In a recent post we gave you some tips on how to stop procrastinating. Our fourth was what we called “accountability.” Today we’re going to dig into that tip a bit more.
Procrastination is a killer of student success. And we want to help you see an important reality about it:
You can’t do this on your own
Common sense says: “Just make a deadline!”
But your mind knows who made up that deadline. And procrastination is like a bully who’ll take pick up your wimpy self-imposed deadlines and steal their lunch money.
Ok, so I know that image is a bit violent. It get’s to the point, though.
Self-imposed deadlines don’t work. They just don’t.
A recent article on FastCompany talks about some of the negative aspects of procrastination and the fact that simply setting a made-up deadline doesn’t work.
Researchers found that deadlines could be really helpful. By setting them, students were more likely to get work finished on-time. Since we already let you know last week about the deadly effects of procrastination, stopping it is clearly vital. So deadlines are good … right?
Yes and no.
Deadlines are great, if they’re set by someone else.
That’s right. You need deadlines. But you need to not be the one setting them.
We have another word for this procrastination-killing deadline approach: accountability.
Get someone else involved in your study habits. That’s far and away the best strategy to get past the procrastination bug.Want to kill procrastination? Get someone else involved in your study habits #procrastinationClick To Tweet
How use deadlines with accountability to kill procrastination
We know what you’re thinking. “What does it even mean to get ‘accountability’ on my procrastination habits?” “How do I set a deadline to which someone else holds me accountable?
This is actually the easy part.
- First, you just need to recognize you have a problem. That’s right – get past the denial phase. We all procrastinate to some degree or another.
- Next, you’re going to have to want to kill this beast. It’s nasty. It’ll wreck your emotional and academic lives if you let it. Let’s not let it. If we’re going to kill it, though, we’ve got to do it with habits. And to develop great habits, you’ll need some accountability.
- Finally, get someone who you can count on to ask you at least every week how you’re doing with the procrastination bug. Are you keeping deadlines? Can they impose a deadline on you? What can they ask about every week?
If you have a good friend who is willing to ask you those questions every week, you’re far more likely to kick this thing. Try it for a month and see if you’ve gotten past procrastinating. If so, accountability has done it’s trick. If not, you may just need more time – or perhaps even more accountability.
Let us know what you think of this strategy! And, if you’re really bold, post something we can hold you accountable to do.