You probably have something you should be doing right now, huh? Maybe it’s homework, or laundry, or responding to an email. Chances are you have at least one thing that you’ve been putting off for a while now. We’re all guilty of it, even the most organized and motivated people. It’s so common, we often don’t think anything of it until we have a deadline staring us in the face and a lot of work ahead.
Procrastination is a serious problem, and can have major negative effects no matter where you’re in your life. It can be hard to overcome, for sure. Having to turn away from social media and all the cute dog pictures isn’t easy, especially if you’re procrastinating because of lack of interest in whatever you’re supposed to be doing. But moving past procrastination is so, so important. Here are just a few things to remember when you’re trying to kick that procrastination habit:
- Make a plan, but be realistic. A sure way to get overwhelmed and be even less productive is to try to do too much. It’s important to have a plan for what you want to accomplish each day, to stay on track. But, it’s also important to know your limits and how much you can feasibly get done before attempting too much. Try getting a planner or making a to-do list to keep track of all your tasks and assignments.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. This can mean a lot of things – delegating some tasks to others (when you can), asking for clarification on a requirement or some part of a task, or even seeking professional help if you’re struggling to figure out how to study, or if you think procrastination might be a sign of something more serious. The big thing is not to try to do it all alone, because you don’t have to!
- Treat yourself. A little reward here and there when you accomplish a goal or finish an assignment can be a great motivation booster. Whether it’s a fun night out with friends after studying all day, an episode or two of your favorite TV show after finishing a paper, or your favorite snack to keep you going in the afternoon, small rewards are a great way to beat procrastination.
- It’s okay to mess up. No one is perfect, and trying to reach perfection in every assignment or project you do really can negatively affect your mental health and your productivity. Of course you want to do the best you can, but it’s important to recognize that it’s not going to be completely perfect – and there’s nothing wrong with that.
- Take time for yourself. There’s a big difference between procrastinating and taking time for yourself. Sometimes you need to step back from a project or an assignment to relax and destress, and that’s okay! Don’t be afraid to make yourself and your health a priority if you feel yourself getting burned out.
While it can seem fun at the time (who doesn’t love seeing all those photos of your friends’ pets?), procrastination is anything but fun when you realize that you’ve wasted a lot of time that you could have spent working. If you find yourself falling down the rabbit hole of procrastination, don’t panic! These are just a few of the many ways you can help yourself avoid the temptation, become more motivated, and get more done!