Procrastination Self Help – Learn Its Definition and Tips to
Help Overcome It
Why Students Procrastinate and Tips for Overcoming Procrastination.
William Knaus, a psychologist, estimated that 90% of college students do it and and they can attain self help
on how to stop procrastination.
Of these students, 25% are chronic procrastinators and they are usually the ones who end up dropping out of
What is Procrastination?
Procrastination is the avoidance of doing a task which needs to be accomplished. This can lead to feelings
of guilt, inadequacy, depression and self-doubt among students. Procrastination has a high potential for
painful consequences. It interferes with the academic and personal success of students.
Why do Students Procrastinate?
Poor Time Management:Procrastination means not managing time wisely. You may be
uncertain of your priorities, goals and objectives. You may also be overwhelmed with the task. As a result,
you keep putting off your academic assignments for a later date, or spending a great deal of time with your
friends and social activities, or worrying about your upcoming examination, class project and papers rather
than completing them.
Difficulty Concentrating: When you sit at your desk you find yourself daydreaming,
staring into space, looking at pictures of your boyfriend/girlfriend, etc., instead of doing the task. Your
environment is distracting and noisy. You keep running back and forth for equipment such as pencils, erasers,
dictionary, etc. Your desk is cluttered and unorganized and sometimes you sit/lay on your bed to study or
do your assignments. You probably notice that all of the examples that you have just read promote time wasting
Fear and Anxiety: You may be overwhelmed with the task and afraid of getting a failing
grade. As a result, you spend a great deal of time worrying about your upcoming exams, papers and projects,
rather than completing them.
Negative Beliefs: For example, “I cannot succeed in anything” and “I
lack the necessary skills to perform the task” may allow you to stop yourself from getting work done.
Personal problems: For example, financial difficulties, problems with your boyfriend/girlfriend,
Finding the Task Boring: Some times tasks just are not challenging enough or stimulating
enough and there is a lack of understanding of why they are important.
Unrealistic Expectations and Perfectionism. You may believe that you Must read everything
ever written on a subject before you can begin to write your paper. You may think that you haven’t done the
best you possibly could do, so it’s not good enough to hand in.
Fear of Failure. You may think that if you don’t get an “A,” you are failure.
Or that if you fail an exam, you, as a person, are a failure, rather than that you are a perfectly ok person
who has failed an exam.
Procrastination Self Help Tips for Overcoming This Chronic Problem
- Recognize self-defeating problems such as; fear and anxiety, difficulty concentrating, poor time management,
indecisiveness and perfectionism.
- Identify your own goals, strengths and weaknesses, values and priorities.
- Compare your actions with the values you feel you have. Are your values consistent with your actions?
- Discipline yourself to use time wisely: Set priorities.
- Study in small blocks instead of long time periods. For example, you will accomplish more if you study/work
in 60 minute blocks and take frequent 10 minute breaks in between, than if you study/work for 2-3 hours
straight, with no breaks. Reward yourself after you complete a task.
- Motivate yourself to study: Dwell on success, not on failure. Try to study in small groups. Break large
assignments into small tasks. Keep a reminder schedule and checklist.
- Set realistic goals.
- Modify your environment: Eliminate or minimize noise/ distraction. Ensure adequate lighting. Have necessary
equipment at hand. Don’t waste time going back and forth to get things. Don’t get too comfortable when
studying. A desk and straight-backed chair is usually best (a bed is no place to study). Be neat. Take
a few minutes to straighten your desk. This can help to reduce day-dreaming.