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How to Avoid Procrastination in College

28 Mar 2018

Discover our working tips that will help you stop procrastinating in college and being overloaded with assignments you can’t finish in time.

Avoid procrastination in college

The problem of procrastination has been in existence since the 7th century before B.C. Hesiod; a Greek poet recommended to his readers avoiding delaying work until tomorrow. This phenomenon describes people of different ages and nationalities.

Modern psychologists found several reasons that explain why we postpone things. This helps students because their success depends on how effectively they manage their time.

We have reviewed three methods that bring positive results. Check out these ideas and solutions to beat the habit of procrastinating. Start developing good habits that help in college and help to get results.

Maintaining good habits makes life easier and helps to achieve success at work in the nearest future. This article will help you to understand the roots of why we tend to delay things for tomorrow instead of doing bits by bits every day and simplifying the whole process.

You will learn how to overcome laziness and stop coming up with excuses to do something tomorrow.

Method #1: Conquer a Temptation of Procrastinating

Create a to-do list.

Stop postponing things by creating a list of tasks in the order of priority and follow it. Things won't get forgotten, and you won't blame yourself. Learn managing time and completing goals. Write down the most important tasks.

The main reason for creating a list is not to delay things. Stop looking for excuses because it leads to procrastination again.

Deal with anxiety about the delayed assignments.

Things we postpone are things we don't want to do, scared of, or worry about. Analyse why a certain feeling comes.

We procrastinate because we think that some things are difficult to get done. It is recommended to talk about problems with those who have already dealt with similar issues. Don't get shy about seeking advice that may help to feel confident.

Chat with a counselor in college. A professional consultant should help to find solutions. It is normal when college students get stressed while studying.

Remove distractions.

Another thing that does not allow completing things on time is distractions. It can be difficult when living in a dormitory with college students who talk loudly. Consider taking
books to a library or coffee shop where there are no distractions.

Organize your time and follow a plan. Even when you have to be studying while a cool TV show is on, don’t forget about your priorities. Avoid devices and even looking at them while studying.

When there is a difficulty controlling the desire of viewing websites that distract from the study process, use such programs as RescueTime. This program is free and helps to stay focused on college papers.

Find advantages in tasks.

We postpone things we don't like to do, but we don't forget things that bring us joy. Find benefits in doing assignments. When there is an assignment for writing an essay, look for an interesting topic to research.

If your teacher requires projects to be worked on in a team with other students, look at it as a great chance to communicate with students, share knowledge, express ideas, and enjoy time around people instead of working on tasks alone in a room. Any experience is beneficial. Gain a new experience with every new task you fulfill.

Set goals and reach them.

Feel proud of yourself as the deadline has been met and you managed to get a paper written by 6 PM today instead of delaying it and getting nervous about missing the deadline. When big assignments seem scary, break them down into pieces and accomplish them stepwise.

Small goals matter when walking towards success. Learn to set deadlines and try to prove you can do what was planned even if it takes a lot of effort.

Complete tasks regularly.

Become disciplined because it is important for achieving success in college and later at work. When you write down a list, some tasks are not your favorite. Stay dedicated to what has been planned and work on assignments for an hour minimum.

You may not finish all tasks, but you will feel proud of working on them. Try to stick to the plan of working on any task whether it is conducting research, writing a paper, or learning a poem.

Reward yourself for successes.

When achieving goals, treat yourself to something pleasant. Don't confuse completed assignments and the ones that are still in progress. Any reward, whether it is a ticket to a cinema, a big portion of ice-cream, or a favorite video game is a motivation to finish what has been started.

This makes your brain elicit positive emotions, leading to a realization that your efforts brought the desired result. This will stimulate you to repeat it and experience pride again.

Practice group study.

Another way to start doing assignments instead of procrastinating is joining a study group and getting motivated by other students. Studying alone in a room can feel boring, but when many students are working on tasks, it is effective.

You can ask for help and assist other students, which feels rewarding. Group study has other benefits like learning faster, improving your attention, memory, getting new perspectives due to various opinions, as well as getting a feeling of being in “the real world” where you have to communicate and respect others' views. Such a practice prepares for adult life.

