One of the biggest ways we increase our own stress, anxiety, and guilt is through procrastination – and college students are especially great at procrastination. 🙂 When you procrastinate, you have a weight on your shoulders, and you may repeatedly think about the assignment or work that you are procrastinating. In fact, you may spend more time thinking and delaying the work than if you actually sat down to complete it!
The first step to battling procrastination is figuring out why you are doing it. A few of the common reasons we procrastinate are the following:
- Distractions. Academic tasks can require long periods of attention and effort and this is increasingly hard to do with the advances of social media and our ability to instantly access the internet via our cell phones and laptops. Putting your phone on airplane mode or using websites or apps like Forest (which plants a real-life tree when you focus on tasks!) can be helpful.
- Frame of mind. We often assume we need to be motivated to work on an assignment or project. Or we overestimate how motivated we will be in the future. How often are you actually motivated to write that essay that is on a topic you just really are not into? The real answer is probably never. Discipline can fight procrastination. Regardless of how you feel in the moment, sit down and make yourself spend 15 minutes starting an assignment and you just might find it’s easier to just get it over with!
- Time. You might think you can bust out that paper in a day, so you keep putting it off and then BAM! You find yourself scrambling to get the paper written the night before. We sometimes underestimate how long work will take us or we overestimate how much time we have left to get something done. Breaking down tasks can be super helpful in figuring out how much time you will need to complete something. Do yourself a favor and give yourself extra time to get tasks done!
Procrastination is the worst – and battling it is one of the easiest ways to improve your own life during college. Tackle procrastination head on and you’ll be doing yourself a favor!