Everyone procrastinates sometimes, for varying reasons. Learning why you procrastinate is an important step in controlling the behavior. Possible causes of procrastination include boredom, lack of interest or motivation, and fear of failure.

Tips for overcoming procrastination:

  • Identify your patterns
    Keep track of your activities and thoughts over a period of time to discover your own pattern of procrastination.
  • Study during your most effective time of the day
    If you study when you are most alert, you will get the most out of your time.
  • Set priorities every day
    Spend some time each day deciding what you want and need to accomplish. Decide how you will spend your time, keeping in mind that sometimes you simply can’t do everything you "should" or want to do.
  • Break down large tasks
    Big projects are more approachable when they are broken down into smaller, more manageable chunks. Try to realistically estimate the amount of time each step will take and set goals for completion of the steps.
  • Clear your mind of distractions
    One way to improve your concentration while studying is to jot down distracting thoughts on a list as they arise. This will remind you to deal with these issues later and free your mind to concentrate on the task at hand.
  • Start with the worst
    Tackle your most difficult or boring tasks while your level of concentration is high. If you put them off until last, you will be approaching them when your energy level is low. Getting the worst out of the way first may even energize you to get more done.
  • Form study groups!
    Study groups can be a great way to combat procrastination as well as an excellent study tool. Students in study groups often find that working with other students motivates them to keep on top of things.
  • Ask for help when you need it!
    Take advantage of all the resources available to you. You will find that professors, T.A.’s, the Tutoring Center, the Writing Center, the Counseling Center, and many other campus resources are here to help you.
  • Vary subjects to eliminate boredom.
    This is a great way to keep your mind from wandering and to stay on task. Try studying one subject for an hour, taking a short break, then moving on to another subject.
  • Set rewards for yourself!
    Promise yourself a reward—ice cream, a movie, an extra study break, or some other little treat—if you accomplish a certain task.
Page Updated 11.27.2017