How often do you delay or postpone your work despite knowing the deadlines and consequences? Or push your assignments to the last minute to do other comforting activities, even though you are very well aware that at the end of the day the work starts piling up. If you have fallen prey to the traps of procrastination, we have some tips for you that can help you come out of this habit.
According to a study, procrastination affects approximately one-fifth of the adult population and half of the student population. Joseph Ferrari, a professor of psychology, found that 20% of people may be chronic procrastinators.
Why do students procrastinate?
The reason for procrastination is different for every person depending on the work that they are doing. For students, these are some of the contributing factors:
- Overwhelm – Sometimes students feel overwhelmed due to their priorities or tasks and not find enough time to complete them in a day.
- Fear of failure – The fear of not being able to meet the expectations or fear of academic failure pushes students to procrastinate a lot.
- Lack of concentration – Some students are unable to concentrate and they easily get distracted or lose their focus.
- Difficulty in understanding – Many a times a task seems so difficult that students engage in procrastination and instead do something irrelevant at that time.
- Lack of motivation – Students just want to get rid of unpleasant tasks because they are not motivating enough. They would instead scroll through their phones and put their work off until it’s closer to the deadline.
Effects of procrastination
- Students end up with piled up work and waste their precious time that could have been utilised productively.
- Chronic procrastinator are not able to meet their goals and end up regretting later.
- Frequent procrastination puts an extra burden on the student causing excessive stress and anxiety.
- Procrastination is one of the biggest causes of poor academic achievements as students work below their potential and end up getting lower grades.
Tips to avoid procrastination
1. Identify the cause
If you want to find a solution to any problem, first identify its root cause. There might be several reasons why you procrastinate. You might be not interested in a particular subject, tired of multitasking, or reeling under the fear of failure. Everyone has different reasons; however, you need to identify your reason to figure out an adequate solution or ask for help from a parent or teacher.
2. Eliminate distractions
Distractions that pull your maximum attention like social media, online games, tv series, etc can put you behind on your academics. Try turning off your notifications or putting your phone away while studying. Use a separate study space to minimize any other kind of distraction.
3. Reward yourself and take breaks
Rewarding yourself with small treats is a great way to stay motivated. You can try giving yourself 10 minutes of break for social media after finishing a chapter. This will put your wandering mind to work and make you more focused.
4. Use Pomodoro technique
Pomodoro technique, practiced by most college going students, is an effective way of staying focused. The 25-minutes study and 5-minutes break routine can give you enough time to recuperate with the study stress and help you feel fresh before the next session.
5. Divide one big task into several small tasks
If something seems like a Herculean task, you might try breaking it into smaller chunks and then gain your momentum. This will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed and save you from the last-minute rush.
6. Setup a routine and a deadline
Creating a clear cut schedule can help you manage time and finish your tasks early. Set up a proper timeline for every day and add small portions of break in between to keep the schedule balanced. You can also set up a routine where you finish the difficult chapters/assignments first to keep your favorite tasks for later as a motivation.
7. Get organized
Using planners is a great way to create your daily routines and timetables. Digital Planners like the ones provided in the Noteshelf app can help you keep track of your daily tasks. You can even keep your school work/notebooks organized in Noteshelf and avoid unnecessary clutter.
We often assume that procrastination is an innocuous habit with no major repercussions. However, studies show that perpetual procrastination may exacerbate the productivity issue for students and can lead to stress and anxiety. So, commit to overcome this habit today and start with small steps, you will notice the transformation eventually.
We hope these tips will help you overcome the urge to procrastinate. Remember, success comes from taking small steps in the right direction.