Preventing Procrastination

Student doing a bicycle trick

Tips to Overcome the Procrastination Hurdles!

  1. Keep several REALISTIC “motivating” thoughts in mind
    • “The more I do now, the less I have to do later and the sooner I can do something fun!”
    • “I’ll get started and see how much I can get done in the next......(e.g. 30 minutes, 60 minutes).”
    • “It’s easier to do it now, than be kicking myself later!”
  2. Stop thinking the worst!
    • Saying, “I’ll never get this done” or “I’m going to fail” is not helpful and not realistic.
    • Instead, figure out ways to get several steps of the task accomplished.
  3. Break the task into SEVERAL small steps on your to-do list.  Cross each step off as you complete the tasks.
  4. Make a reverse timeline 
    • Note when the task MUST be done.
    • Then note/list the steps that you will need to complete in order to reach the finish line.
    • Note the date or time you need to complete each task so you’re clear about the timeline.
  5. Make new to-do lists often! 
    • Starting each day with a to-do list will help you put responsibilities into perspective.
    • Cross items off your to-do list as you complete them.
    • Don’t be afraid to put a few tasks on your list that you just completed. ("Crossing off" feels good!)
  6. Ask for help when needed!
    • Think of how often you appreciate helping others.  Reciprocate by asking for help when you get stuck!
  7. Reward yourself with set breaks and/or perks when finishing tasks.
    • Give your mind breaks along the way (e.g. study one hour, take a 10 minute break, continue your task).
  8. Get CREATIVE!
    • Figure out the "best" way to accomplish a task (e.g. if reading book chapters, make notecards for every page—write down a sample test question then write the answer on the back of the card).
    • Use interactive strategies (e.g. break notes into sample "test questions" vs. simply notes over and over).
  9. Use a planner or calendar
    • Start each day by making a to-do list.
    • Write/record all deadlines and activities in your calendar (to include "fun" social activities).
    • Looking at the next two weeks should help you keep your tasks and activities in better order.
  10. Set yourself up for success by choosing your "location" of focus wisely.
    • Avoid studying in places that WILL distract you (e.g. studying in a bedroom is not usually helpful).
    • If you like noise, listen to music.
    • If you need a quiet spot, SEEK OUT a quiet location (e.g. the library).

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