Stop procrastinating may sound a bit like, “Stop sleeping with your eyes closed.” A lot of students don’t know any other way to study. It’s not like they want to procrastinate. It’s just that… that’s what you do!
Well, believe it or not, you don’t have to keep procrastinating. You can stop procrastinating, become a better time manager, and get your stress loads under control. How? Well, try these four anti-procrastinating tips to begin your journey toward the procrastination-free student lifestyle.
(And PS – if you haven’t read our last blog on procrastination, you should check it out. Hopefully it will convince you that procrastinating is not a good thing.)
Stop Procrastinating Tip #1: Plan time to study
If you hate planning as much as I do, don’t get caught up in the “planning” side of things. What we’re not talking about is working out a whole bunch of details and spending a ton of time getting things situated.
This doesn’t need to be detail intensive. All we’re saying is that if you want to stop procrastinating, you need to set a time when you’re going to do work.
We often see students for whom this is a significant issue. They want to get their work done. They really do. But they never find the time for it.
A friend of mine uses the phrase, “Give your time a home.” That’s a good way of thinking about it. If your study time has a home in your schedule, you’re much more likely to use that time to do work instead of procrastinating.
Not using a planner?
That’s OK. It’s really easy to find a good student calendar/agenda. For starters, check out the digital ones offered by MyStudyLife. Another great option would be SchoolTraq, a digitized planner developed by some high school students who really use it.
And as always, there is the good ol’ Google Calendar. It’s what I use personally most of the time. It’s less student-specific, but it gets the job done.
All you want to do is mark out some time to study. If you’re a real high-achiever wanting to destroy the procrastinating streak within you, you can even set reminders. This will keep the procrastinating to a minimum and productivity to a maximum.
Stop Procrastinating Tip #2: Plan tasks to do in your study time
There’s that word again – “Plan.” Yeah, this does take a little more planning effort than just marking off time blocks on your calendar. But if you’re serious about stopping the procrastinating, it’s a necessity.
Students find procrastinating super easy when they don’t know exactly how much work they need to do today. If all I have is several huge binders full of worksheets, papers, and notes, it’s hard to know exactly what I need to do today. Students end of procrastinating because they don’t know what the next step is.
That’s right. Procrastinating isn’t always laziness. Sure, some students procrastinate because they’re lazy. But you’re not those students. You’re reading a blog on how to stop procrastinating.
Often when students end up procrastinating, it’s because they’ve not developed a good to-do list out of their massive work load.
We get it. Planning work isn’t fun. Making to-do lists seems more wasteful than procrastinating. But the reality is that a few minutes planning your tasks will go a long way toward stopping your procrastinating.
Stop Procrastinating Tip #3: Find mini-motivators
Wanting to save the whales, end human trafficking, or change the world is some other way are great goals. We recommend you dream big. You can accomplish a lot if you set out to do it.
But that’s not often going to help end your procrastination streak.
We need mini-motivation on a daily basis to keep moving forward, not just the big, hairy, audacious kind of motivation. Big life dreams move us forward in big life decisions. We need much smaller dreams for the day-in, day-out grind of math worksheets and English assignments.
Let’s get specific.
What motivates you in the short term doesn’t need to be big. We’re just talking about breaking our procrastinating habits. I find that chocolate ice cream usually does the trick for me. Not a fan of chocolate ice cream? Maybe some chocolate chip cookies will do the trick for you.
If you want to stop procrastinating, set small goals for yourself and reward yourself in small ways.
Don’t hear us saying it’s OK to down three pints of Rocky Road if you finish your homework. Don’t get crazy. But small rewards like a nice snack or maybe an episode of your favorite TV show can be helpful tools for staying motivated now to stop procrastinating.
Anti-Procrastinating Tip #4: Get accountability
This is your education we’re talking about. It’s pretty important.
In fact, we’d say it’s so important that it’s worth getting accountability to stop procrastinating. If you’re trying to stop procrastinating, but you never let someone else know about it, you’re missing out on a major motivator: friends.
The people in our lives provide some of the most helpful ways to stop procrastinating. Here’s how it works.
- You tell Jimmy (made up name) you’re going to stop procrastinating and want accountability.
- Jimmy commits to asking you if you’ve stopped procrastinating every week.
- You don’t lie to Jimmy when he asks.
- If you’re really serious, you give Jimmy the option to punch you in the arm if you have procrastinated.
- Then you stop procrastinating.
Or something like. Is this extreme? Eh, maybe. But it will help you get the job done. If you’re serious about avoiding the painful realities of procrastination, sometimes a little extreme might help.
In the meantime, what are you going to do to stop procrastinating? (If you put it in the comments below, we promise not to punch you in the arm)