Procrastination is a common problem among students. It can be a significant obstacle to achieving academic success. Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing tasks or assignments until the last minute, resulting in stress and poor performance.
What causes procrastination, and how can students work to beat it? Procrastination can be caused by many different things, including:
As much as procrastination can be caused by any number of factors, it can also make each of these issues worse. As procrastination spirals out of control, mental health can worsen, beginning a stronger procrastination cycle.
Although procrastination seems impossible to overcome, with the right strategies and mindset, students can beat procrastination and improve their academic performance.
One of the most effective ways to beat procrastination is to set clear and specific goals. Having a clear understanding of what needs to be done and when it needs to be completed can help students stay focused and motivated. Setting specific deadlines for completing tasks can also help students stay on track and avoid procrastination, although this can backfire for some students and cause them to procrastinate more.
Another helpful strategy for many students is breaking down larger tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. This can make a large, intimidating task feel more manageable and less overwhelming. Any time a task feels overwhelming, students can procrastinate in order to relieve the stress of the task. By reducing the perceived stress involved in a task, students can reduce the mental burden of these tasks, allowing them to complete them more easily.
Creating a schedule or to-do list also helps some students with procrastination. This can help students organize their time and prioritize tasks.The key to implementing better scheduling is making it seamless. If the time management tool takes up too much time or adds stress, it’s not helpful in the long-term.
Students should also try to allocate specific times of the day for studying and completing assignments. For example, if a student finds that they are most productive in the morning, they should schedule their most important tasks for that time of day.
Along with scheduling, time management is also a helpful strategy for beating procrastination. Students should learn how to effectively manage their time by setting realistic and achievable deadlines, prioritizing tasks, and avoiding distractions. There are systems and techniques that can make this easier to do, so students are not trying to start from nothing.
One effective time management technique is the Pomodoro technique, which involves breaking down work into 25-minute intervals, with a five-minute break in between. This can help students stay focused and avoid getting overwhelmed.
A simple way to improve time management is for students to actively avoid distraction. By paying attention to what distracts them most, students can purposely create an environment with fewer distractions. This is good for focus and helps students be more intentional about studying and completing assignments.
Another effective strategy for beating procrastination is a change of mindset. Instead of thinking about the task as a chore and focusing on its unpleasant qualities, students should try to refocus on the benefits of completing the task. This can help to increase motivation and reduce procrastination. Students can embrace a mantra like:
“I will feel a lot of relief when this task is done.”
Embracing this mindset helps students to make the benefits of finishing a task larger in their minds than the short-term benefits of delaying. Students should also try to eliminate negative thoughts and beliefs that may be contributing to procrastination. For example, if a student is afraid of failure, they should try to reframe their thoughts and focus on the learning opportunities and growth that come with failure.
Finally, students should also learn how to deal with stress and anxiety. These emotions can exacerbate procrastination and poor performance. To combat stress and anxiety, students should try to engage in regular exercise, practice mindfulness, and seek help if needed. Additionally, students should also try to adopt a positive attitude and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Procrastination is a common problem among students, but it can be overcome with the right strategies and mindset. Setting clear and specific goals, creating a schedule or to-do list, practicing time management, changing your mindset, and dealing with stress and anxiety are all effective ways to beat procrastination and improve academic performance.