#Askingforafriend: Overcoming procrastination
By Kiesha Collins
GCU Office of Student Care
Many college students often struggle with procrastinating on an assignment from time to time. But they’re not the only ones. If you find yourself chronically dealing with putting off or not completing tasks, it may be time to make some changes in your life.
Procrastination is a short-term solution that helps us avoid stress in the immediate moment but can lead to increased pressure and anxiety in the long term.
People tend to put off tasks that feel too big or too time-consuming, leaving it to be completed in the very last moment. This tactic may have worked throughout high school without consequence, but life at college is much different.
Here are several tips for students that can help them overcome procrastination and be successful in college:
- Write down all the assignments for each class, and include their due dates.
- This visual alone can help you to prioritize which tasks need to be completed first. Organize this list by planning out which assignments you will complete for each day of the week.
- BE REALISTIC. If you know that you struggle with motivation to complete a particular assignment, break it up into smaller and more doable sections. This list is for you, so make it work for you.
- Give yourself plenty of breaks.
- When studying for quizzes and exams, it is important to take ample breaks. There is something called “cognitive load,” which means that your brain can only take in so much information at a time. Giving yourself enough breaks will allow your brain to retain more information in the long term.
- You don’t have to write a paper in one sitting. It is actually better to break up larger assignments into smaller chunks. However, if you find yourself completing such tasks at one time, make sure you get up at least once an hour.
- Be intentional about your workspace and environment.
- Reduce and eliminate distractions in your surroundings. This means finding a quiet space where you can focus and think clearly. That could be a study room in your residence hall, the library, a quiet café, etc.
- Make sure that you have all the materials you need within reach. Try not to disrupt your workflow by having to get up and grab items that you need to complete your tasks. Be organized and prepared.
- Place limits on yourself to look at social media, unrelated websites or texting/calling others during your study/work time. If you have to block yourself from your phone, place it on airplane mode. (Let others know that you will be out of contact for a period of time so that they don’t worry about you.)
Following these tips will require some level of self-discipline. At the end of the day, no one is going to make sure you complete your tasks and do well in college. It is ultimately your responsibility, so try to set yourself up for success by utilizing these tips on reducing procrastination.