Procrastination makes us postpone the tasks that are too stressful to handle now, in order to do the impossible to complete them all on a hellish day in the future. Indeed, why on earth not to enjoy the present day, if you can suffer tomorrow? This is a principle that many students follow, only to be completely exasperated when they are buried in assignments by the end of the semester. If you are angry with yourself because of this bad habit, here is some advice that you could follow to change for the better.
Use different words
Surprisingly, using another set of words to describe the same situation can change your outlook on the problem. Instead of saying “This is a difficult task, so I will do it tomorrow”, try with “It cannot be completed in one day, so I can start doing this assignment today”. In fact, not everyone can write a whole paper in just one day, but a couple of sentences are easy enough to make the first step towards your goal. Another phrase to avoid is “I have to write it”. Next time, say, “I choose to write it”. Not only it will feel like you are a responsible adult who has the power to get their work done, but also it will make you think about your motives, and the feeling of accomplishment you will get after finishing your task.
Realize the cause of the problem
Make a list of all the tasks that you have been avoiding lately. Then, try to think of why you have been postponing them. If you had to call Auntie Margaret, but still didn’t get around to it, there must be a reason. Maybe she is not your favorite aunt, so this task is unpleasant for you, but as soon as you realize the cause of the problem, it will be easy for you to handle it. The same goes for schoolwork. As soon as you get your facts straight, your actions will follow.
Allow yourself to make mistakes
The cause of procrastination is often the fear of failure. Accept the fact that everyone makes mistakes. Just because your assignment will not turn out perfect, it does not mean that you should not do it at all. Even though there might be a classmate who does it better or faster, think about the positive effects of this assignment, or the knowledge you will achieve. If you learn to accept yourself and try your best at all times, it will be easier for you to get back on your feet after a misstep.
Ask for help
You are not alone! Everyone procrastinates from time to time, and the important thing is not to feel relieved when you hear that someone has not written that paper yet, but to help each other. Challenge a buddy who is similar to you to complete the task on time. Or, maybe, join a study group, and share the workload among you. It will be easier to start your assignment, if you get someone’s help or encouragement.