you will do on those days. These plans can help manage the load by only doing a little bit at the time. This can help with the overwhelming feeling later on.

Find Extra Time

I know what you’re thinking when I say extra time—“Are you crazy?”

I barely have time to do what I need to in 24 hours, but I’m here to tell you that there is extra time in a day if you make it. These simple changes can help gain time back into your day.

For example, when I get on the Internet to do “research,” my first step is Facebook. Now we all know we may spend a little too much time on social networks. If we set a time limit to how much socializing we do, this can give us extra time to finish that dreaded English essay.

This coincides with time management. These two used together can be a deadly force against procrastination.

Beware of Time Stealers

We all have those people in our lives who dangle luncheons and shopping trips in front of us when we have priorities.

These trips can take away precious time and will leave you stranded the night of the assignment wondering where the time has gone.

Having friends and going off is nice, but some times you have to say no and just stick to the time management plan and get the work done. The sooner it is over, the sooner the shopping can begin.

Stop Making Excuses

So we all hate the work and wish we did not have so much of it, but college is full of dreaded papers and scary exams. These assignments will not just disappear with excuses.

The best thing to do if you feel yourself making excuses as to why to put off the assignment is to just step back for about five minutes, clear your head of the overwhelming thoughts and then dive right back in. This little break will give you and your brain a break and will help to get the mind back on the assignment.

Now I know procrastination will never go away, but hopefully these tips will help you navigate your way through the next episode of procrastination.

These tips are not the only ones that can help break the bad habit. Figure out your problem with procrastination, focus in on it and find the plan that works best for you.

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