Procrastination? It's DEFINITELY a Thing.

Procrastination is the act of putting things off or choosing to do one thing instead of another that you feel or know you should be doing.  Procrastination is a common challenge for college students; about 80-95% of students report procrastinating (Steel, 2003).  This challenge is important to address because procrastination can develop into a habit that can seriously impact your ability to be productive. This in turn can negatively affect your academic performance (Steel, 2003).

Tips to Combat Procrastination

Knock procrastination over the head.

TIPS:

  • Have a plan. Set goals and make use of a weekly schedule and a to-do list.  These can keep you organized and help you stay committed to completing your tasks.
  • Find motivation. Think of 1-2 good reasons for getting tasks done early, and write those reasons down. We often allow ourselves to procrastinate because we think “I can do this later." When that thought comes up, make sure you have an answer for why it’s important to complete the task now.

6 Reasons People Procrastinate

Do any of these reasons sound familiar? Try one of the strategies suggested to nip that procrastination in the bud.

1. "I Don't Feel Like Doing It"

Goal Setting - are yours SMART?

Goal setting is probably something you already do naturally, but it’s worth spending time learning how to set effective, SMART goals that can help you maximize academic success and achieve other life ambitions. The idea of SMART goals comes from the acronym (see image).  In general, SMART goals are effective because they are designed to be realistic, so you are more likely to follow through and be successful.  They are also designed to be measurable, so you will know when you have completed them and will be able to celebrate your accomplishment.    

SMART goal tips

Make your SMART goals smart.

TIPS:

  • Break your goal into smaller tasks or action steps. These smaller steps make progress on the goal more manageable and give you a sense of accomplishment as you move closer to your goal.
  • Make goals with others (friends, family members, coworkers). If other people know about your goals or share the same goals, you create accountability for yourself.

Tips to Cultivating a Growth Mindset

Cultivate a growth mindset - try to see what feels difficult as an opportunity for growth, then recognize that you're working to change, and that's a fantastic first step.

TIPS:

  • Seek out new challenges. Even though you may struggle or fail, the amount of growth you’ll experience will be powerful and could influence other areas of your life.
  • Be persistent. When obstacles get in your way, power through. Do not give up.

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