Overcoming Procrastination

Everyone procrastinates to one degree or another: Why?

Lack of interest…rebellion…fear of being evaluated…uncertainty about the assignment…perfectionism…fear of unknown…not yet ready for the task…don’t know how to begin…false sense of security and optimism (I have plenty of time)…

Simple Procrastination:

  1. Task feels too difficult, or we don’t know where or how to get started
  2. Task feels time consuming and requires large blocks of time (You don’t have that)
  3. Lack of perceived knowledge or skills
  4. Fear of being evaluated by self or others

Complex Procrastination:

  1. Perfectionism; This assignment will take volumes of energy (that I don’t have)
  2. Anger/Hostility
  3. Low frustration tolerance
  4. Self-Doubt/Self-Confidence

So, what to do?

  1. Honestly evaluate the reasons for your procrastination.
  2. Expose those intentional reasons for avoiding work. Once you name them, you can see them from a different perspective. Are the reasons rational or irrational?
  3. Gain an understanding of what is required (time/energy) to complete the task on time.
  4. Challenge thoughts that take you away from the task at hand (these are stalling tactics). Devote energy only to moving forward.
  5. Make a choice by deciding (reasonably and honestly) exactly what you are willing (and unwilling) to do in this moment. Find an optimal return on your time/energy investment.

What will this look like?

  1. Begin anywhere. Start with what interests you.
  2. Ask questions (professor, classmate, tutor, peer mentor) to gain more understanding.
  3. Work for 5 minutes only…You may find you take it further. Celebrate the time spent.
  4. Spend no more than 20 minutes learning new material (See “35 minute study strategy”)
  5. Distribute – A little, every day.
  6. Develop a Growth Mindset.
  7. Remember your past successes.
  8. Seek counseling or AAESS support.