Stopping procrastination

Ways to stop procrastinating

Here are some practical things that you can do to help stop procrastinating and become more productive

Be honest

  • Admit to yourself and others that you've been putting off doing the task

Find the right time to do it

  • When you finish a task that you enjoy, quickly switch over to work on the less attractive task that you have been avoiding
  • Work out what time or day you are most alert and full of energy. Use this time to work on the task you have been avoiding
  • Make a set time to study or write, and then stick to it

Do it in stages

  • Start by doing a small part of the task, then do some more. Over time, you will see that you can finish it
  • Write a list of the steps you need to do to finish a large task. Focus on one step at a time
  • Give 5 minutes each day to the task you have been avoiding. After finishing 5 minutes, add another 5. Then try to do another 5 minutes

Focus on the positive

  • Make a list of all the good things that will happen if you stop procrastinating and all the bad things that will happen if you don't
  • Plan a reward for when you have finished the task

Get help

  • Talk to your tutor if lack of information or understanding is stopping you from doing the task
  • Work with a friend to help you get started on the task
  • Get a friend to monitor your progress. Arrange to give them regular reports

Make a change

  • Clean up and organise your work space to motivate you to get started on your task
  • Turn off (or turn on) the music. See if you can work better in silence (or with some background noise)
  • Get away from social distractions and focus on the tasks you need to do

Set goals and reminders

  • Set goals for yourself. Aim to spend an amount of time each day on the task, or to have it done by a certain date
  • Pin up a sign at home or a note on your bag as a reminder to do the task

Study your behaviour

  • At a time during semester when you don't have anything due, procrastinate as  much as you can for a week. Keep track of how often and how long you procrastinate. Note the feelings associated with it. You will be more aware of  why you procrastinate and what it leads to

Just do it

  • Do the hard tasks first and cross them off your list
  • When you remember a task you have been avoiding, do it straight away