How do you avoid procrastination in college? If you’re like most college students, you have an overwhelming amount of work and sometimes might lack the motivation to get it done. It can be tempting to put off work and tell yourself you’ll do it at a later time, but procrastination can become a vicious cycle. Don’t let yourself fall victim to laziness and forgetfulness, do your best to beat procrastination in college with these tips!

1. Assign Due Dates

Assign due dates for assignments, and hold yourself accountable. Setting a deadline will help you stay focused on your work in the short term, as well as give you a clear roadmap to follow for future assignments. It also keeps you from putting off what needs to be done and then eventually spending a lot of time studying at once or cramming for exams.

2. Don’t Overwhelm Yourself

It’s important not to overwhelm yourself with the amount of work you must do and ensure that you’re not studying for too long. If you spend too much time thinking about everything you need to get done, you might find you’re more tempted to procrastinate. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, take it one thing at a time and avoid distractions like social media when you need to focus on work. When it comes down to it, don’t compare your grades and workload with your peers. That will only put stress on yourself and lead to more procrastination!

3. Organize Your Workload

The key to beating procrastination is to spend the appropriate amount of time studying and practicing. This means that you should try not to spend too much time on any one activity, but rather break them up into smaller tasks, such as spending 30 minutes studying at a time. When trying to organize your workload, it’s essential to set realistic goals and make sure they are achievable so that you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed by what seems like an impossible task.

4. Break Down Assignments into Manageable Chunks

Another way to overcome procrastination is to break assignments down into manageable chunks. Instead of trying to finish a large assignment all at once, try completing the first 20% and then taking a break. Research shows that people have better success at completing tasks if they tackle them in smaller increments that are more reasonable for their attention spans. Set a timer and start working on your assignment until the timer goes off, then get up and walk around for five minutes before going back to work. 

The Pomodoro technique is a great way to break down your study time into something that is manageable. This is a well-known technique used for productivity, where you are given 25-minute intervals of work followed by 5-minute breaks. After 4 work intervals, you are given a 15-minute break. While this might not work for everyone, this kind of technique is something to consider when breaking down your study time.

5. Set Up a Reward System

If you’re a chronic procrastinator, it can be helpful to set up a reward system for yourself. This can be as simple as rewarding yourself with a certain amount of free time after spending a few hours studying or you can treat yourself to something after completing a task. Whatever it is, just make sure that it is a reward that works for you and incentivizes you not to procrastinate.

Another way to use a reward system is to set up a deal with yourself. You will only focus on your school work during a designated time frame, and then allow yourself to focus on other things. This might seem like cheating at first, but it allows you to get your schoolwork done quickly, making study time seem much shorter. This can be especially effective for college students who have large course loads.

6. Complete What’s Important First

Focus on what’s important first, not what’s urgent. This can help you avoid making decisions based on short-term goals and instead focus on long-term goals. Make sure to take care of the most critical tasks first and try to complete them before starting anything else. This will help you feel accomplished and good about yourself, which will motivate you to complete other tasks as well.

7. Change Habits Step by Step

Changing habits, like procrastinating, can be difficult. That’s because it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to break old habits and create new ones. A good way to change a habit is to change it step by step. Set up small goals for yourself and celebrate your success as you go along. This will help you get accustomed to breaking your procrastination habit little by little until it becomes a part of who you are!

8. Get Help from Others

One of the best ways to beat your procrastination tendencies is by getting help from others. Find a friend, teacher, or parent who will help you set goals for the day and follow up with you if you need it. This way, you will be more likely to feel good about yourself and less likely to fall back into bad habits when things get tough.

9. Manage Stress Levels

Stress is an unavoidable part of college life. The key to managing stress is to learn how to recognize when it’s happening and then work on figuring out what is causing the stress. Once you have a better understanding of the cause, you can work on finding ways to relieve the stress. If you are someone who has tendencies to procrastinate and then feel stress as a result, you might find that your level of stress will decrease when you kick your procrastination habit.

Procrastination is an unavoidable part of life. As much as we may try, we all will fall victim to it at some point. Staying on top of your work and managing your time wisely will help you spend less time avoiding your work overall. And if you ever feel yourself slipping into the habit of procrastination, just refer back to these tips for help!

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