Identify why you are procrastinating. Here are 10 of some of the most common reasons why students procrastinate:
1. Lack of Interest in the Subject
2. Lack of Motivation
3. Lack of Goals
4. Trouble knowing where or how to get started
5. Personal Problems
7. Missing a Deadline
9. A Job
10. Social Distractions (friends, family)
Once you have identified why you are procrastinating, start with some simple steps to get back on track. Here are a few pointers to get you back on your feet:
1. Make a realistic plan. Get out your assignment notebook or calendar and write down what you need to do and when you need to have it done by.
2. Set specific goals. See our S.M.A.R.T. Goal Worksheet for more goal setting tips.
3. Start anywhere. Is your homework piling up so much that you don’t even know where to start? Odds are, if you start somewhere – that first sentence of your essay, that first research book from the library – your plan-of-action will fall into place.
4 Don’t make excuses! You need to get your work done regardless of whether or not you are interested in the subject or are in the mood to do it.
5. Reward yourself for progress. After you finish an assignment or have been studying for an hour, consider rewarding yourself with a candy bar or a short break to hang out with friends.
6. Have someone keep you accountable. Find a friend, classmate, family member, tutor, etc. encourage you and keep you accountable for your classwork.
7. Ask for help. If you are unsure how to complete your homework or the guidelines are ambiguous, ask your professor, classmates, or a tutor for help.
8. Avoid over-planning. Making checklist’s and planning out your homework is important. However, the checklist’s and plans are not going to finish your homework. Sometimes, you have to stop looking at all you have to complete, and just start on the most important task.
9. Be consistent. Have a regular study schedule in order to break your habit of procrastination. Old habits die hard. If you truly want to break your habit, you must be disciplined, motivated, and consistent.
10. Forgive yourself. Every late assignment and poor grade on something you threw together last minute is a chance to learn and improve. However, if you do not forgive yourself for your mistakes, then it will make future tasks even harder to complete. If you feel better about a task, and you know you can improve, then you will put more work into it.