Method #2: Overcome Distractions That Stop You

Work on assignments for 15 minutes every day.

As we have already mentioned above, distractions take us away from completing tasks on time. When a decision has been made to work on tasks for 15 minutes a day, an improvement of your skills will occur.

Focusing for a short period is way easier than trying to complete huge tasks as soon as possible. Once those 15 minutes are over, the feeling of guilt disappears.

Now get on with things that you like but don't forget to come back to working on a task after a break. Get used to a routine, and soon you will notice that working on tasks come easily.

Keep working regardless of your mood.

College students are not inspired to learn things every day. Sometimes your feelings about studying distract. Stay disciplined and complete at least one part of an assignment.

Once a job has been finished, look forward to satisfying your wants. Some students get affected by the weather, some by colors, some by emotions they experience.

Such simple tips as having a cup of coffee, listening to your favorite song, or wearing red color clothing which is known for bringing energy level up can help to deal with a passive mood.

Orange was believed to increase energy levels. Consider bringing some red and orange items to your room if you cannot decorate it.

Write a diary when you cannot come across your thoughts.

Procrastination comes when other things disturb us. We keep thinking about one thing for a long time, and it is difficult to switch our mind to something else. We would recommend writing a journal for expressing thoughts on paper. Such method helps to organize thoughts and understand their priority.

Once thoughts are released, carry on with other things which need to be done. Releasing thoughts is useful for getting a new experience. Talk to students, share your problems, and get recommendations.

Analyse things that disturb you.

Keep a writing journal. Soon you will understand what keeps you away from completing tasks. When feeling stressed, try to take some time off overcoming problems. This allows overcoming the main challenges and not postponing them like other things.

You can ask your teachers for help, a counselor, or your classmates. It is best dealing with things one at a time instead of loading yourself with too many and feeling like you have to carry the whole world on your shoulders.

Extend the working time step-by-step.

We have already given some advice such as working on assignments at least 15 minutes daily. Improve discipline and show study progress by stretching your working time every week. If you studied for 15 minutes and then had a 15-minute break this week, then you should extend the working time to 20, 25, 30 minutes every next week.

This can feel destructive, but you will get used to a new schedule after a few days.

The best gift is free time.

Once you accomplish things that you planned, you should allow yourself to get what you want. When you work hard, reward yourself with the same amount of hours doing things you desire. This is how you learn to find a balance between working on tasks and having time off them. Students are desperate to get tasks done and receive high grades.

That’s why they forget about small things such as leisure. These small things come back to haunt them later. Before agreeing to complete assignments, ensure you understand what it takes.

Method #3: Reconsider Your Thinking

Heighten your self-esteem.

We procrastinate because we believe we are not good enough for completing assignments. If you postpone tasks because you are scared of a failure, then you should look at this as a mental problem. Try completing tasks or at least trying to instead of being a pessimist.

Every single task is an opportunity to grow. Every experience includes mistakes, but you will learn and grow professionally. Treat yourself like your friends who got low grades. Would you judge them or tell them they are not good enough? You always support your friends, thus, support yourself during difficulties.

Stop dreaming of becoming a perfectionist.

If you think that trying to become a perfectionist helps you to do things on time, it's wrong. Trying to keep yourself to a high standard can cause distress and even depression. Don't try to fulfill as many assignments as you can. It is smarter to remain realistic and look at things as they are.

When you have to work on a difficult paper and spend time trying to achieve a good result. High expectations lead to a disappointment.

Maintain self-discipline.

A major reason why we procrastinate tasks thinking we can do them tomorrow is lack of self-discipline. It is uncomfortable to force yourself doing tasks you don't enjoy, but this maintains willpower. Once you become disciplined in exercising at least 30 minutes a day or choosing healthy foods, you will become disciplined in other areas of your life.

Habits form while we are young. Spend your college years not only studying disciplines but maintaining useful habits.

Be kind to yourself.

Postponing things can affect your mood because you think you are guilty, not having done what you planned, and are not good as other college students who finish tasks on time. Forgive yourself and remain your best friend who always supports and gives good advice.

If you don't follow the plan today and have to move an assignment for tomorrow, don't beat yourself. Give yourself another chance. Learn from mistakes and improve your results tomorrow!

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