Some people procrastinate
because they have too much to do. You might have every
intention of doing things in a timely manner, but time can move
swiftly. There are only 24 hours in a day. Thoughtfully examine
your obligations and responsibilities. Make sure your schedule
is realistic and you aren’t involved in too many activities at
one time. If you spread yourself too thinly, none of your
projects will get the attention they deserve.
Some people are good at
summarizing major ideas. Others write exceptionally well. Some
people work well with others. Find out what your assets are.
Then work them into everything you do. This will improve your
confidence and motivation for tackling a distasteful
Reward yourself lavishly when
tasks are completed on time. Make the reward appropriate for
the difficulty and boredom of the task.
Remember that you're not alone.
Some studies report that up to 40% of college students
experience procrastination as a real problem. Many students
tend to mass their practice. That is, do most of the work in
marathon sessions near academic deadlines and fail to make
appropriate use of various study aids and supports at
appropriate times. Doing this only leads to more stress in your
already stressful life. Why add to it?
But why do you procrastinate on
tasks related to goals you want to achieve? Procrastination
often emerges as a means of distancing oneself from stressful
activities. People allocate more time to the judged-easy task
than to judged-difficult tasks. Dealing with the underlying
stressful aspects of the activities can assist in reducing the
extent of procrastination. We’ll address the problem of stress
management a little later.
Here's one practical
application. If the volume of work on your to-do list
overwhelms you, you might benefit from making a "one-item
list": re-write the top item from your list at the top of a
blank page and work the task to completion, then
Some people have to overcome
procrastination gradually. Studying, like drinking, is usually
in binges. Almost no one has trouble studying (a little) the
night before a big exam. But without the pressure of an exam,
many students find it easy to forget studying.
I'd suggest breaking big jobs
down into manageable tasks and working on "getting started,"
perhaps by tricking yourself by saying "I'll just do five
minutes" and then finding out you don't mind working longer
than five minutes. This is called the "five minute