How to Overcome Procrastination as a Student

Student life is full of challenges. Not only are you trying to meet deadlines for assignments and essays, but you’ve also got to balance social life, new experiences and often live by yourself for the first time.

If you find yourself saying you work better at the last minute and you need to feel the pressure of deadlines then you’re procrastinating. There are a variety of reasons someone might procrastinate.

It’s often a matter of poor time management skills, or not setting priorities in order.

However, it’s definitely not laziness.

There can be underlying reasons as to why you’re procrastinating in the first place such as anxiety or depression.

Regardless of the personal reasons why someone might procrastinate, you can learn how to stop procrastinating by making small changes in your life and building healthy habits.

What is Procrastination?

Procrastination is delaying or postponing something unnecessarily. There’s nothing to stop you from completing the task at hand, but you actively choose not to start on it anyway.

Is Procrastination the same as Laziness?

No matter what someone might say, laziness and procrastination are two different things. They differ in that lazy people have the ability to do a task but are apathetic or have no desire to expend energy.

A procrastinator has the ability to complete the task as well but doesn’t prioritize it. They could find a certain task dull or uninspiring and elect a different task instead. A lazy person ends up doing nothing, in a state of inactivity.

Tips for How to Overcome Procrastination as a Student

  1. Set realistic goals: Saying to yourself that you’re going to finish your assignment in one day is not realistic. Understand that everything takes a lot of time, and getting started, even if it’s 20 minutes, is better than nothing. 
  2. Use external aids: There are lots of organizers and apps out there to help you overcome procrastination. For example, Today Is The Day app. It’s full of handy features that use cognitive behavioral therapy to get to the root cause of your procrastination. Within a month of using the app, you’ll start forming healthy habits to overcome procrastination with a personalized plan delivered in easy-to-digest 5-10 minute chunks each day. Try it out to access your plan and trackers, allowing you to track the improvement in your life.
  3. Find Motivation: Picture where you want to see yourself in the future. Whether it’s pursuing higher education or your dream job, remember that achieving your goals requires hard work. Consider rewarding yourself as motivation – for instance, treat yourself to something enjoyable after dedicating an hour to studying.
  4. Break assignments into smaller parts: When faced with the daunting task of writing 10,000 words on a specific subject, breaking it down into smaller daily goals, such as starting with the introduction, is a more manageable approach than not writing at all.
  5. Remove distractions: If you’re trying to study in a noisy environment you’re more likely to be distracted. If you’re in your room where you’ve got computer games or a TV then consider going to a library where you won’t be distracted. Leave your phone on silent mode or behind if possible.

How to Overcome ADHD Procrastination

People with ADHD often find themselves either hyper-focused on a task to the exclusion of all others or unable to focus on a single task. They are prime examples of individuals who are more susceptible to procrastination.

However, there are effective strategies to overcome procrastination when you have ADHD.

People with ADHD often have a dopamine shortage, making it challenging to choose studying or less exciting tasks over something fun and stimulating. If you’re a student with ADHD and you find yourself struggling, it’s essential to incorporate breaks into your study routine.

Use your phone or a computer timer (preferably less distracting) to remind you to engage in something enjoyable every thirty minutes or so.

Over time, you’ll begin to associate studying and accomplishing tasks as rewarding actions rather than punitive or tedious ones.

By incorporating timers to manage both study sessions and breaks, you can gradually establish more productive habits and improve your overall lifestyle. Stay committed to these practices, and you’ll see positive results.

How to Overcome Anxiety Procrastination

Procrastination carries significant negative consequences, including heightened anxiety and stress as deadlines approach. To overcome anxiety-driven procrastination, remember a few key points:

  • Delaying tasks intensifies anxiety.
  • Write down deadlines for tasks. Make a lot of little ones so you feel like you’re making good progress.
  • Break assignments down into smaller parts. Don’t study for five hours in one day. Try studying one hour every day for five days for example.
  • You’re doing the best you can. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Final Thoughts

As a student, it’s crucial to maintain perspective.

Balancing social events guilt-free is possible with effective time management and scheduling. Don’t be too hard on yourself during busy periods.

Leverage procrastination assistant apps, set reminders, and create a study-fun schedule to conquer procrastination successfully.